PGCPS CEO requests external investigation by Md. Dept. of Education into Head Start issues

FOX 5's Alexandra Limon reports.

- Parents in Prince George’s County are pushing for accountability after multiple controversies within the county’s school system. On Thursday, we heard something new from Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell – an apology.

Maxwell announced he has asked the Maryland State Department of Education to conduct an external investigation in the alleged abuse in the county’s Head Start program as well as into the school system overall. He said this investigation will be made public.

Maxwell also addressed the leaked email from former chief of staff George Margolies to several members of the county’s school about discussing the Head Start program. Margolies resigned from his position Wednesday after being asked to step down by Maxwell.

“Allow me to be clear, this email does not constitute evidence of a conspiracy or cover-up,” said Dr. Maxwell. “It was solely about the format of how information is shared with the board, and not information shared with the board related to the Head Start Policy Council. However, I do acknowledge that its detrimental effect on the working relationship and the need for trust between my senior staff and the board. I want to publicly apologize to this board for that message.”

Once again, we heard from families personally affected by the alleged abuse in the school system, which included Charles Nichols, the father whose 4-year-old special needs son was reportedly molested allegedly by a school bus aide.

“I trust you with the care of my child and the security and his well-being,” said Nichols. “I blame the school board, Prince George’s County board and government entirely for failures from keeping my son from being molested.”

One after another, people asked for Maxwell, the board chair and board vice chair to step down. They feel the resignation of Margolies on Wednesday is not enough. They believe he was used as a scapegoat and said he is not the only one who should be held accountable.

On FOX 5 News Morning on Thursday, Prince George’s County school board member Edward Burroughs is calling for Maxwell’s resignation and will request it at a meeting being held Thursday evening where the CEO will be present.

“We had a meeting before that meeting where several of the members expressed the desire for the superintendent to step down,” Burroughs told FOX 5 Thursday afternoon. “And we made an agreement that we were going to come out and do a press conference momentarily as a unit to request that he step down.”

When we asked Burroughs if he received a response from Maxwell, Burroughs said, “Dr. Maxwell was there and he was on his phone and didn't look at me when I was talking to him. He seemed very disinterested in any of my comments.”

Maxwell has said in the past said he does not intend to step down from his position.

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