The Rockport School Department has reached a settlement with the middle school counselor who was being investigated after allegations that he engaged in inappropriate conduct with two students decades ago while working at the Landmark School in Beverly, the private school said.
In a letter to the Rockport school community, Superintendent Robert Liebow announced the final resolution regarding the allegations of misconduct against Howard Kasper made by two former Landmark students.
“The school district has now concluded a negotiation with Mr. Kasper which will ensure an uninterrupted flow of support for children of Rockport and represents an outcome that both the district and Mr. Kasper find acceptable,” Liebow said in his letter.
In a request to Liebow, Kasper asked that his full-time employment in Rockport, in a position he had held for 12 years, be reduced to a 50 percent position and that he be granted a leave of absence from the position until Jan. 31, 2015.
The School Committee approved both requests at a public meeting Wednesday, and the settlement was effective Thursday, Lieber said.
In addition, Liebow accepted Kasper’s letter of resignation, which will also be effective on Jan. 31, 2015.
“It’s been a very difficult process for everyone, including Mr. Kasper,” said Paul F. Murphy, vice chairman of the Rockport Board of Selectman. “It brings closure to the whole process. I hope that both sides are happy and the schools can move on.”
Messages left at Kasper’s home were not returned. His attorney, Thomas G. Guiney, declined to comment.
Liebow was informed of the students’ allegations in July by officials at the Landmark School.
Kasper was placed on paid administrative leave while the allegations of groping were investigated by the school, law enforcement officials, and personnel from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
No complaints of inappropriate conduct were made against Kasper during his time employed with the Rockport public schools, Liebow wrote in his letter.
As part of the agreement, Kasper will have to be available as a consultant to the school for special projects, as needed during his leave of absence.