Former BCC teacher convicted on sex abuse charges
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Former BCC science teacher Todd Scriber was convicted of two counts of sex abuse Dec. 6 at Montgomery County Circuit Court. Each count carries a maximum 25-year prison sentence.
Scriber, 38, was convicted of taking inappropriate pictures of two female students without consent.
The Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) first arrested Scriber in October 2015 after a 14-year-old female student reported that Scriber appeared to be attempting to photograph under her skirt. After an investigation, police found pictures of two other students on Scriber’s phone.
A BCC junior girl recalled an incident where he acted inappropriately toward her.
“One time when I was walking out of class, he called my name and said I looked good today,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what he meant by it. I didn’t want to cause anything.”
Scribner was put on leave after MCPD first pressed charges in October 2015. He resigned February 2016.
After hearing about these incidents at BCC, some Whitman students find it concerning that current MCPS policy requires students to take the initiative to talk to an adult.
The current policy for getting help in a situation where a student feels uncomfortable is for them to contact a “trusted adult,” assistant principal Jerome Easton said.
Students raised concerns about how comfortable they may feel discussing certain issues with adults.
“Just generally in society, it’s really taboo for young adults to speak up if they feel uncomfortable with an adult,” senior Delaney Corcoran said. “Students right now might feel ashamed or guilty speaking up if they felt like a teacher was treating them inappropriately.”
Senior Julia Wenick suggested that the administration appoint a designated student board or SGA member to talk to. When asked about ways to make it easier for students to speak up, she also said it would be beneficial to create an anonymous system where people can file reports.
Junior Kelsey Bonham agrees with these ideas.
“Talking to an administrator or other teacher about it can seem daunting or futile,” Bonham said. “Which is always more difficult than talking to a student with authority.”
One of Bonham’s biggest concerns is the vulnerability of students.
“I think students are vulnerable to teachers because it’s easy for a teacher’s word to be taken over a student’s, and because teachers usually have power in terms of grades, recommendations, etc., it would be easy for someone to keep quiet about an incident or not know what authority to go to,” Bonham said. “Of course, it’s ridiculous that this is the case, because students should never have to worry if their teacher is going to act in this way.”
Scribner is currently awaiting sentencing which is scheduled to take place Jan. 24.