Northeast teacher harassment alleged 2 men reportedly now on paid leave, woman transferred

June 23, 1993|By Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel | Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writers

A story in The Sun yesterday incorrectly reported the school to which former Northeast teacher Marlene Ramey transferred after complaining of alleged sexual harassment at the Pasadena school. Ms. Ramey transferred to South River High School, then taught at Southern High before moving to Annapolis High last year.

The Baltimore Sun regrets the errors.

Two Northeast High School social studies teachers -- one the school's athletic director and the other a baseball coach -- are on paid leave while Anne Arundel County school officials investigate allegations that they sexually harassed another teacher.

Roger Stitt, 44, athletic director at the beleaguered Pasadena school, and Harry Lentz, 49, a coach for 26 years whose 1991 team was ranked tops in the nation, were placed on administrative leave a week ago, sources close to the investigation said yesterday.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

The probe is based on allegations made by Marlene Ramey, a former Northeast social studies teacher, who this spring told school system authorities that the two men had sexually harassed her verbally and physically in the late 1980s, the sources said. Ms. Ramey never formally complained to Northeast administrators about the alleged harassment, but obtained a midyear transfer at the time to Annapolis High School, where she still teaches, according to sources.

Mr. Stitt, Mr. Lentz and Ms. Ramey could not be reached for comment.

School officials refused to confirm that an investigation is under way. But Jane Doyle, a spokeswoman for the school system, said teachers can be placed on administrative leave "while a decision is being made about whether further action should be taken." She said those actions could include a verbal or written reprimand, suspension or firing.

No hearing date with administrators has been scheduled for Mr. Stitt or Mr. Lentz. County School Superintendent C. Berry Carter II refused comment.

"We don't comment on personnel items, but the more people who learn about one, the harder it is to keep it confidential, or to keep people from speculating on what they think they know," Mr. Carter said.

The investigation was begun last week, after county police informed school officials that they had ended their probe into alleged sexual misconduct by teachers and coaches at the high school. Only two teachers have been indicted so far as a result of that investigation.

Knowing that police had concluded their probe freed the school system to conduct its own investigation, the sources said.

Police began investigating teachers at the school in April, after a 16-year-old student claimed she was sexually involved with Ronald W. Price, 49, another social studies teacher and softball coach. Two former students also came forward with allegations.

Mr. Price is on home detention awaiting trial on three charges of child sexual abuse and related offenses.

He was suspended without pay after admitting in televised interviews that he had sexual relationships with as many as seven students over a 20-year period. He resigned May 28.

The fallout from his arrest triggered other allegations at the school and investigations by police, as well as the state and local departments of education.

Science teacher Laurie S. Cook, 33, was charged May 15 with child abuse and related offenses. She was accused of letting a 14-year-old boy touch her sexually.

She was suspended with pay after her arrest and is free on $10,000 bond pending the outcome of the case.

State school Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick ordered a probe last week into how the Anne Arundel County school system handled a 1989 allegation that Mr. Price had a sexual liaison with a student and rumors that he was involved with as many as 10 other students.

No charges were filed against him then because the student who made the complaint refused to cooperate with police.

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