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Tinker, the second in command at the Trevor Day School in Manhattan, arrived at his office at Monday morning and was greeted by a Westchester County detective with a search warrant. Dexter, had been arrested at his home in Tarrytown on charges of sending indecent messages intended for under-age girls over the Internet, Mr. Within hours, Jeanine Pirro, the Westchester district attorney, was to announce the results of a sting operation in which investigators posed as 14- and 15-year-old girls in a chat room that Dr. Additional details of the investigation, provided yesterday by Ms. Dexter, the 78th person to be arrested in a four-year sting operation, and one of several educators, was unusually bold.

''This guy was right up front, 'I'm 60.' '' she said.

Outside the lower school yesterday, most parents refused to comment, and the few who spoke expressed shock and called the incident a tragedy.

At the upper school, four students, ages 12 to 17, said they believed Dr. The students also said that there had been a flurry of meetings at the school over the last two days, and that they had been encouraged to share their feelings with teachers and told to be careful on the Internet. Tinker's battle plan included hiring a public relations firm.

He also decided to proceed with a scheduled meeting of major donors, switching the agenda from a presentation titled ''Dreams of the Future'' to a discussion of the scandal. The approach with students in 6th through 12th grade, Mr.

''This was not a simple testing of the waters,'' beginning with the pretense of friendship, Ms.

Pirro said, but rather a direct and explicit invitation to meet to have sex.

In addition, she said, during the five months that Dr.

Dexter was under investigation, he did not lie about his age, as is usually the case.

Tinker said in a telephone interview yesterday, was to let advisers and peer leaders assess what the youngsters were upset about and what they needed. Tinker said, it was readily apparent that ''parents would need more attention'' as they figured out how to answer their children's questions in an appropriate way.

So forums were held for the parents after they dropped their children at school yesterday morning.

More meetings will be held for parents in coming days, Mr. Dexter had done anything inappropriate at school or with any Trevor Day students.

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