Lawrence Joynes, a former Maryland music teacher, pleaded guilty on Monday to sexually abusing 15 students over the course of 27 years.
The majority of the victims were in kindergarten through second grade, with one victim in middle school, according to The Washington Post.
Joynes, who was arrested in 2013, allegedly filmed the victims in sexual poses, including recording them as they licked candy canes. The 56-year-old also had a lengthy sexual relationship with the middle school student, a 15-year-old girl.
One of the victims and her family filed a lawsuit in April against Joynes and the Montgomery County School Board for failing to keep her safe, the Montgomery Community Media reports.
“[The school board] did not monitor the situation,” said attorney Joseph Williams. “They allowed a teacher to take children alone, lock the door and spend time with them. To me it absolutely should not have happened.”
One teacher at New Hampshire Estates told the Post in 2013 that she reported Joynes twice to administrators for inappropriate behavior, including locking himself inside his classroom with three first-grade girls.
“It infuriates me that the administrators didn’t take it seriously enough,” teacher Mary Silverman said. “I feel I didn’t do enough. I’ve talked to other teachers, and we all feel the same way. We just feel like we didn’t do enough.”
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