Calvert Middle’s Support Person of the Year arrested
A North Beach man employed with Calvert County Public Schools was arrested Aug. 18 after authorities allegedly found marijuana and codeine in his vehicle.
Taros Fletcher Harris, 31, was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance — not marijuana and possession of controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia, court records show.
Trooper R. Backus of the Maryland State Police Prince Frederick barrack was on patrol in his marked MSP vehicle Aug. 18 near Main Street in Prince Frederick when he allegedly observed a Lincoln town car parked partially in the roadway, turning from Main Street onto Church Street. Ac- cording to the charging documents, Backus activated his emergency equipment and conducted a traffic stop to check the welfare of the driver.
Backus approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver, Harris, before subsequently smelling a strong odor of marijuana emitting from within the vehicle. A probable cause search was conducted, resulting in the discovery of 7½ grams of marijuana and a 16-fluid-ounce prescription bottle of promethazine hydrochloride and codeine phosphate syrup, the police report alleges.
Harris was reportedly not in possession of a prescription for the promethazine hydrochloride and codeine phosphate syrup and was placed under arrest. After he was advised of his Miranda rights and asked if he had a prescription for the drug, Harris said the prescription was at home and the bottle in his vehicle was a refill someone else picked up for him. He then invoked his right to remain silent and not answer any more questions. Harris was then transported to the detention center and the contraband was packaged as evidence.
Calvert County Public Schools officials confirmed Harris is employed at Calvert Middle School as an in-school suspension coordinator and also works as a defensive back coach for the Calvert High School football team.
A CCPS Facebook post from April identifies Harris as last year’s support person of the year for Calvert Middle School. In addition to the in-school suspen- sion program, Harris took over the boys’ basketball program as head coach and serves as a mentor for the Junior MAC Scholars program at Calvert Middle, according to the post.
Calvert County Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Curry said he can’t discuss an employee’s specific situation, but described the school system’s practice when an employee is arrested or charged with a crime. Curry said the school system gets information from the police when they become aware of an employee who was arrested or charged with a crime.
“We have to then determine if this is something that would keep this person from being effective at their job. There are certain provisions in our contracts that make reference to your personal life is your personal life and not really our business. We have to have an understanding of the charges and we make a judgment call about whether these charges would stop somebody from doing their job effectively,” Curry explained.
Curry said the school system usually takes disciplinary actions when an employee is charged with a felony, but he said this is still dependent on the nature of the felony. Curry described a recent incident where a CCPS employee charged with a felony was suspended with pay until their court proceeding. He said this decision varies from case to case, as the school system also has the options to suspend without pay or allow the employee to continue working until the case reaches disposition.
“We also have to take into account that folks are innocent until proven guilty. People deserve their day in court,” Curry emphasized.
Calvert High School head football coach Rick Sneade said Harris is not a member of the coaching staff right now because of the pending case, but indicated his position could be retained “once everything is cleared up.” Harris played for the Calvert High football team from 1999 to 2002, during which time he was also coached by Sneade.
Online court records show Harris is tentatively scheduled for an Oct. 23 district court trial. Attempts to reach Harris were not returned by time of press.