2021 | Police & Fire

Whitman High teacher charged with sexually abusing female student

Abuse allegedly happened in D.C.

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A teacher at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda has been charged by D.C. police with sexually abusing a female student.

Kirkland Shipley, 47, of Northwest D.C., was charged on Tuesday with first- and second-degree child sexual abuse of a secondary education student, according to a press release. Shipley is accused of abusing the victim multiple times in May and June of 2018 in D.C.

The victim was a student at Whitman at the time of the alleged abuse, D.C. police spokeswoman Alaina Gertz told Bethesda Beat.

Shipley, a social studies teacher, has been placed on administrative leave, Principal Robert Dodd wrote in a letter to the Whitman community.

Shipley has been a Montgomery County Public Schools employee since 2001. He has coached the Whitman crew team — a community club athletic team, not sponsored by the school — since 2002, according to the letter.

A 2016 Whitman crew publication listed him as head coach and women’s varsity coach.

Counselors will be available to talk with students about Shipley’s arrest this week, Dodd wrote.

“These charges are deeply troubling and are a violation of the core values of our school and school system,” Dodd wrote in the letter.

The investigation is ongoing, and D.C. police have asked anyone with information to call them at 202-727-9099.

Shipley’s attorney, Amy Phillips, of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

A felony status conference is scheduled for Sept. 15, according to D.C. court records.

Staff writer Caitlynn Peetz contributed to this story.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com