Man who bought beer for 7th-graders fined

October 13, 1995|By ALAN J. CRAVER | ALAN J. CRAVER,SUN STAFF

A former Howard County teacher was fined and ordered to perform community service yesterday for providing beer to six pTC Hammond Middle School seventh-graders last spring.

Todd Keith Greenleaf, 28, was ordered to pay a $200 fine and complete 120 hours of community service after pleading guilty in Howard District Court to three counts of providing alcoholic beverages to a minor.

Mr. Greenleaf, of the 8700 block of Tamar Drive in Columbia's Long Reach village, bought beer and malt liquor for the Hammond Middle School students and then allowed them to drink the alcohol at his apartment June 13 -- after the last day of classes at the North Laurel school.

He was fired in August by the county Board of Education from his job as a social studies teacher. He now works for a temporary employment agency.

Judge James Vaughan told Mr. Greenleaf that he is disturbed by his actions. "You could have been the kind of role model that I keep saying we need more of," he said.

After Mr. Greenleaf pleaded guilty to three counts, prosecutors put the remaining counts on the court's inactive docket, meaning Mr. Greenleaf won't be prosecuted for them if he meets all of the terms of his plea deal.

While apologizing for his actions, Mr. Greenleaf said he feels that he has dishonored his profession. "I did something that was very wrong," he said. "It was a gross error in judgment."

Mr. Greenleaf, who had been a teacher since 1993, was arrested June 15 after he reported the incident to school officials, who notified police.

He later told police that the five boys and one girl had asked him to buy beer for them, Assistant State's Attorney Ann Singleton said. Using the youths' money, Mr. Greenleaf went to Whiskey Bottom Liquors, where he bought four 40-ounce bottles of St. Ides malt liquor and two six-packs of Red Dog and Budweiser beers.

Mr. Greenleaf took the youths to his apartment, where they drank the liquor, Ms. Singleton said. Returning to the apartment after taking one of the youths home, he found that the others had become drunk, rowdy and sick. He waited about 90 minutes for them to sober up before taking them home.

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