A Maryland teacher’s aide was seen masturbating on a zoom call with eighth-graders. He vows that he thought the virtual lesson had ended.
Marc Schack, an assistant special education teacher at Shady Grove Middle School located in Gaithersburg, has been placed on leave.
He told Bethesda Magazine that he was unaware that he was masturbating on the virtual call until he was interviewed, the New York Post reported.
“I thought I was logged out when class was over,” Schack told the magazine. “I had no clue that Zoom was still on. Why would I do that? That’s my job. I had no clue that Zoom was on. I mean, that’s just crazy behavior.”
A 13-second clip, which was later posted on social media, shows the 21-year-old aide look at his screen before standing up, stepping back, and masturbating.
His name also appeared on the screen as the host of the Zoom call. A few seconds later, another name appears and replaces him as the moderator.
Schack, the operator of Pirate Magic, a business that throws pirate parties for children, said he is on administrative leave as an employee for Montgomery County Public Schools.
He insists his actions were “just a mistake.”
“I’m only human. It was my bad.”
On Monday, district officials contacted him to say he was being placed on leave and said they had “misplaced his background check file.”
“Maybe they were looking to see if I had any criminal misbehavior or anything like that,” Schack told Bethesda Magazine.
However, the officials did not reference the zoom video during Monday’s call. Apparently, he did learn of the footage until Wednesday.
“I’m not a pervert or anything like that, you know,” he continued. “You gotta believe me on that … I thought I was in the privacy of my own home. I had no clue.”
A spokesperson from the district confirmed to the Post that a staffer had been placed on leave as they look into an investigation surrounding “inappropriate behavior that was sexual in nature.”
“Per our procedures, we do not release the names of staff members that are under investigation,” spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala stated. “Local authorities were informed and are investigating as well.”
Local authorities for Montgomery County confirmed the investigation but offered no further details since no charges have been filed.