FORESTVILLE, Md. - The principal of Forestville High School in Prince George's County has been placed on administrative leave after one of his teachers was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a student at the school.
Police arrested Vincent McDuffie last week and charged him with sex abuse of a minor. According to police, the 45-year-old teacher had sexual contact with a then-17-year-old student on school grounds during the school day several times in March and April. He admitted to being involved with the student, police said.
Prince George's County Public Schools said in a statement:
"Principal Nathaniel Laney is on leave since June 1st. Dr. Vivian Powers is the lead administrator in his absence. Despite the change, students will continue to receive excellent instruction. Academic success is a top priority for Forestville High School. We are focused on a commitment to ensure a quality education in a safe environment for all students in PGCPS."
After his arrest, the school system placed McDuffie on leave without pay and said they would immediately seek his termination.
FOX 5 spoke with former students and a teacher by phone on Thursday who said they heard or either saw McDuffie exhibit inappropriate behavior towards female students. They said he would go up and hug them and have conversations with them that were more of a peer-to-peer type of conversation than a teacher-to-peer type conversation.
One of McDuffie's former students, who did not want to be identified, spoke exclusively to FOX 5 and told us she was not surprised by any of this.
"When I had his class anyways, he would be at his class sitting at his desk doing whatever he's doing and there would be girls who weren't even in our class, who weren't on the basketball team, who would just be in his classroom just doing whatever they were doing - talking to him, sitting over there flirting with him," said the female student.
"I don't want to say that they knew about it, as far as administrators and as far as other teachers. Some of them I want to say, they kind of had an idea because some of the teachers are really into the whole student gossip - which girl was dating this boy and stuff like that - they are so into it, there is no way you couldn't hear the rumors, whether they thought it was true or not."
The former student said she also remembers the principal and considers him a very involved administrator and she felt that there was no way that he would not know if something was going on.