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March 4, 2024

The following is a Letter To The Editor that we received from Dorothy Shelton-Leslie, candidate for Worcester County School Board (District 5-Ocean Pines).  The information contained within this letter is the opinion and thoughts of Mrs. Shelton-Leslie.  


Upon reading the “Former SDHS Teacher Charged With Child Abuse” article in Ocean City Today of February 15, 2024, which I found buried on page 22, I was appalled.  This should have made front page news.

Reporting Requirements of Sexual Incidents of a teacher with a student have been on the books since the 1960’s.  The current Superintendent of Worcester County had a moral obligation to report and make sure it was put in the teacher’s employment file to protect other children.  Reporting it to your supervisor does not relieve you of your responsibility.  Unfortunately for the child, no action was taken, no help was given to the child or parents, and other school districts (such as Somerset County who went on to hire this teacher, Mr. Davis) were never informed.  

The VP of SDHS at the time (who is now our current Superintendent) wrongfully assumed this wasn’t a “long-term relationship” and therefore seemed to minimize it.  What difference does a “short-term vs long-term” relationship matter when talking about a teacher sexually abusing a minor?  It’s obvious that none of this was documented in this teacher’s personnel file as this teacher was able to hop over to the next county and continue teaching children, to possibly repeat this predator behavior.  Apparently, Somerset County had no idea what they were getting – shame on Worcester County Administrators for staying silent.

The lack of action, by multiple administrators, greatly concerns me.  It shows a lack of respect for our laws and regulations meant to keep our children safe at school.  Most importantly it shows a willingness to protect a teacher over the safety and well-being of a child (a minor student in Mr. Davis’ music class in this case).  This is unforgivable and frightening.  These administrators failed this young victim (who has been traumatized now for over 30 years) and failed our community, as well as every child attending our schools.  It makes me wonder how many other rules have been broken, how many other crimes pushed under the rug, and how many other students (victims) have been ignored.

I am publically urging the Worcester County Board of Education to immediately investigate this and hold our current superintendent accountable.  This is one of the many reasons I am running for Worcester County School Board (District 5: Ocean Pines) to restore transparency and safety in our schools.  Our students (and parents) deserve better than this – and I will fight for them. 

Dorothy Shelton-Leslie

Retired Educator of 40+ years, Ocean Pines, MD