North Point HS teacher charged in sex abuse case

From the Charles County Board of Education:

The Board of Education learned today that the state’s attorney for Charles County was  unsealing an indictment against a Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employee. Information  shared in court today indicated the charges stem from allegations by six students or former  students.

The indictment charges Ralph Marvin Van Dyke Jr., an instrumental music teacher at North  Point High School, with six counts of sexual abuse of a minor, one count of second-degree  assault and two counts of sexual offense in the fourth degree.

CCPS removed Mr. Van Dyke from his teaching duties Nov. 15, 2017, after a student reported he touched her inappropriately. While the Charles County Sheriff’s Office conducted its  investigation, Van Dyke was assigned to the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building.

As a Board dedicated to education, as well as the academic and emotional development of  young people, and as parents ourselves, we are shocked and saddened by these allegations and  will continue to work with the Sheriff’s Office and the State’s Attorney’s Office. We strive to  make CCPS a place where people know their voices will be heard and their concerns  investigated.


From the Superintendent of Maryland Schools, Dr. Kimberly Hill

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Today, the State’s Attorney for Charles County unsealed a Charles County Grand Jury indictment against one of our teachers on charges of sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree
assault and sexual offense in the fourth degree. Ralph Marvin Van Dyke, Jr., an instrumental music teacher at North Point High School since August 2006, was charged in a sealed indictment made public today during a bond hearing.

Once notified of the accusations in November 2017, Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) immediately removed Mr. Van Dyke from his teaching duties and directed that he not have any contact with students. We have cooperated fully with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office throughout the investigation. In court, an assistant state’s attorney referenced three documents police found in Mr. Van Dyke’s personnel file. The first document was a 2006 letter from a principal at Thomas Stone High School about a parent’s concerns regarding Mr. Van Dyke’s teaching style. It did not refer to any inappropriate physical contact with a student. A second letter, written by me in 2012 in my capacity as then-principal of North Point High School, was regarding inappropriate conduct with a student. The third document, an email written in 2013 by a teacher to a vice principal, expressed a concern that was not student related.

Charles County Public Schools’ general practice is to immediately remove any employee accused of inappropriate behavior from having contact with students during the investigation of
charges. CCPS places the employee on administrative leave or assigns them to a temporary position in the administrative offices until resolution of the charges. Resolution can take months, even more than a year, depending on how long it takes for outside agencies to investigate, file charges or adjudicate the case. Placing an employee on administrative leave or in a temporary assignment allows for a thorough and unbiased investigation.

It is never easy to share information like this with parents; however, we are committed to keeping our community informed.

Sincerely,
Kimberly Hill, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


From the Principal of North Point High School, Daniel Kaple 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

I wanted to make you aware of a Charles County Grand Jury indictment charging a Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) teacher with inappropriate behavior with students. The charges stem from reports made alleging that the teacher, Ralph Marvin Van Dyke Jr., had inappropriate contact with students.

Mr. Van Dyke, an instrumental music teacher at North Point High School since August 2006, has been on administrative leave and assigned temporarily to the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building since Nov. 15, 2017. When the accusations were brought to our attention, we immediately reported the information to the Department of Social Services, Charles County Sheriff’s Office and school system administrators. The school system’s procedure is to immediately remove any employee accused of inappropriate behavior from the school, and to prohibit the employee from having contact with students during the investigation and adjudication of the charges.

The indictment charges Mr. Van Dyke with six counts of sex abuse of a minor, two counts of sexual offense in the fourth degree and one count of second-degree assault. The indictment was made public today.

Superintendent Kimberly Hill will be notifying all CCPS parents about the charges later today; however, I wanted to provide this information first to our parents and school community. If you have any additional information to share about this case, please contact the Charles County Sheriff’s Office at 301-932-2222.

Sincerely,
Daniel Kaple
Principal


The Charles County Sheriff’s Office nor Charles County State Attorney have not released a press release on these allegations at this time

David M. Higgins II

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in Digital Marketing, eventually leading him back to his passion. David started The Southern Maryland Chronicle in December 2017 and has grown it to become the #1 news source in Southern Maryland.

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