Northeast principal to explain handling of teacher arrests Parents postpone Monday protest


A Monday morning protest at Northeast High School has been postponed, now that the school principal has agreed to meet with parents upset over the way the school is dealing with the arrests of two teachers on charges of child sex abuse.

Principal Joseph Carducci sent an announcement home with students Friday, promising to meet with parents at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium. Board of Education staff members and the board's lawyer, P. Tyson Bennett, will attend the meeting to answer questions.

"Only written questions will be taken from members of the audience and read by a parent representative," stated the note sent home to parents. "This format was selected to ensure an orderly dialogue and allow persons hesitant to speak the opportunity to participate."

The announcement came one day after Carolyn Roeding, president of the Anne Arundel County Council of PTAs, met with state school Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick. Dr. Grasmick said she would investigate why Mr. Carducci had not met with parents to address their concerns and to discuss the way administrators handle complaints of child sex abuse when cases are reported.

Frances and Robert E. Smith said they had organized the protest because it was time someone spoke out.

"I've been waiting for someone else to come forward, but no one did," said Mrs. Smith, whose daughter attends Northeast.

Ronald Walter Price was charged in April with three counts of sex abuse. He is accused of having sex with one current student and two others who have since graduated.

Mr. Price has admitted that he had relations with six or seven students over a 15-year period. He was suspended with pay.

Laurie Susanne Cook was arrested May 15 and charged with child abuse and a fourth-degree sex offense. She has denied the allegations involving a 14-year-old boy. She also was suspended with pay.

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