GLENARDEN, Md. - 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 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.
"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."