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Chambersburg School Board dismisses junior high teacher

July 23, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Faust Junior High School teacher accused of misconduct with a student was dismissed Tuesday evening following a dismissal hearing during a special meeting of the Chambersburg School Board.

Tab Kurtz, 45, of 404 Landis Road, Hagerstown, did not attend the hearing, which was held behind closed doors during a special meeting of the board, according to board members. His dismissal came a day after the most serious charges against him - aggravated indecent assault and criminal attempt to commit aggravated indecent assault - were dismissed.

Kurtz waived his preliminary hearing before District Justice Gary Carter Monday. Although Franklin County Assistant District Attorney David Rahauser agreed to dismiss the felony charges, Kurtz is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 3 for mandatory arraignment on misdemeanor charges of indecent assault and corruption of a minor.

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The board cited six sections of the Public School Code of Pennsylvania in voting to terminate Kurtz, who was hired by the district in March 2001, according to Board President Stanley J. Helman.

"They deal with immorality," Helman said of the school code violations. "That's one of the conditions under which an employee can be terminated."

Kurtz taught technology education until April when a 16-year-old student told school officials and Chambersburg police of his alleged misconduct. He was placed on administrative leave with pay on April 25, Helman said.

Director Penny W. Stoner said Tuesday night that the hearing lasted about an hour. The board then reconvened in open session and voted unanimously to fire Kurtz, she said.

Helman said the Pennsylvania Department of Education will be notified of the board's action. He said the department will "probably terminate his teaching certification."

According to the affidavit of probable cause, police allege Kurtz had physical contact and made sexually explicit comments to the girl. Most of the alleged incidents took place in Kurtz's classroom during the 2002-03 school year.

Kurtz did not return a phone message left at his home Tuesday night.

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