Washington DC Feb 27 2017
A teacher at a high-performing D.C. charter school was arrested Friday on charges of child sex abuse, according to police and school officials.
Police said Saturday that Manuel Garcia Fernandez, 35, had sexual contact on multiple occasions with two female victims and one male victim from Aug. 17 to Feb. 6. He was charged with three counts of second-degree child sexual abuse.
Fernandez taught at a Northeast Washington campus of the Latin American Montessori Bilingual (LAMB) Public Charter School, according to an email to parents from the school’s executive director, Diane Cottman. The school’s website listed him as an elementary teacher.
Fernandez has been banned from LAMB’s premises, Cottman wrote Friday. She said the school had communicated with parents in the “impacted community,” but could not disclose further details.
“We know that this will raise many questions which we are currently not at liberty to answer and or may not be able to answer,” she wrote. “These allegations have deeply affected the entire LAMB community — the board, teachers, parents and students alike. LAMB is committed to its families, and the safety and well-being of our students is our paramount concern.”
Cottman did not respond to a request for comment.
LAMB, which also has a campus in Northwest, enrolled a total of about 375 students in preschool through fifth grade last school year. It is one of the most highly regarded charter schools in the city.