Gaithersburg High ‘rapping teacher’ arrested on drug, resisting charges -- Gazette.Net


Brandon Cuffee, a Gaithersburg High School biology teacher known for his rap-teaching YouTube videos, was arrested last month on charges of possessing marijuana, resisting arrest and other charges.

Gaithersburg Police said Cuffee had a “large quantity” of marijuana in the center console of his Dodge Durango, and smelled of alcohol and marijuana, when he was stopped for erratic driving on May 17.

Cuffee’s attorney, Brian H. Clark, said he disputes the facts of the case as portrayed in the charging documents.

“Mr. Cuffee is a highly regarded, bright, young teacher, and when the facts come out in court, we don’t feel these charges will be substantiated,” Clark said. “It is an unfortunate incident.”

Cuffee did not immediately return a call Friday.

Cuffee, 29, was arrested May 17 and is facing seven counts, including two charges of drug possession and one charge each of having drug paraphernalia, resisting a police officer, interfering with an arrest, disorderly conduct, and endangering the public while intoxicated.

He also was issued three traffic citations — two for driving or attempting to drive while impaired and one for driving without a seat belt.

A trial is scheduled for July 11.

Cuffee has been on administrative leave since the incident, according to Dana Tofig, a school system spokesman.

The school system will evaluate Cuffee’s situation after the police investigation has concluded, Tofig said.

“There are no allegations of anything related to his job,” Tofig said. “But there are expectations that we have for the conduct of our staff, as well.”

Gaithersburg High School Principal Christine Handy-Collins did not immediately return a phone call or email Friday.

A Gaithersburg Police report says Cuffee was stopped on May 17 near Brookes Avenue after he drove fast in residential complexes off North Summit Avenue, in areas where children were playing, and drove erratically, striking “at least one” curb.

An officer “detected an odor of raw marijuana and alcoholic beverage emanating from the vehicle and Cuffee’s person,” according to the police report.

Cuffee did not obey requests by police to get out of his car, then tried to roll his windows up and close his door when police tried to open it, according to the report.

In a scuffle with police, he pushed one officer, refused to comply with police requests to place his hands behind his back, tried to keep police from putting him in handcuffs, and swallowed evidence, the report alleges.

According to the report, Cuffee, with bloodshot and watery eyes and speaking with slurred speech, yelled, “I’m a school teacher!” and “You can’t search me or my car!”

Neighbors, hearing the shouts, gathered and recorded the arrest with their cellphones, the report states.

He refused to perform field sobriety tests, telling officers, “No more questions, I plea the fifth,” then stating “Fifth,” whenever officers asked him any questions, the report alleges.

Cuffee was hired by Montgomery County Public Schools in August 2010 and his salary this year was $56,066, according to school system files from October. Cuffee also, at one time, coached wrestling in the school system, he told The Gazette in a previous interview.

Another teacher and wrestling coach who has been featured in the local and national media for his rap-teaching technique, Jacob Scott, resigned in April during the wrestling season.

Cuffee told The Gazette previously that he knew Scott and he was collaborating on raps with him.

Scott was a precalculus teacher and wrestling coach at Blair High School.