PTA council seeks Carter's ouster ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

July 31, 1993|By Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel | Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writers

The Anne Arundel Council of PTAs is calling for the ouster of the superintendent of schools and a new administration for Northeast High School after a report that condemns the handling of the Ronald W. Price sex scandal.

A state report this week said Superintendent C. Berry Carter II knew of allegations of sexual relationships between Mr. Price and female Northeast students over a seven-year period, but did not tell county social service workers or police.

School board members, shocked by those findings, hastily arranged a meeting at 10 a.m. today to discuss "personnel matters." The school board's regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.

Although most board members would not discuss the report, several said privately that they expected to debate Mr. Carter's fate today.

Mr. Carter has refused to be interviewed since the report's release Thursday by state Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick. Mr. Price has contended since his arrest in April that administrators knew of his sexual involvement with students. He has been charged with three counts of child abuse.

School board member Jo Ann Tollenger said "how we react [today] is important. We have a school system at stake here."

Several school board members stopped short of saying they would vote to fire Mr. Carter, but noted the 39-year veteran of the school system is eligible for retirement.

Only one school board member spoke out on Mr. Carter's behalf.

"I still support Berry Carter," Dorothy Chaney said yesterday. "I don't believe all the facts are out. I don't believe anyone at the central office had any idea what Mr. Price was doing."

But Carolyn Roeding, president of the PTA council, said she believed that because Mr. Carter was deputy superintendent overseeing investigations of teacher misconduct for 18 years, he should have taken action.

"How will it look if they leave him [Mr. Carter] in?" Mrs. Roeding asked. "That's what I'd be concerned about if I was a board

member. Some of the board members are more concerned about how they look in the newspaper than doing the right thing."

Another employee likely to be discussed by the board today is Mary Gable, a former Northeast assistant principal who is now principal at Old Mill Senior High School.

State investigators said Thursday they do not believe Ms. Gable gave police or social workers a list of 10 names of young women rumored to be involved with Mr. Price.

The police dropped a case against Mr. Price in 1989 after the young woman who complained to Ms. Gable refused to cooperate with police. Ms. Gable has not responded to requests for interviews.

Thomas A. Paolino, president of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County, said punishing those who acted improperly would send the right message to employees, students and parents.

He said the union is considering giving a written explanation to all teachers on how to report suspected child abuse.

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