School report's author, critics to meet

March 03, 1994|By Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel | Carol L. Bowers and Andrea F. Siegel,Sun Staff Writers

The chief author of a report that said the Anne Arundel County school system had mishandled allegations of teachers having sex with students will meet his chief critics this month.

The meeting will take place on March 17, the day after schools Superintendent Carol S. Parham is to recommend changes in response to the report.

Alan I. Baron, the Washington lawyer who wrote the report, has agreed to meet with parents at Northeast High School, where four teachers were put on leave last year over child sex-abuse allegations.

One teacher was convicted, another was cleared by a jury, a third was never charged and the fourth is awaiting trial.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Board of Education headquarters on Riva Road in Annapolis.

The four-month probe uncovered 138 allegations of child abuse in county schools since 1977, including 63 cases school officials failed to turn over to police or social workers.

Among its 35 recommendations, the report concluded that Joseph Carducci should be removed as principal at Northeast and that the school board should consider breaking up "power blocs" of teachers who had worked together at a single school for a number of years -- such as the social studies teachers at Northeast.

"This report is lopsided," Linda Tetrault, Northeast PTSA president, said at a meeting in January sponsored by the County Council of PTAs. Mr. Baron was not invited to that meeting.

Parts of the January meeting came close to being a rally for the school. Parents, students, teachers and former students praised the school and its faculty and had harsh words for Mr. Baron.

Mrs. Tetrault said yesterday that she decided to call Mr. Baron because she felt it was important to discuss parts of the report "that some people are taking out of context."

The issues concern the leadership of Northeast's principal, Dr. Carducci; the status of teachers in the social studies department; and "why no positive things were said about Northeast" in the report, she said.

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