School system to get sex abuse report

December 15, 1993|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

A report on a scandal that began with charges that a Northeast High School teacher sexually abused his students and led to the resignation of Superintendent C. Berry Carter II is to be unveiled today for county school board members and state education officials.

The four-month probe was ordered by state Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick.

The report is expected to be critical of the way Anne Arundel County school officials handled allegations that teachers physically and sexually abused students.

It also is expected to contain strong recommendations for action and elaborate on the findings in two earlier reports.

Complaints that teachers abused or molested students were largely handled internally or ignored even though state regulations require that all allegations of abuse be directed to police or child protective workers for investigation, those reports said.

A state probe last summer, prompted by reports that school officials knew Northeast High School teacher Ronald W. Price had sexual liaisons with students but did nothing, disclosed several problems.

It found that educators were discouraged from reporting suspected abuse, that many teachers thought they should report their suspicions to school officials instead of authorities, and that school officials who received reports failed to respond.

Dr. Grasmick then ordered the county school system to do a further investigation, and it hired a 3-member team led by lawyer Alan I. Baron. The $106,000 probe was supposed to be completed by Nov. 30, but the deadline was extended to today.

The first phase of that probe found that Mr. Carter mishandled child abuse complaints during his 18 years as deputy superintendent.

Mr. Carter resigned after the report was released but denied the allegations.

Price, the first of three Northeast teachers accused of sexual improprieties with students, was convicted in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court of having sex with three students. A second teacher was acquitted and a third has not come to trial.

The second phase of the probe is to include a look at related events at Northeast High, an examination of policies and procedures for school employee discipline, and suggestions for changes.

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