BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A teacher at a private Baltimore school has been arrested on charges that he had an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Ryan Penalver, 27, has been fired from Saint Frances Academy following his arrest. He had been a history teacher there since 2012.

Penalver is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old student during this school year.

“A friend of the student actually notified the school last week. The school notified child protective services, who then contacted police,” said Jeremy Silbert of the Baltimore Police Department.

Saint Frances Academy Principal Curtis Turner sent the following letter home to parents:

Dear Parents/Guardians:

It is my unfortunate duty to communicate the following information to you.

Yesterday morning, Saint Frances Academy received an allegation involving Mr. Ryan Penalver, a history teacher at SFA since 2012. Mr. Penalver has been alleged to have engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a student during the current school year.

In accordance with Maryland law and the policies of the school, SFA reported the allegations to Child Protective Services as soon as possible. Mr. Penalver was relieved of his duties immediately, and is no longer an employee of the school.

As a school, we are notifying all of our current families and prospective families through this electronic communication, which we also are sending to all alumni and alumni parents for whom we have e-mail addresses.

Likewise, current students are being informed of the allegations today and are being encouraged to share any concerns or relevant information
with civil authorities and/or SFA.

Letters will be mailed to alumni from the Classes of 2012 – 2017. If you should have any concerns or information about Mr. Penalver’s behavior, you should report those concerns to civil authorities. If you opt to contact the school directly please email me curtis.turner@sfacademy.org<mailto:curtis.turner@sfacademy.org>.

Please know that we do our absolute best to make sure that our teachers and staff are of high moral quality and that they embody the values treasured by this community. As the head of this school, know that I am wholly committed to making sure that the school environment is always a safe one. If you should ever have concerns in this area please report them promptly.

It is indeed disturbing to receive this news. Let us, as a school family, pray for all of those involved.

If I can be of any assistance to you in dealing with this information know that I am available to you. I have shared with you all of the information that I can, but I am willing to answer any questions or concerns that you might have.

Sincerely,
Deacon Curtis Turner, Ed.D.
Principal / Head of School
Saint Frances Academy

One mother told WJZ she’s pleased with how the school has handled the allegations.

[REPORTER: “Is it going to change the way you think about the quality of education here?”]

“Hopefully it won’t, but I’ll keep my eye on everything,” the mother said.

WJZ visited Penalver’s address listed in court records, but no one answered.

Penavler has been charged with six counts including sexual abuse of a minor. He’s been released on his own recognizance, which means no bail money is paid to the court and no bond is posted. The suspect is released after promising, in writing, to appear in court for all upcoming proceedings.

A court date is set for June 12.

Any other students with additional information on Penavler are being asked to call police.

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