Prince George's Co. principal placed on leave, officials to meet with parents

- Prince George’s County school officials will meet with parents at Judge Sylvania W. Woods Elementary School Wednesday night after the school’s principal was placed on leave.

In a letter sent home to parents on September 12, Area 3 Instructional Director Kathleen Brady explained that principal Brian Jones, who is in his first year at the school, was on leave and Assistant Principal Donna Smith would be handling his duties.

“All faculty and staff remain committed to your child’s success this school year in a safe learning environment,” Brady wrote. The letter also informed parents of plans Wednesday night’s meeting, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the school in Glenarden.

PGCPS CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell first announced Jones’ leave on Tuesday in a news conference where he addressed several recent incidents concerning student safety. Maxwell would only say the principal was placed on leave after an accusation was made via email.

Prince Georges County police tell FOX 5 they just received the anonymous email Tuesday. At this point, they say there is no formal investigation, and they are still in the initial stages of checking into the validity of the email. 
 
It’s the first year at Judge Sylvania W. Woods Elementary for Jones, who replaced Michelle Williams. Williams was the school’s principal when former school aide Deonte Carraway, 22, was indicted on 270 charges of child sex abuse and pornography involving children. 

Prince George’s County Public Schools also 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.
 
On Tuesday afternoon at an event honoring Montgomery County Officer Noah Liotta, FOX 5 asked Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to comment on the recent issues that have taken place in Prince George's County schools. At that time, Gov. Hogan said, "I hope that Prince George's County is able to police itself, but we'll take a look. I don't have all the facts at this point."
 
Then, on Wednesday afternoon, Governor Hogan's office released the following statement about the situation: 

"The recent allegations involving multiple officials in the Prince George’s County Public School System are horrendous and deeply troubling. Governor Hogan's office has reached out to officials with the State Board of Education and Prince George's County to ascertain what steps are being taken to address this issue. With investigations still underway, Governor Hogan urges local leadership and school officials to do everything in their power to protect the students in their care and ensure that parents are always kept informed about the well-being of their children." 
 
 
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