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Teacher’s aide arrested on child pornography charges

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- A former substitute instructional aide at Nichols Elementary School in Oceanside was arrested by the FBI on child pornography charges.

Alexis Mendoza was taken into custody June 18 on one count of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography.

Parents whose children attend the school said school officials told them in a special parent meeting Thursday that the 20-year-old also admitted to authorities he molested at least one student under his care.

Parents also said Mendoza was a teacher's aide to students with special needs and was employed from March to June.

The FBI said the child pornography in Mendoza's possession was not linked to any students at Nichols Elementary.

Parents whose children were in contact or may have been in contact with the former aide were notified via automated phone calls and e-mails, from principal Traci Galloway last week.

A special parent meeting was held the next day with specialists and counselors.

According to the FBI, Mendoza was caught by an undercover FBI agent online, during a child pornography sting. However, it was not clear when the investigation into Mendoza began.

FOX 5 contacted Nichols Elementary but was notified it was closed through August.

The Oceanside Unified School District released a statement on the matter:

"The Oceanside Unified School District (OUSD) is aware of the allegations levied against a now-former, substitute employee regarding charges related to child pornography. OUSD takes any allegation related to the sexual exploitation of a minor seriously; the safety and well-being of all OUSD students is, and always will remain, our utmost priority.

OUSD is working cooperatively with law enforcement officials during this ongoing investigation. The parents and guardians of children who may have been in contact with the individual in question have been notified. The person has been removed from employment on June 4, 2015. He is currently in custody.

OUSD is dedicated to providing the safest school environment possible for all students, and will continue to work to ensure the safety of our students and our community."