CAMBRIDGE — A Mace’s Lane Middle School teacher has been removed from teaching there as the result of a police investigation, according to Dorchester Sheriff James Phillips Jr.
The sheriff said members of the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, Cambridge Police Department and Dorchester County Public Schools met Tuesday, Aug. 19, at the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office in regard to the teacher.
“The information that was reported to all at the meeting, which was attended by the Delmar Police Department, Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, Wicomico Bureau of Investigation and the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation, involved background information on Patrick McLaw, also known as Patrick Beale, Dr. V and Dr. K.S. Voltaer,” the sheriff said.
According to online Maryland judicial records, Patrick Wayne Beale legally changed his name to Patrick Wayne McLaw in 2009 in Wicomico County.
WBOC News has reported that the investigation concerns two books published by McLaw, using the name Dr. K.S. Voltaer, including one about a fictional, futuristic school shooting that becomes known for being the largest ever in the United States.
An excerpt about that book, “The Insurrectionist,” found on Amazon.com reads: “On 18 March 2902, a massacre transpired on the campus of Ocean Park High School, claiming the lives of nine hundred forty-seven individuals — the largest school massacre in the nation’s history. And the entire country now begins to ask two daunting questions: How? and Why? After the federal government becomes involved, and after examining the bouquet of black roses that lies in front of the school’s sign, it becomes evident that the hysteria is far from over.”
According to Reuters online, a sequel appearing in 2013, “Lilith’s Heir,” is attributed to the writing team of “K Voltaer” and McLaw.
“The information we received (at the Aug. 19 meeting) caused us to return to Dorchester County and immediately take the following steps,” Phillips said, “A K-9 sweep was conducted at the Mace’s Lane School looking for explosive devices and other weapons. A secondary search was performed by police and school officials looking for suspicious packages or other items. Both of these searches were negative.
WBOC reported that according to Phillips, McLaw had an emergency medical evaluation, and that he is no longer on the Eastern Shore.
“The residence of the teacher in Wicomico County was searched by personnel,” Phillips said, with no weapons found. “A further check of Maryland State Police databases also proved to be negative as to any weapons registered to him. McLaw was suspended by the Dorchester County Board of Education pending an investigation and is no longer in the area. He is currently at a location known to law enforcement and does not currently have the ability to travel anywhere.”
Phillips said the added police presence at Mace’s Lane Middle School will continue for the rest of the week.
“There is also an ongoing police investigation into McLaw’s activities leading up to his removal from Dorchester County Schools. All security protocols are being followed and implemented in regards to this incident,” the sheriff said. He also explained that the decision was made to share this information with the community to explain the additional police presence at Mace’s Lane.
Dorchester School Superintendent Dr. Henry Wagner said McLaw is on a leave of absence from Mace’s Lane Middle School in a press release in which he explained, “In response to community inquiries, we are providing the following additional information.
“The concerns regarding Mr. McLaw were originally brought forward by the Wicomico County State’s Attorney last week. They have advised that an investigation is ongoing but the details may not be released, as it may compromise that investigation.
“All appropriate background checks were conducted prior to Mr. McLaw’s employment with DCPS,” Wagner said. “Furthermore, none of the above-mentioned matters took place in conjunction with his employment with DCPS.
“Nevertheless, by way of additional precautions, the Cambridge Police Department (CPD) is providing a presence at MLMS. His photo and the original press release have been issued to all schools. We are working closely with law enforcement (the Dorchester Sheriff’s Department and CPD) to insure that all of our security protocols are followed.”
The 2013-14 school year was McLaw’s first year teaching at Mace’s Lane Middle School. He was one of the nominees for Dorchester County’s First Class Teacher of the Year earlier this year.