Maryland education officials say they are revoking the teaching license of Lawrence W. Joynes, a 54-year-old Montgomery County educator accused of sexually abusing 14 girls in kindergarten to second grade at a Silver Spring elementary school.
Joynes, who was most recently a music teacher at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School, was arrested in February and is being held in a Baltimore County jail on a $1 million bond, the Washington Post reported.
According the Washington Post, Joynes faces a child pornography charge in Baltimore County, sexual abuse charges related to 14 girls at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School, and charges of second-degree rape and other offenses related to his alleged abuse of a middle school student from 1991 to 1993.
Over the course of his 27-year career, Joynes reportedly taught at 11 Montgomery public schools, including Eastern Middle, Francis Scott Key Middle and Cannon Road Elementary.
My heart goes out the victims and to all of the families in this school system. It is alarming, to say the least, that a teacher accused of sexually abusing a child over 20 years ago remained in the school system with unfettered access to children in multiple schools.
For the sake of the brave young victims who came forward and others who may be suffering in silence, I urge school officials to reach out to families and seek out anyone who may have witnessed or suffered from these horrific crimes. I also hope officials will encourage parents to talk to their children about Mr. Joynes and urge anyone who has potentially helpful information to contact law enforcement and prosecutors immediately.
When one brave survivor shares their story, they empower other victims to come forward. The sooner other potential victims can break their silence, the sooner they can begin to heal.