Burnsville HS teacher arrested for 'sexually explicit' communication with student

A Burnsville High School music teacher was arrested Monday on suspicion of having explicit electronic communications with a student. The school district said they received a complaint about Erik Akervik last Saturday and immediately began an investigation. 

Police were notified that a teacher "had been communicating with a student electronically and the communication contained sexually explicit material," according to Burnsville Police Department spokesperson Marty Doll. 

Officers arrested Erik Akervik at the school on Monday morning. He's currently in custody at the Dakota County Jail, and an arraignment could come as soon as midday Wednesday.

Akervik has been working as a music teacher at Burnsville High School since 2013, the school district confirmed to Fox 9. 

Statement from ISD 191

Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 received a complaint on Erik Akervik on Saturday, April 8, and immediately began an investigation. We contacted the local law authorities and are now cooperating with their criminal investigation.

Due to data practices laws, the District is limited in what we can speak to, however we find the reported allegations to be very upsetting. We are committed to fully working with the Burnsville Police Department in their investigation and take appropriate action to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for our students.

Mr. Akervik has been employed by the district since August of 2013 as a music teacher at Burnsville High School.

Church notifies choir members

Akervik also serves as a chancel choir director at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis. Interim senior pastor Dennis Johnson confirms Akervik also worked with the youth choir and went on summer camping trips. He says staff moved quickly to notify choir members and parents of the situation.

“What we care about first and foremost are the kids, their safety,” Johnson said. “We're doing everything we can to address this situation.”

Johnson says Akervik cleared background checks when he was hired six years ago, and the church has received no complaints in the past.

During this holy week, Johnson says he's concerned about Akervik's well-being, but if the allegations are true, he says they're indefensible.

“We're a redemptive community, a caring community, but the safety comes first,” Johnson said.

The church is using this situation as an avenue for members to come forward with any allegations of inappropriate conduct on Akervik's part.