PTA leader wants report on Carter released School board to wait for superintendent's response next week

October 22, 1993|By Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel | Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writers

The president of the 13,000-member Anne Arundel County Council of PTAs asked the Anne Arundel County Board of Education yesterday to make public immediately a report on how superintendent C. Berry Carter II handled allegations that teachers sexually abused students.

"The contents of this report cannot remain a secret," Carolyn Roeding wrote to Thomas Twombly, the school board president.

Mr. Carter was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the state-ordered investigation. As deputy superintendent for 18 years before his elevation to the top job, Mr. Carter oversaw employee discipline, supervising the handling of complaints that teachers molested students.

The report, and the response to which Mr. Carter is expected to give the board next week, will help determine whether the board restores Mr. Carter to his job or fires him with three years left on his superintendent's contract.

The question of how the school system dealt with allegations of abuse by teachers was raised by Ronald Walter Price. After his arrest in April on charges of having sex with students, Price, then a Northeast High School social studies teacher, went on "Geraldo!" and other television shows to say he had trysts with at least six female students and that school officials knew about it but did not stop him.

Price was convicted last month of sexually abusing three female students and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Three other teachers, including two from Northeast, also have been charged.

Board members have had Mr. Baron's findings on Mr. Carter for a little more than two weeks. They have declined to release the report until after Mr. Carter responds to it.

Mrs. Roeding said she understands that the board needs to hear Mr. Carter's response, but said that releasing the report is a separate issue.

An candidate for the House of Delegates from District 31, Mrs. Roeding was preparing to hand-deliver the letter to Mr. Twombly last night, mail copies to the other board members and fax copies to several other people, including state Superintendent of Education Nancy S. Grasmick.

In addition, Mrs. Roeding said a school board vote on whether to fire Mr. Carter or anyone else in the report should be taken in public.

"The continued unwillingness of the board to be open with the public further erodes the system and casts doubts upon the board's ability to guide the system through these troubled times," Mrs. Roeding wrote.

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