Special education teacher is indicted on misconduct charge

March 30, 1994|By Peter Hermann and Dennis O'Brien | Peter Hermann and Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writers Sun staff writers John Rivera and Ed Heard contributed to this article

A 38-year-old special education teacher has been indicted by an Anne Arundel County grand jury for allegedly putting a blind and mentally handicapped student in a storage closet and failing to report injuries she suffered in the closet.

Susan Hope Pagano of the 6100 block of Encounter Row, Columbia, was indicted Monday for misconduct in office and obstruction of justice.

State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee said that Ms. Pagano, a teacher at Ruth Parker Eason School in Millersville, put the VTC 16-year-old Glen Burnie girl in a storage closet at the school on Dec. 10.

The girl, who has been severely handicapped since a childhood accident and uses a wheelchair, was injured as a result of the incident, Mr. Weathersbee said.

The girl was bruised, upset and required hospital treatment, according to her 53-year-old father.

He said he is unable to communicate with his daughter and remains unsure of what happened at the school. But he said he has been told his daughter was confined to the closet for three hours.

"Something happened at that school," he said.

Mr. Weathersbee declined to detail the extent of the injuries or say how long the child allegedly was confined. He said the obstruction of justice charge stems from Ms. Pagano's activities between Dec. 10 and Feb. 28.

He said that the grand jury heard testimony from six witnesses, including Ms. Pagano.

Ms. Pagano, who has been a county teacher since 1988, has been on leave with pay since Jan. 28, a school spokeswoman said.

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