UPPER MARLBORO, MD (WUSA9) - Allegations of child abuse and neglect inside Prince George’s County Schools has quadrupled since teachers and staff were retrained in the wake of a child porn scandal at the Sylvania Woods elementary school in early 2016, Schools officials told County Council Members Monday.
The jump in reported incident is proof a culture of silence is beginning to be broken, Prince George’s School’s CEO Kevin Maxwell told council members.
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“What we got is exactly what we trained our staff to do, which is more reporting,” Maxwell said.
School officials could not immediately answer questions about how many teachers and staff are now on administrative leave or under investigation as a result of the jump in reports.
School workers are required by law to report suspicions of abuse and neglect immediately to Child Protective Services or police. A policy that also required employees to make reports to principals or supervisors has been changed so that employees to not fear retaliation or administrative efforts to cover up their allegations.
Maxwell and Board of Education chairman Segun Eubanks were questioned harshly by some council members about a federal takeover of the county’s $6.4 million Head Start program which was marred by allegations of abuse of pre-schoolers.