NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A teacher’s aide in Newark was behind bars on Tuesday, facing sexual assault charges after allegedly being improperly involved with a 16-year-old student.

As CBS2’s Erin Logan reported, 29-year-old Tyrone Pullins was accused of sending a photo of a sexual nature and engaging in sexual conduct with a 16-year-old student at West Side High School.

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“That’s kind of a problem. He deserves to be where he’s at right now,” one man said.

Ashley Gordon disagreed. She had Pullins as a substitute teacher, and says he might have been falsely accused.

“I really can’t see that in him. I’ve known him for two years,” she said.

A man who answered the door at the home where Pullins was living did not offer much in the way of a response.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said.

CBS2 requested an on camera interview with the superintendent. Instead, a spokesperson for Newark Public Schools issued a statement.

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“The employee in question has been placed on immediate leave and district staff are fully cooperating with local law enforcement officials. We cannot otherwise comment on active investigations,” the statement said.

When asked about background checks, the spokesperon said teacher’s aides undergo the same criminal background checks as all other public school employees, and aren’t allowed to start work until the criminal history review unit clears them.

One student said the accusations against Pullins are disturbing.

“They shouldn’t be doing that. They’re teachers, and they should be teaching. That’s it,” he said.

Pullins will face a judge again on Thursday.

It was unclear how long Pullins had been working at the school.

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