Arundel gym teacher faces sex abuse allegation

December 18, 1993|By Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel | Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writers

A Northeast High School gym teacher has been pulled from teaching duties pending the Anne Arundel County school system's investigation into allegations that he forced an eighth-grade student to have oral sex with him 20 years ago.

Jane Doyle, a spokeswoman for the county public schools, confirmed yesterday that Brandt Charles Schanberger, 44, of Pasadena was placed on administrative leave with pay Thursday pending the completion of the investigation.

The county state's attorney has declined to prosecute Mr. Schanberger because of the time that has elapsed since the alleged incident and because it was a single event, said Alan I. Baron and Eleanor M. Carey, the lawyers who conducted a four-month investigation of the county school system's handling of child abuse complaints. Their report was released Wednesday.

George Lantzas, a lawyer representing Mr. Schanberger, said yesterday that he would have no comment until he hears "hear more from the Board of Education."

The allegation against Mr. Schanberger was included in a section of the report that outlined how the school system mishandled child abuse complaints for decades. Mr. Schanberger was not mentioned in the report, but his identity became known when he was removed from the Pasadena school Thursday after a meeting with Carol S. Parham, acting superintendent of schools.

Thomas Twombly, president of the county Board of Education, said the school system would conduct an investigation to determine whether there is evidence that Mr. Schanberger violated school policies or the teachers' code of conduct.

Mr. Schanberger, who taught physical education, transferred to Northeast High in 1978 from George Fox Middle School, where the incident allegedly occurred in 1973.

In interviews with Mr. Baron and Ms. Carey, the young woman, who was not identified in the report, alleged that a gym teacher at the middle school asked her to meet him on several occasions, including once in a storage room.

According to the report, the witness told investigators that during the meeting in the storage room, the teacher "attempted vaginal intercourse. . . . He then forced her to have oral sex."

Since April, four Northeast High School teachers have been relieved of their classroom duties for alleged sexual involvement with students.

The first was Ronald W. Price, a social studies teacher who said publicly that he had had sex with eight students over the course of his teaching career. He was convicted on three counts of child sex abuse in September and was sentenced in October to 26 years in prison.

Laurie S. Cook was acquitted this month of charges that she was sexually involved with a student. A meeting has been scheduled for next week to determine when the science teacher will return to work.

Charles A. Yocum, a special education teacher, was arrested over the summer and charged with sexually abusing a special education student during the 1988-1989 school year. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 7.

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