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.