Bloomingdale High teacher accused of hiding cameras where students change clothes

- A Hillsborough County teacher has been arrested on a video voyeurism charge.

Deputies arrested 49-year-old Mark William Ackett, a teacher at Bloomingdale Senior High School, saying he recorded a student undressing on school property. Around 10 a.m. Tuesday, deputies say a student at entered a changing room inside a fashion design classroom to try on clothing.

While changing into different outfits, the student noticed an electronic device inside the room, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and reported it to the school's administration. Deputies said the school contacted them, prompting the investigation. 

Detectives said the cameras were secretly placed inside the changing room by the fashion design teacher, identified as Ackett. They said he admitted to recording students while they were changing clothes. By Tuesday evening, he was arrested.

Meanwhile, parents were sent an audio message from the school principal Wednesday morning about the incident, and Ackett’s former students spent the day learning about what happened and how to deal with it from the principal and psychologists.

“It was very upsetting to me,” said Destiny Garner, a Bloomingdale High School junior who took Ackett’s class. “I’ve talked to a couple of administrators about it and they said the police are supposed to contact anyone they identify in the videos. But yeah, I’m definitely concerned because I change there quite often and so did my classmates who were doing the class as well.”

He had been a family consumer science teacher since January 2017 at Bloomingdale High School. 

Hillsborough County Public Schools Communications and Media organizer Grayson Kamm said the district will look at how they handle changing rooms in the future for that class.

“We are shocked by this and really disgusted by these allegations, and there was nothing in his record that we know of during the school that would indicate anything like this,” said Kamm. 

Parents whose children took Ackett’s class are now left concerned if their child was secretly recorded. 

“I want to know if she was one of them. I don’t know what exactly that would help but I don’t understand it. I really don’t,” said Donna Howard, whose daughter is a sophomore at Bloomingdale High School and took Ackett’s class last year. “He has all these kids that are supposed to be able to trust him.”

School administrators said Ackett resigned from his position following the allegations after being with the district since 1991. Ackett was also the girls' track team coach, and school administrators said Ackett served as the assistant principal at Bloomingdale High School at one time during his career. Ackett also spent time teaching at Plant City High School. 

FOX 13’s Briona Arradondo requested Ackett’s personnel file and looked through 230-plus pages of documents. Ackett pleases guilty to a DUI in 1987, but otherwise, school administrators gave him good marks as a teacher prior to the incident. 

Detectives are trying to determine whether there are more victims. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 813-247-8200.

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