Teacher Is Charged With Indecent Exposure

By Ernesto Londono
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 27, 2007

A Silver Spring middle school teacher was charged this week with exposing his genitals to students in a school bus as he was driving a convertible, police said yesterday.

Montgomery County police said Charles R. Bouma, 43, of Beltsville was driving in the area of Rockville Pike and Tuckerman Lane in North Bethesda about 3:15 p.m. Monday when he encountered a school bus transporting the crew team of the Academy of the Holy Cross, a private girls school in Kensington.

"He was driving alongside the bus and proceeded to pull his pants down and expose himself to the students," police spokeswoman Melanie Hadley said. "He then followed the bus and drove around each side of the bus, causing a commotion and continuing to expose himself and engage in a personal sexual activity."

The crew coach jotted down the Mazda Miata license plate number and called police. Bouma was taken into custody at his home Tuesday night and charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct and disturbing a school operation. He was released on his own recognizance.

Efforts to reach Bouma yesterday were unsuccessful.

Bouma had been charged with indecent exposure in Anne Arundel County in 2005. According to court records, prosecutors put the case on the stet docket -- an inactive docket from which cases are often dismissed if the defendant completes a one-year probationary period.

Brian Edwards, a spokesman for the Montgomery public school system, said Bouma, who has taught math at Argyle Middle School since 2000, was suspended yesterday. Edwards said school officials were notified of the 2005 arrest and discussed the allegation with Bouma. No action was taken because the allegation was unproven, Edwards said.

In the Montgomery case, police said Bouma acknowledged exposing himself to the students. Argyle Principal Debra Mugge sent a letter to parents yesterday expressing her "shock and sadness." She wrote that Argyle students were not involved and that Bouma's background was checked before he was hired.

Staff researcher Meg Smith also contributed to this report.

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