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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County schools. You can email him at jbranscome@freelancestar.com.

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Odyssey Montessori responds regarding Douglas Manring

Odyssey Montessori Board of Trustees President Mallon D. Link issued a statement regarding the school’s prior employment of James Douglas Manring, who on Jan. 28 in U.S. District Court, entered into a plea agreement regarding the production of child pornography.

Manring, 54, is in federal custody awaiting sentencing on two counts of production of child pornography. The charges stem from videos he produced of himself abusing boys and girls while employed at a preschool in Japan in the 1990s.

The Free Lance-Star detailed the accusations against Manring in a story for Sunday’s print and online editions that included information about his activities with children during the 12 years he apparently lived in Stafford County.

The newspaper attempted over two days prior to publication to get a comment from someone at Odyssey Montessori. Below is the statement released by Link on behalf of Odyssey after reading Sunday’s article.

The school was located in Falmouth when Manring worked there.

The Board of Trustees and the founders of the school, Wendy LaRue and Eva Thornton, are both shocked and saddened to learn about this news. The Board of Trustees and the staff at Odyssey have always made safety the first priority, believing the children must be safe and feel safe in order to learn. Doug Manring worked as a part-time independently contracted music teacher at Odyssey Montessori about nine years ago. He was not full-time staff. Anyone who works with the children at Odyssey, regardless of their capacity in the school, goes through State mandated background checks that includes police and child protective services checks. The school performed these checks on Manring and he had no convictions or flags on his record. For a variety of reasons, including staff to student ratio policies, Manring was never left alone with Odyssey students during the time that he was employed at the school. As part of a standing policy, a regular staff member is always present when contractors provide services. Manring’s contract ended in 2004 and as result, he has not been at the school since that time. The article mentions that several businesses were contacted by investigators: Odyssey was not contacted.

Mallon D. Link

Odyssey Montessori, Board of Trustees, President

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/gettingschooled/2013/02/04/odyssey-montessori-responds-regarding-douglas-manring/