By Barry Burch Jr.
It’s not everyday that someone is smirking in their mug shot, especially an accused child-Sex offender. Doesn’t he look more guilty?
According to court documents that were released on Tuesday, a Montgomery County teacher has been arrested and charged with the $exual abuse of a shocking and disturbingly high number of students. He allegedly abused 14 of his elementary school students. He is also charged with repeatedly having $exual relations, in the 1990s, with a seventh-grader.
A teacher of nearly 30 years, 54 year old Lawrence W. Joynes allegedly began his child abuse as early as 1991. He was arrested in February on a p0rn0graphy charge, according to court documents. In court filings, police wrote that first a principle was informed of the abuse then a teacher. Once the information was received that Joyne’s had been making inappropriate advances, and literally committing crimes of $exual abuse with girls in his classroom at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School, his access to students was immediately denied. Schools spokesman, Dana Tofig said officials are “taking the matter very seriously.”
“We have conducted an internal investigation into this matter, not only about the specifics of the allegations against Mr. Joynes, but looking into how these allegations were handled by our staff,” he said in an e-mail. He went on to mention that as a result of this incident and others, the school system is in the process of creating a new protocol to investigate and if not vanquish then at least curtail inappropriate behavior.
“It just infuriates me,” said teacher Mary Silverman, who worked with Joynes up until last June at the school. She claimed to have reported him twice to administrators, once for having his classroom doors locked when he had three first-grade girls inside for lunch. “It infuriates me that the administrators didn’t take it seriously enough,” she scolded.
Silverman said though she did not see any actual abuse, she could not help but think she could have done more.