The Prince George's County NAACP is calling for the removal of Kevin Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent of Prince George's County Schools, who has been under fire following abuse allegations and student safety within the school system.
In a statement released Wednesday, the group said "CEO Maxwell has failed to protect the health, safety and civil rights of the students of this school system. Every child in the Prince George's County school system deserves to attend school in a safe, secure and protected environment. Those who are entrusted with the children's care and well-being are hired to teach, transport and deliver our county's most vulnerable citizens to their homes safely every day. The Prince George's County school system has failed to properly vet and oversee the staff and teachers it has entrusted with the care of our children."
The statement continued, "The abuse that has occurred at the hands of those hired to teach and transport our children is an intolerable situation. The children of Prince George's County can no longer "wait" for things to "turn around". The children of Prince George's County cannot tolerate another incident of abuse. The children of Prince George's County deserve responsible, accountable and trustworthy leadership. There is no longer time for excuses, plans or studies. The change must happen now. CEO Maxwell must be removed immediately. We rem independent oversight by the Maryland State Board of Education."
In a press conference Wednesday morning, Bob Ross, the president of the Prince George’s County branch of the NAACP demanded that Rushern Baker remove Maxwell as superintendent of schools.
Baker disagrees – he believes Dr. Maxwell is the “right” person for the school system. Plans to fix the problems plaguing the school – include training for reporting suspected abuse and Baker pointed out that academics have come a long way under Dr. Maxwell's direction. “Our graduation rates are up, our middle school promotion rates where we had drop outs are up. Our test scores are doing better,” Baker said.
Baker says he does hold Maxwell accountable, “and I made it very clear to him, the moment that I believe he is not making the changes that are in the best interest of the children he will be gone.”
It has been a challenging year for Prince George's County Schools after several situations surfaced concerning student safety. On September 21, Chief Of Staff George Margolies was relieved of his duties after an email he wrote regarding ongoing issues in the school system was leaked. The next day, school board member Edward Burroughs, III appeared on FOX 5 to call for the resignation of CEO Kevin Maxwell after questioning an alleged cover-up regarding the county's Head Start Program.
Prince George’s County Public Schools recently lost a $6.5 million federal grant that funded the county's Head Start program because of repeated allegations of Head Start teachers using harsh and unusual punishment on their students. In a federal report, teachers at James Ryder Randall Elementary School were cited for forcing children to hold heavy objects over their heads after they misbehaved during naptime.
Also earlier this year, 22-year-old Deonte Carraway, a former school aide at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Prince George’s County, was indicted on 270 child sex abuse and porn charges involving children.
Late last month a Prince George's school bus aide has been officially charged amid allegations he molested special needs children on a bus.