Final arguments are tonight in Arundel teacher's hearing

January 18, 1995|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Sun Staff Writer

Final arguments are scheduled tonight to determine whether former Northeast High School teacher Laurie S. Cook, charged administratively with four counts of misconduct, will return to the classroom.

The session before a hearing examiner and seven of the eight county school board members will be the 10th in one of the longest-running personnel hearings in the Anne Arundel schools' history and one of the few open to the public. The eighth member of the board is not participating in the hearings because he represents the Pasadena neighborhood where the school is situated.

Ms. Cook was arrested in May 1993 and charged with one count of child sex abuse. She was acquitted by a jury in December 1993.

Superintendent Carol S. Parham recommended in July that Ms. Cook be fired, charging that she had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a male student, naming the same alleged victim as in the court case.

Dr. Parham also charged that Ms. Cook wrote passes for students for improper reasons, including to cover up for an affair a male teacher at the school was having with a 16-year-old female student; improperly discussed intimate and sexual topics with students and their families, and exceeding the bounds of "professional and appropriate teacher/student relationships."

Ms. Cook, a science teacher, was initially suspended with pay for more than a year but was returned to work in an administrative position at the Carrie Weedon Science Center last summer.

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