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Fannett-Metal teacher dismissed from job

April 14, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

WILLOW HILL, Pa. - A Fannett-Metal High School teacher charged by Pennsylvania State Police with corruption of minors was dismissed from his job Monday night, according to Michael McCartney, president of the Fannett-Metal School District's board of school directors.

William Bradley Palm, 24, of 300 W. King St., Shippensburg, Pa., was dismissed on a unanimous vote of the nine-member board following a disciplinary hearing, McCartney said. His dismissal took effect immediately, McCartney said.

The three alleged victims, girls ages 14, 15 and 17, testified at the hourlong hearing, as did Superintendent Dana Baker, Director Derek Stoy said.

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Palm was not present at the hearing and no one was there to represent him, Stoy said. "He had every right to be there, but he chose not to," Stoy said.

Palm, the only social studies teacher in the school of about 150 students, had been suspended with pay since March 22, Baker said last week. He was charged March 31 by police with statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and three counts of corruption of minors, according to police.

Police allege Palm had indecent contact with the girls during a period from October 2003 to March 15. Baker said on Tuesday, April 6, that the alleged misconduct occurred both on and off school property. Baker said it was one of the girls who alerted officials at the high school.

Stoy said the witnesses were heard during a closed session of the special public meeting. After hearing the testimony, the board deliberated before going back into open session and voting for Palm's dismissal.

The district is using a long-term substitute to teach social studies until a replacement is found, Stoy said.

Palm, who was also the district's junior high school boys head basketball coach, graduated from Shippensburg Pa. University with a degree in secondary education. He was in his third year as a teacher, Baker said last week.

Palm was arraigned on the charges on April 6 and District Justice Richard Alloway II released him on $30,000 unsecured bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 20, in Franklin County Central Court, Alloway said.

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