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WISSAHICKON SCHOOL DISTRICT v. MARVIN MCKOWN (04/23/79)

decided: April 23, 1979.

WISSAHICKON SCHOOL DISTRICT, PETITIONER
v.
MARVIN MCKOWN, RESPONDENT. MARVIN MCKOWN, PETITIONER V. WISSAHICKON SCHOOL DISTRICT, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Order of the Secretary of Education in case of Marvin P. McKown v. Wissahickon School District, Teacher Tenure Appeal No. 37-77.

COUNSEL

Curtis Wright, with him Michael O'Hara Peale, Jr., and Timoney, Knox, Hasson & Weand, for Wissahickon School District.

Leigh P. Narducci, with him Narducci & Signore, P.C., for Marvin P. McKown.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 170]

The Wissahickon School District here appeals an order of the Secretary of Education (Secretary) which sustained the appeal of Respondent from a decision of the Board of School Directors (Board) dismissing him on the ground of immorality pursuant to Section 1122 of the Public School Code of 1949 (Code).*fn1 Respondent, successful before the Secretary, has nevertheless, filed an appeal at No. 1201 C.D. 1978 advancing arguments unacceptable to or not reached by the Secretary. We will treat that appeal as a responsive argument on the merits of the Board's appeal.

On June 28, 1977, the Board preferred charges against Respondent alleging that on nine separate occasions

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 171]

    he had engaged in conduct of a sexual and romantic nature with two of his female students over a period of a year beginning in March 1976 and ending in March 1977. Proper notice was provided and the Board conducted five separate hearings commencing July 13, 1977 and ending September 6, 1977. Thereafter, on September 13, 1977, the Board, voting individually on each of the charges found three of the charges alleging sexual intimacy with one student, Tracy, had not been proved, but found by a six to three vote that the six charges of sexual intimacy relating to the student, Karyl, had been proved. On appeal to the Secretary, the record of the hearings was submitted and no further testimony was taken.

The Secretary made the following pertinent findings relative to review here:

4. When Karyl was initially questioned by school officials about her involvement with [Respondent], she denied that anything but a normal teacher-student relationship existed. Later on the same day she alleged that a romantic-physical relationship existed between her and [Respondent]. This same pattern of denial and reversal happened three days later on June 6, 1977.

7. Karyl's direct testimony alleges that [Respondent] had on several occassions kissed and fondled her in the preparation room adjacent to the [Respondent's] science ...


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