Teacher facing firing resigns

Pupils had sexual contact in his class, officials said

His dismissal recommended

No criminal allegations made in spring incident

September 25, 2002|By Laura Loh | Laura Loh,SUN STAFF

A science teacher at Arundel Middle School, a few of whose pupils engaged in inappropriate sexual contact during one of his classes last spring, has resigned, county school officials said yesterday.

Officials had recommended John B. Kicklighter's dismissal in August, after an investigation of the incident, which was reported by other pupils in May.

Kicklighter, 47, appealed the recommendation and was scheduled to appear before a Board of Education hearing officer yesterday.

On Friday, however, officials received the science teacher's letter of resignation, according to David Lombardo, human resources director. He and other officials declined to comment further on the case.

Kicklighter, who has taught in Anne Arundel schools for 13 years and began teaching at Arundel Middle in August 1996, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The school's principal, Paul Strickler, declined to comment on the resignation. He previously has said that the pupils involved were disciplined and that he met with parents to discuss the matter and offered extra counseling to pupils who wanted it.

In April, seven seventh-graders in Kicklighter's class played a "truth or dare" game that led to the inappropriate contact, officials have said. They declined to specify the nature of the contact.

A police investigation was not conducted and no criminal allegations were filed in the case.

Shortly after the incident, Kicklighter was reassigned to a job in the school system's administrative offices, Lombardo said.

When Arundel Middle parents learned last month that the teacher would not be returning to school and that system officials had recommended his dismissal, some parents tried to organize a petition to keep him. They also threatened to protest outside the school if he was fired.

However, the petition was never delivered to school officials and the protest did not materialize.

Sun staff writer Stephen Kiehl contributed to this article.

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