Arundel High School students and parents on Wednesday night asked the county school board to reinstate a teacher who has been reassigned pending an investigation.
Dozens of students and parents gathered at the school board meeting to call for the return of psychology teacher Andrew Cizek, who was reassigned in February. The move came after a female student suggested on Twitter that the two were involved in a relationship, according to news accounts and some students; the comment has been removed.
Anne Arundel Public Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said an investigation was ongoing. He said that Cizek was working in one of the school system's administrative offices, where he has no contact with students.
Students and parents wore T-Shirts that requested Cizek be reinstated. Some offered emotional testimony, with students calling Cizek a mentor and father figure whose classes are among the reasons they look forward to attending school.
"I want Cizek back," said Donna Stubler, whose daughter, McKinzie Schultz, is a junior at the school. "It's so nice to have somebody who is not only a teacher in the school but is a friend of the kids. The kids feel they can come to him as a friend, and I think the line is a little fuzzy now, because kids think of him as a buddy."
McKinzie said three teachers have served as replacements since Cizek's departure. "It's been just straight out of the book," she said.
Reached at his home in
on Wednesday night, Cizek said, "It's in the best interest of myself, my community and most importantly my students that I don't comment at this time in the hopes that this investigation will be completed."
The Anne Arundel School System conducts investigations, and if there is an appeal it would be heard by the school board, school officials said.