Maryland school employee’s alleged Zoom masturbation didn’t break state law, police say
The alleged incident involving Shady Grove Middle School in Gaithersburg remained under investigation, a school official said
A school employee in Maryland won’t face charges after he was allegedly spotted masturbating during a Zoom session with special education students this week, according to a report.
The reason: Police said the alleged behavior "did not rise to the level of a criminal offense under Maryland law," Montgomery County police spokesman Rick Goodale told Bethesda magazine.
Marc Schack, a teaching assistant and 21-year employee of the Montgomery County Public Schools system, claimed he thought the online session was over and his camera off when the alleged incident occurred, according to FOX 5 of Washington.
"It was not done intentionally," Schack told the station. "I had no clue that I was on video. I don’t know what else to say. … I’m pretty disturbed about the whole situation. I didn’t do anything intentionally, not malicious. I meant no harm because I didn’t even know I was on the recording. I’m a good guy, you know. I was just in privacy of my own home and I didn’t mean any ill will. I didn’t do anything on purpose."
Schack remained on administrative leave, pending results of an investigation by school officials, Bethesda magazine reported.
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The school employee first learned he was spotted online after a reporter asked him about the alleged incident, the report said.
Schack was allegedly seen Monday in a 13-second clip, first looking at his screen, then standing up and stepping a short distance away before allegedly beginning to masturbate, the magazine reported.
"It was just a mistake on my part," Schack insisted. "I’m only human. It was my bad."
"I’m not a pervert or anything like that," he added later.
He said he meant no harm to any of the students who were participating in the online session.
Principal Alana Murray of Shady Grove Middle School in Gaithersburg, where Shack was working, issued a statement to the community Tuesday saying an employee had engaged in alleged "inappropriate behavior."
Murray said the clip was posted on social media but the school was asking that the footage be removed by anyone who posted it.
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"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," Murray told FOX 5.
School system spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala later told the magazine's Bethesda Beat the alleged behavior was "sexual in nature," the magazine reported.
Onijala said the incident remained under investigation and Schack remained on administrative leave while the investigation was underway.