MacKenzie Johnson

A former Ladysmith teacher was arrested at work, Tuesday, suspected of possessing child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant at the residence of MacKenzie Johnson on Aug. 24. He was taken into custody at Ladysmith High School. He was booked in the Rusk County Jail.

Johnson resigned his position from Ladysmith High School the same day, officials said.

There are no known local victims at this time, according to Wisconsin Department of Justice officials.

“Mr. Johnson was arrested on school grounds. While a few staff members witnessed the arrest, there were no students in the building at the time,” School District Administrator Laura Stunkel said in a statement to school parents.

School district officials are fully cooperating with law enforcement officials as they conduct their ongoing investigation, according to Stunkel.

“We do not believe that the alleged criminal activities involved any Ladysmith School District students,” Stunkel said.

Anyone with information that might assist in this investigation can call the Ladysmith Police Department at (715) 532-2186.

Johnson was hired by the district in August 2020.

There is little else school officials can share at this time, according to Stunkel. She added the safety and security of students is the top priority.

“Our Safety Crisis Team is meeting now to determine how we can best support our students and staff, as needed. If your child needs any extra support, please know that our school counselors are always available,” Stunkel said.

The investigation is being led by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at DOJ and is assisted by Ladysmith Police Department, Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, Clark County Sheriff’s Office the Fontana Police Department in California, the Office of School Safety and the Ladysmith School District.