School Climate & Safety News in Brief

Teacher at First Daughters’ School Dismissed, Charged With Sex Abuse

By The Associated Press — January 26, 2010 1 min read
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The private Sidwell Friends school in Washington has dismissed a middle school social studies teacher who has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor and other sexual offenses.

The school announced last week that it had placed Robert Peterson of Silver Spring, Md., on leave before the school year began and dismissed him Jan. 14. Sidwell Friends is attended by the children of many of Washington’s elite, including President Barack Obama’s two daughters.

Montgomery County, Md., charging documents state that Mr. Peterson, 65, who taught 7th and 8th grades, repeatedly invited a male student to his home, showed him pornography, and touched him inappropriately. He is charged with sex abuse of a minor and fourth-degree sex offense.

The lawyer for Mr. Peterson said they expect to challenge the charges. Mr. Peterson also faces charges in Queen Annes County, Md., where he was director of the Sidwells camp.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 27, 2010 edition of Education Week as Teacher at First Daughters’ School Dismissed, Charged With Sex Abuse

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