(SIOUX CITY, IA) - A local high school band director is on leave, accused of stealing and selling school instruments. Kevin Massey is the band director at North High School.
According to court documents, he was caught trying to sell stolen instruments on Craigslist and pawn shops. He's now charged with felony first degree theft.
Kevin Massey is well-known in the music community. This was a shock to everyone Siouxland News talked with Thursday, even parents who have kids in band. "I can't really describe the words I feel how disappointing that is; that it might cheat a child out of an experience that could be so rewarding in their life," said Donna Gardner of Sioux City. "I have two children right now that are in band and they would be devastated to know that a teacher would do that to them," said Jenny Ernst from Ida Grove, IA. Kevin Massey has been directing at his alma mater for seven years. Before North, he taught at Bishop Heelan for five years.
The Sioux City School District says it notified police as soon as it became aware of the allegations against Massey.
Massey reportedly told another teacher at North High that he'd been stealing instruments for nearly 10 years. "I'm actually kind of shocked he's done it for so long and hasn't been caught. And that nobody's picked up on it at all and he's been able to get away with it for as long as he has," said Ernst. The reason was to pay off gambling debts. "It's unfortunate that he didn't try to get help for that and try to reconcile that in some other way rather than to cheat the students out of that. Apparently, he just felt very, very desperate," said Gardner. Court documents say 62 instruments have been recovered from pawn shops worth more than $50,000. "It goes to a break down in the moral fiber that goes into our schools and this is the role model of the leadership that we present," said Kay Copas of Sioux City.