Rowing Coach Accused of Abusing Female Student

Tabatha Wethal Headshot

A community rowing coach and high school teacher in Bethesda, Md., is accused of sexually abusing a high school girl multiple times.

The Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release Tuesday that 47-year-old Kirkland Shipley, of Northwest D.C., was arrested and charged with first-degree child sexual abuse of a secondary education student and second-degree child sexual abuse of a secondary education student.

Walt Whitman High School principal Robert Dodd said in a letter to parents that Shipley has been placed on administrative leave, according to a WUSA-TV report.

“These charges are deeply troubling and are a violation of the core values of our school and school system,” Dodd wrote. “We hold our employees to a high standard of character and this behavior is completely unacceptable.”

The charges stem from alleged sexual contact between Shipley and a former Walt Whitman High School student in 2018, police said. Investigators said Shipley abused the girl on multiple occasions in Washington, D.C.

Shipley has been employed with the Montgomery County Public Schools since 2001, Dodd said. He is a social studies teacher and has served since 2002 as coach for the non-school sponsored community club athletic team.

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