Rockport schools are investigating a middle school guidance counselor after allegations surfaced that the man was accused of inappropriately touching two male students while on a former job at another North Shore school.
Howard J. Kasper, 57, a middle school counselor at Rockport Middle School since 2000, was accused of groping two male students at the private Landmark School in Beverly in separate incidents in 1979 and 1984, according to an investigative report that appeared in today's Boston Globe. Kasper was serving as Landmark's assistant dean of students at the time.
In a letter sent today to parents and staff of Rockport schools, new Superintendent of Schools Robert Liebow said he and other administrators have been investigating since the allegations first surfaced on July 24. The district has not yet taken any action regarding Kasper's employment, according to Liebow.
"Although the events described in the Boston Globe did not take place in Rockport, we take them very seriously," Liebow wrote. "I want to assure you that our overriding focus will be to act in the best interests of the children we serve and that their continued safety will drive our decision-making process."
Liebow vowed to continue updating and informing parents as much as the law permits him to do so.
Town Selectman Paul Murphy, who is also assistant principal at Manchester Essex High School, said Wednesday that, though these allegations are serious, he urges the community to be patient and trust in the investigative process.
"These allegations are very disturbing," Murphy said. "But I cannot say enough not to rush to judgement and to let the investigtation take its course."
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Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at email@example.com.