Teacher, accused of inappropriate behavior, cleared

Reporter: Al Pefley

New information on a teacher who was under scrutiny for inappropriate behavior. He was cleared Tuesday night.

Mark Schroeder of Wellington Landings Middle School won't face any criminal charges. But the allegations against him are still eye-opening.

After reading the reports from school police, you might be inclined to ask what was Mark Schroeder thinking?

Schroeder, a physical education teacher at Wellington Landings Middle School, was accused of questionable behavior involving a boy in his class.

In one incident, the boy claimed he was in the locker room changing clothes for baseball practice last September. At the time he was wearing a red t-shirt and red boxer shorts. And, he says, Schroeder placed both of his arms around him in a bear hug and said "[The boy] was his favorite student in boxer shorts."

The boy says that incident made him feel uncomfortable and was witnessed by other boys in the locker room.

In another case, which happened in a classroom, the same boy says he went up to Schroeder during a study hall and asked to use the restroom. He says Schroeder told him no, and then slapped him on the buttocks as he returned to his seat.

School police looked into both cases and decided there was insufficient evidence to support any criminal charges against Schroeder. They also say there was no video tape of either incident.

Fifty-year-old Schroeder, who's been with the Palm Beach County School System since August 2001, did not return a phone call seeking comment. The principal at Wellington Landings Middle School did not return our phone call either.