A Maryland middle school special education teacher assistant was seen masturbating during a video session with students Monday and said he has since been placed on administrative leave, Bethesda Magazine reported.
What are the details?
Marc Schack of Shady Grove Middle School in Gaithersburg told the magazine Wednesday morning he didn’t know his actions had been captured on video until a local reporter asked him about the incident.
“I thought I was logged out when class was over,” he told the magazine. “I had no clue that Zoom was still on. Why would I do that? That’s my job. My career. … I mean, that’s just crazy behavior.”
The magazine said the 13-second clip shows Schack look at his screen, stand up, take a few steps away, and then masturbate. It occurred during a virtual history class with 2 or 3 students, WTTG-TV reported.
Schack told the magazine he’s worked for Montgomery County Public Schools for 21 years and that “it was just a mistake on my part. I’m only human. It was my bad.”
He added to the magazine that the district called him Monday to say he was being placed on administrative leave but didn’t mention the video to him — but did tell him they had “misplaced his background check file.”
“Maybe they were looking to see if I had any criminal misbehavior or anything like that,” he told the magazine.
Schack told the magazine he wasn’t aware of the video until Wednesday.
He added to the magazine that he never meant harm to his students: “You gotta believe me on that … I thought I was in the privacy of my own home. I had no clue.”
What did officials have to say?
Principal Alana Murray said in a letter to parents that a staff member was seen onscreen in a breakout room “engaged in inappropriate behavior” and that the incident is under investigation, the station said.
Murray added that the video was recorded and posted on social media, WTTG reported: “We ask that any student who may have this video posted on social media platforms take down the content and refrain from sharing with other students.”
A district spokeswoman said the employee in question was placed on paid administrative leave while the district investigates, the magazine reported, citing Bethesda Beat.
Montgomery County police have “been made aware of a video by MCPS, and we’re investigating,” a police spokesman said Wednesday morning, the magazine added.
“It was not directed toward the kids,” Schack told WTTG in an on-camera interview. “I had no clue that I was online. I’m not, like, a deviant, and I wouldn’t do something to jeopardize my career …”
Maryland school staff member whose ‘inappropriate behavior’ was caught on camera says he was unaware