Arundel students suspended in incident in which boy was stripped of clothes

December 04, 2003|By Molly Knight and Laura Loh | Molly Knight and Laura Loh,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County school officials have suspended five Annapolis High School students after an incident during an outdoor gym class in which a male student said he was stripped of his clothes.

The incident, which also led to the reassignment of two gym teachers who were supervising the classes, took place Nov. 21 while the students were playing soccer and softball.

According to a police account, a handful of the 60 students had refused to participate and left the field for a spot near the woods behind the school.

One of those students, a 15-year-old boy, told police that two girls and a boy, all 16, pushed him to the ground and stripped off his clothes.

Lt. Joseph Jordan, a police spokesman, said he expects that one of the students will be charged with fondling the 15-year-old, a minor sexual offense. The other two are likely to face charges of a nonsexual nature, Jordan said.

Those students were suspended, along with two others. School officials said yesterday that four more students might have been involved.

Cleveland Reynolds and James Todd, the teachers of the two gym classes, have been reassigned to administrative positions pending an investigation into whether they were adequately supervising the students at the time of the incident.

The investigation could take several weeks, school officials said, and the teachers could face repercussions ranging from letters of reprimand to termination.

Reached yesterday by phone, Reynolds said that 10 minutes before the incident, he ordered the students involved to remain on the practice field, at which point one of them threatened him by swinging a baseball bat.

Todd could not be reached, and Principal Deborah Williams declined to comment.

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