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Prince George’s County Education Briefs: Schools CEO Addresses Head Start Fiasco

Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell issued the following statement Sept. 1 concerning the recent controversy surrounding the county’s Head Start program:

“Over the past two weeks, I have carefully reviewed the circumstances surrounding the loss of our federal Head Start Program grant. From the beginning, I have pledged to hold those who violated our students’ rights and dignity and betrayed parents’ trust fully accountable.

“Today, I have taken disciplinary action against six individuals directly involved in the incidents cited in the Administration for Children and Families report, including certified teachers, classroom aides and an administrative supervisor. These individuals will no longer be in front of any child in Prince George’s County Public Schools.

“Our message is clear: We will not tolerate this type of behavior. Our schools will cultivate teaching and learning environments that prioritize students’ well-being — and we will act swiftly to remove individuals who do not uphold these ideals. We are continuing to implement system-wide recommendations from the Student Safety Task Force, steps that will improve our protocols around reporting and transparency at all levels of the system. Every day, we will work diligently to fix the culture and conditions that led to past incidents and abuses.

“Our children and community deserve nothing less.”

Student to Sit on Board of Education

Parkdale High School senior Juwan Blocker will serve during the 2016-17 term as student member of the Prince George’s County Board of Education.

“I eagerly await the opportunity to offer a student perspective on matters that directly impact my peers,” Juwan said.

Juwan represents nearly 130,000 PGCPS students, providing the school board with a student viewpoint on a wide range of issues, including school infrastructure, school funding, and classroom technology.

“The student member of the board plays a vital role in representing the student voice on significant issues and policies,” said Segun Eubanks, board chair. “[Juwan] has displayed an extraordinary level of commitment to student advocacy. We look forward to working with him during the upcoming school year.”

Juwan was elected last school year by members of the Prince George’s Regional Association of Student Governments. He has advocated in Annapolis for adequate school funding, organized and led peaceful in-school demonstrations for victims of police-involved shootings and supported lowering the voting age in municipal elections to 16 years old.

Juwan is also the youngest-ever recipient of the Prince George’s County Forty Under 40 Award presented by the Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund.

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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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