A Prince William County high school teacher has been acquitted of a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after he allegedly saw a 16-year-old girl student away from school against her mother's wishes, court officials said yesterday.

Judge Janice Brice Wellington, of the Prince William County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, deliberated about 15 minutes before finding Raymond Anthony Florence not guilty, defense attorney Bryant Webb said.

Florence, 24, of Woodbridge, is a part-time social studies teacher at Stonewall Jackson High School. He was removed from teaching and placed on administrative duty shortly after he surrendered to police on June 7, he said.

"I'm just glad it's over," said Florence, who is working this summer for a moving company until a decision is made about whether he will be allowed to return to the classroom.

The county's school administration has recommended that he be dismissed. Florence appealed that recommendation during a six-hour hearing Wednesday before a three-member arbitration panel that included his mother, Marjorie Florence, whom he chose. The school system named one panel member and a neutral third party also was chosen.

The panel has 30 days to make a recommendation to the School Board, which will render a decision, Webb said.

Florence was charged after the girl's mother told police he had gone to a house where the girl was staying May 12, picked her up in his car and kept her out all night, court records show. Marjorie Florence said her son had tried to help the girl with personal problems she was experiencing.