PORTAL, Ga. (WSAV) – Effingham Deputies say Paul Hudson, Principal of Portal Elementary, was arrested for trying to have sex with a 15-year-old.
Hudson has worked at Portal Elementary since the school was built in 1999. He began as an assistant principal in 1999 before becoming principal in 2001. He has since been suspended of his duties pending the investigation.
Georgia’s Internet Crimes Against Children’s Task Force found that he was attempting to meet a 15-year-old for sex in Effingham County Thursday night.
He remains in the Effingham County Jail.
Statement from Bulloch County Superintendent Charles G. Wilson Jr.
“The Effingham County Sheriff’s Department notified me Thursday, evening, after 9:00 p.m., that they had arrested Paul Hudson, principal of Portal Elementary School, for solicitation in their jurisdiction. I am deeply saddened and disturbed by this information. His alleged actions are not in keeping with the core values we expect all of adults and students in our district.
Mr. Hudson has been employed by the Bulloch County Board of Education since 1999. He served as Portal Elementary’s assistant principal from 1999-2001, and became principal in 2001.
Our school district has never received any complaints of this nature about Mr. Hudson from the public, parents or students. He has never been reprimand by our school system for this type of behavior. Mr. Hudson and all of our employees submit to full state and federal criminal background checks prior to employment and then every five years thereafter. Mr. Hudson’s background checks have never revealed criminal behavior. His last background check was in February 2012.
My first priority moving forward is to ensure the safety of all the children in our care, especially those at Portal Elementary School. Mr. Hudson has been immediately suspended from all of his duties pending completion of legal proceedings.
I met with the Portal Elementary School faculty and staff this morning. I have appointed the school’s assistant principal, Laurie Mascolo, as the acting principal to lead the school.
Our district personnel will offer counseling and support to the students, faculty and staff at the school. I will reach out to parents and the Portal Elementary family and work with them to ensure we are ready to meet and prepare their children for success from day one and beyond.
If anyone has any information pertinent to this investigation, they are encouraged to contact the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department. We always encourage anyone to report any suspicious behavior to law enforcement.”