WASHINGTON — A teacher at one of Washington’s best known private schools has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a student.
Letters have gone out to parents of students at Georgetown Day School sharing news of the arrest of middle school history teacher Mark Allen-Gifford, who has also been the school’s baseball and basketball coach.
A D.C. Superior Court complaint accuses the 31-year-old Northwest D.C. man of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old female student.
The school says Allen-Gifford has been placed on leave. A court order prohibits him from entering the campus or having any contact with any Georgetown Day student.
Investigating officers say the offenses happened earlier this year in the 1200 block of 31st Street, in Northwest. The girl told police that she had a relationship with her schoolteacher, which began with online conversations about sex. A DC police report says that Allen-Gifford admitted kissing the girl.
He is accused of kissing and inappropriately touching the student.
Allen-Gifford is charged with second-degree child sex abuse, enticing a minor and misdemeanor child sexual abuse of a minor.
In a letter to the Georgetown Day School community, Head of School Russell Shaw said the school is sharing the news with students and providing them support. The letter also provides parents with links to information that it believes may be helpful, including “How to Talk to Your Children About Difficult News” and “Talking to Your Teen about Sexuality, Consent and other Sensitive Topics.”
Allen-Gifford was arrested Friday; the school was notified the following day.
Georgetown Day School is an independent school with about 1,000 students between prekindergarten and 12th grade. It’s at 4530 MacArthur Boulevard, in Northwest. Tuition at the private school is about $39,000 a year.
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