Archbishop Curley’s principal on Friday sent a brief email to his community saying that Sean Sandora, a science instructor and varsity football head coach, was “no longer employed” by the school.
Sandora, who was named The Baltimore Sun’s All-Metro Coach of the Year in 2015 while at Dundalk High School, joined Archbishop Curley last year.
“We have already begun to search for his replacement,” wrote principal Brian J. Kohler. “Additionally, a search for the next head football coach has begun as well.”
Neither Sandora, who became football coach last year, nor Kohler could be reached for comment Friday.
Meanwhile, Baltimore Police said they are investigating an allegation of a teacher physically assaulting a student at Curley.
Police were called to the school in East Baltimore on Thursday to investigate a report of child abuse and told about the alleged assault by a teacher, said Chakia Fennoy, a spokeswoman. She said Monday that the child abuse allegation was unfounded and could not provide the name of the teacher.
She would not say whether the investigation was connected to Sandora’s departure from the school.
The incident happened around 11 a.m. Wednesday during a lock-down drill in Sandora’s science classroom, said Tyler Locklear, a junior from Bel Air who said he was in the room at the time.
Tyler, who also was coached by Sandora on the football team, said Sandora showed the students a box-cutter he used in the equipment room, told them he would use it to protect them in the event of a real emergency, and then put it back in his bag.
As the students waited for the drill to end, Sandora tapped one who was talking on the head to tell him to quiet down, Locklear said.
“It was like an open-handed tap on the head,” Tyler said.
The 17-year-old didn’t think much of it, and didn’t even mention it at dinner, said his father, Todd Locklear. The next day, the family got a call from the school, asking whether a police detective could speak with Tyler to take a witness statement.
Todd Locklear said he knows Sandora was wrong to show off the blade to students. But he said in the absence of clear communication from the school, rumors have been flying that Sandora punched the student or threatened him with a knife.
“I get it,” he said. “Suspend the guy. Reprimand him. But nobody was ever in danger.”
Sandora took Tyler on a recruiting trip to Temple University last year, Locklear said. Other students who were taught or coached by Sandora have started a petition against his firing, he noted.
Locklear plans to meet with Kohler, the principal, to ask for more details about the decision on Monday.
“I put my kid in the car with the guy and sent him to Philadelphia,” Locklear said. “People are making this guy out to be a knife-wielding child abuser. We all know it’s not true. It’s just not.”
According to the school’s website, Sandora led the Dundalk football team “to the playoffs three times and to the state championship in 2015. His experience at Dundalk has enabled him to develop a program and a philosophy that has helped create a culture of winning.” His bio also said he was named the Baltimore County and Baltimore Ravens coach of the year in 2015. The Archbishop Curley ended this season with a losing record.