Police said they believe two incidents took place in the last 30 days, according to Chief Henry Stawinski. One interaction allegedly took place on school grounds and another occurred off campus, Stawinski said.
School security notified police about the allegations after the student reported them Thursday, said police spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan.
Authorities said they are not aware of any other victims. Court records do not indicate that Barber yet has an attorney.
Barber, who lives in Annapolis, was hired by the Prince George’s County school district in August 2018, Hill said. Bladensburg is the only county school at which he was employed and “he had not been disciplined or reprimanded before now,” Hill said. She added Barber’s criminal background check was clear when he was hired.
B. Aisha Mahoney, the principal at Bladensburg High School, sent a letter about the allegations to families on Friday.
“This is disheartening news for the Bladensburg community. I understand that students, staff and families will experience a wide range of emotions,” Mahoney said in the letter. “A substitute teacher will provide support to Mr. Barber’s classes until further notice.”
Barber is in police custody, Stawinski said. A court hearing has not been scheduled yet.
The county school district tweeted a statement Friday afternoon about the allegations.
“Any behavior that brings harm to a student will not be tolerated in any way by PGCPS,” the statement reads. “We remain focused on our commitment to ensuring safe learning environments for all students.”