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Arrested teacher put on paid leave

Updated: 06/01/07 7:15 AM

 Grand Island school officials have placed a seventh-grade social studies teacher on paid administrative leave, after he was arrested Wednesday and accused of viewing “inappropriate adult photographs” during classroom hours.

Michael Zuch, 33, of Kenville Road, Buffalo, a teacher at Veronica E. Connor Middle School, was charged with attempted endangering the welfare of a child, state police reported.

Zuch, who has been employed by the Grand Island School District since 1999, was arraigned in Grand Island Town Court and released on his own recognizance.

“He’s been placed on administrative leave indefinitely, effective [Wednesday] afternoon with the arrest,” Grand Island School Superintendent Robert W. Christmann said Thursday. “He will be on administrative leave until we complete the investigation on our end.”

Police said Zuch is accused of viewing the inappropriate material on his personal laptop computer during classroom hours. Authorities said they had no indication that the viewing involved any photos or video of children.

Asked whether he expects Zuch to return to the classroom, Christmann said that depends on the findings of both the State Police and the school district.

“This is a very serious charge,” the superintendent added. “Anything that compromises the possible safety of our students is taken as the highest priority we have.”

Zuch, who has served in several coaching capacities in Grand Island athletics, was listed in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” in 2005.