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A Message from Dr. Jack R. Smith Regarding the Arrest of Mark Yantsos on Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

April 6, 2017

“The allegations against Mark Yantsos, the security team leader at Richard Montgomery High School, are disturbing. As Principal Monteleone stated in his letter to the community (included below), the behavior described in the charging document “represents an irreparable breach of trust, ethics and the law.” Any adult who abuses their position and takes advantage of our students has no place in our schools or community.

“Additionally, it has come to our attention that in 1994, Mr. Yantsos was accused of using his revolver to menace a female while working for the New York Police Department. We have provided this information to the police.

“The safety of our students is paramount. In 2015, the Montgomery County Board of Education updated its policy regarding child abuse and neglect. Central to the updated policy are new practices, procedures and protocols to ensure students have a safe environment in which to learn. This includes: 

• updated mandatory training of all full-time employees on recognizing and reporting child abuse; and

• the development of the Employee Code of Conduct, a document that summarizes the standards of conduct that MCPS and the broader community expect employees to follow.

We remain vigilant in our efforts to ensure all of our students are in a safe environment.” 

 

Read the letter from Richard Montgomery High School below:

Dear Parents/Guardians:

I am writing to inform you about the arrest of Mr. Mark Yantsos, the security team leader at Richard Montgomery High School, on charges of one count of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of 4th degree sex offense. The charges stem from an alleged inappropriate relationship between Mr. Yantsos and a 17-year-old Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) student. 

MCPS has been fully cooperating with Child Protective Services, the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD), and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office on this matter. Pursuant to our memorandum of understanding with these agencies and MCPS policies and regulations, the Special Victims Investigations Division of MCPD requested us not to share any details broadly with the community until now to avoid prejudicing the ongoing investigation.

Mr. Yantsos was placed on administrative leave after the allegations of his actions were made to the school.

Mr. Yantsos has been employed with MCPS since 2007. In addition to his role with the security team, he served as Richard Montgomery High School’s girls’ varsity basketball coach during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons.  

The allegations described in the charging documents are despicable and represent an irreparable breach of trust, ethics and the law. We do not and will not tolerate this behavior in our school.

As always, we are committed to the well-being of all our students. A support team of school psychologists, counselors and pupil personnel workers from MCPS will join our staff to provide counseling and support to students as needed.  

Providing our students with a safe learning environment is our top priority. If you or your child have any information that may be helpful to the investigation, I ask that you call the Special Victims Investigations Division of the Montgomery County Police Department at 240-773-5400.

Sincerely,

Damon Monteleone

Principal Richard Montgomery High School

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