Principal Kirk Matheson has been released on conditions and will return to court on June 11. (CBC)

A high school principal from the Miramichi area was charged on Friday morning with various sex crimes involving children.

Kirk Matheson, 37, appeared in Miramichi provincial court Friday morning to face four child pornography-related charges.

The charges include: one charge of possession of child pornography, two charges of using a computer to contact two separate minors with the purpose of committing an offence, and one charge of attempting to commission child pornography.

The RCMP allege Matheson was posing on the internet as a woman and was trying to entice boys to send him nude photos of themselves. The RCMP have identified two victims from the Miramichi area.

The alleged offences occurred between February and April of this year.

Matheson was arrested at his home Thursday after the RCMP Internet Child Exploitation Unit received information last week.


School District 16 will send a team to North and South Esk Regional High School on Monday to help students and staff cope. (CBC)

He was released on strict conditions, including that he stay away from North and South Esk Regional High School where he's listed as principal. The high school is located in Sunny Corner, which is just outside of Miramichi.

Matheson was also ordered to have no direct or indirect contact with anyone under the age of 18 and he cannot use a computer or any other data-sharing device.

Matheson is due back in court June 11.

The RCMP say it will take until then to complete a forensic investigation of his computer.

School District 16 officials say they can't comment on any personal information regarding staff. But they are responding to the situation, said Superintendent Nancy Boucher.

"We have a team working very closely with the school," she said. "They'll be on site Monday to provide as much support as we can to the students, to the staff, to the parents and to the entire learning community."

In Sunny Corner on Friday, people expressed disappointment that the local high school principal is facing such charges.

"Not too impressed. Not impressed at all," said Helen Bischoff. "You know, we send our kids to school and our grandkids and hopefully they're in safe hands, but you never know anymore."