The Georgia Bureau of Investigation reports that John McGill, the principal at Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Douglasville, Ga. was caught in a multi-agency sting called “Operation Broken Heart”, targeting online child sex predators.

The Daily Caller Education Editor Eric Owens has these details:

“The purpose of ‘Operation Broken Heart’ was to arrest persons who communicate with children online and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex,” investigators said in a statement obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Online child predators visit chat rooms and websites on the internet, find children, begin conversations with them, introduce sexual content and arrange a meeting with the children for the purpose for having sex.”

The exact day when McGill got busted is not clear. However, state officials say the DeKalb County-centered operation lasted four days and began on Feb. 26.

Police say the 14 arrestees range in age from 21 to 64. They came from all corners of northern Georgia with the understanding that they would be having sex with a child.

McGill is 56 years old. He lives just west of Douglasville in the town of Villa Rica, Ga. He has been the principal at Mt. Carmel Elementary for 14 years. He has earned a Ph.D. from Baptist-affiliated Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. He is married. He has six children and three grandchildren.

In a biography from the 2011-2012 school year discovered by the Journal-Constitution, the grade school principal wrote: “I hope that you continue to find that Mt. Carmel is a ‘happy place’ where children feel safe, understand the high expectations for student achievement and the love for children that is present each and every day.”

McGill has hired an attorney, Mac Pilgrim, who is mounting a vigorous defense.

“You can’t jump to conclusions,” Pilgrim said, according to the Journal-Constitution. “There’s always more than meets the eye.”

In addition to McGill, other grown men arrested for allegedly trying to have sex with children include an ambulance driver, an engineer, a software developer and a grocery store employee.

The charges against the arrestees fall under a 1999 Georgia law dealing with computer pornography and child exploitation.

A spokeswoman for the Douglas County school district, Karen Stroud, told WSB that McGill has been suspended since the arrest.