St. Mary’s County Public Schools continues to work with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation and response to the arrest of a Margaret Brent Middle School teacher on Friday, April 30, 2010.
On Wednesday, April 28, 2010, staff members at Margaret Brent Middle School were contacted by parents of a former student concerned that a staff member at MBMS was involved in an inappropriate relationship with their daughter. School staff immediately initiated an investigation and notified the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office of the allegations. The staff member, Mr. Jason Paul Hollinger, was placed on administrative leave on April 28, 2010, by the Superintendent of Schools.
On Friday, April 30, 2010, the Sheriff’s office reported that they had developed sufficient information to file criminal charges on the MBMS staff member. The staff member was arrested Friday, April 30 and charged with child abuse and two counts of fourth-degree sex offense. All incidents occurred off of school property.
St. Mary’s County Public Schools and the Sheriff’s office continue to coordinate the investigation of this incident and will continue to communicate all pertinent and permissible information to school stakeholders.
SMCPS is proactive in pre-employment background screening of staff and annual training of current staff regarding inappropriate staff/student relationships. All SMCPS employees must complete a criminal background screening that includes a check of federal and state criminal records when they are hired. Once in our employment, they must attend an annual Child Abuse and Sexual Harassment (CASH) training, which incorporates a review of all related CASH SMCPS policies and laws – based on COMAR regulations and the requirement for reporting abuse and harassment. All employees must participate and document that they have completed the training on a yearly basis. The said employee had completed all CASH trainings and his background check upon hiring was clear and free of any criminal activity or history.
Anyone with further information about this investigation is asked to contact Corporal William Raddatz at the Sheriff’s office at (301) 475-4200, ext. 1958, or Dr. Michael Martirano, Superintendent of Schools, at (301) 475-5511, ext. 178.