Chris Curme, Community Editor

The now former head of the McGuffey Montessori School, 60-year-old Alfred Allen, has been arrested on 20 counts of child pornography, according to a statement released Friday by the Oxford Police Department (OPD).

According to the statement, Allen had been suspected of misusing the school’s credit/debit card last spring and was charged with theft.

“In the course of the investigation into the theft, evidence of other criminal activity was found,” the OPD statement read.

Alfred Allen was taken into custody Sept. 19, for 20 felony counts relating to child pornography.

As an active investigation, OPD said no further information is being released at this time.

McGuffey Montessori School released a statement regarding Allen.

“Mr. Allen was terminated in May because of his failure to perform the duties of Head of School,” the statement read. “Other than suspecting misappropriation of funds, we were not aware of any criminal activity at the time of his termination.”

McGuffey Montessori has been working with OPD to assist in the investigation, according to the school’s statement.

The statement ends noting that Allen was hired by standard processes of the Board of Trustees, had passed a criminal background check and been validated by his references.

“As always, our school’s first priority is its families, and we are working diligently to keep them informed,” the statement said. “We are grateful that our students were not harmed in any way.”

The McGuffey Montessori School was founded by staff and parents of the old Miami University Lab School, which closed in 1983, according to its website.

It is a privately run school, educating students in preschool through eighth grade at 5128 Westgate Drive in Oxford.