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A math teacher at an elite private Philadelphia school has been arrested on child pornography charges

Andrew Wolf, a math teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, is charged with receiving and distributing child pornography.

A judge's gavel rests on a lawbook.
A judge's gavel rests on a lawbook.Read moreDreamstime / MCT

A math teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy was arrested Friday on child pornography charges, law enforcement officials and the school’s leader said.

Andrew Wolf, 41, was in federal custody, charged with receiving and distributing child pornography. Authorities said he used his school email account to receive approximately 190,000 pictures and videos, many depicting boys as young as 12 years old engaged in sexual acts.

Officials said Wolf would likely not return to the elite private Philadelphia school. Head of School Stephen Druggan said in an emailed message to the school community that Wolf had been placed on administrative leave.

“The authorities told us that their investigation was prompted by activity that occurred outside of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy,” Druggan wrote. “Mr. Wolf has been placed on administrative leave, and we certainly anticipate that he will not return to SCH.”

Wolf’s picture is no longer on the school’s website.

Federal investigators said they learned of Wolf’s crimes on July 12, when Dropbox Inc., a file hosting service that allows users to send and receive videos and documents online, reported that his account had uploaded suspected child pornography.

On Thursday, authorities searched Wolf’s Philadelphia home, where he lives alone with his 6-month-old child, and seized an iPad and iPhone. The devices showed that he had been following teenage boys on Instagram and in one case, purchased sexually explicit videos from a boy who authorities said was between 12 and 14. The boy sold the teacher at least six videos of himself for $100, they said.

News of Wolf’s arrest jolted the K-12 school, where tuition ranges from $28,250 to $43,100. With 1,060 students, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy is the city’s largest independent school, according to its website.

Druggan said Wolf had passed a criminal background check before he was hired and during his tenure, the school had never received any complaints of inappropriate conduct.

Druggan asked parents and students with concerns about the situation to contact him, a divisional counselor, division head, or the FBI.

“I am sorry I have to communicate such difficult news. SCH’s commitment to the safety and security of our students is unyielding, and we are all understandably unsettled and upset by this news,” he wrote. “We will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with authorities as they continue their investigation.”