PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is urging public school officials in Prince George's County to do everything they can to protect their students, amid allegations of molestation and several incidents concerning student safety. Hogan's office released a statement on the situation after FOX 5 asked the Governor for answers Tuesday.
Allegations of the molestation of four elementary students rocked Prince George's County Public Schools earlier this week. The students, who attend James Ryder Randall Elementary School, were allegedly molested by a school aid on a school bus on May 24, but the incident wasn't reported to Child Protective Services until June 20.
Then on Tuesday, PGCPS CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell announced that the principal at Judge Sylvania W. Woods Elementary School has been placed on leave after allegations were made via email. Maxwell would only say the principal was placed on leave after an accusation was made via email. Prince George's County police said they are still trying to determine the validity of the anonymous email in question.
Judge Sylvania W. Woods Elementary is the same school where former school aide Deonte Carraway worked. Carraway, 22, was indicted over the summer on 270 charges of child sex abuse and pornography involving children.
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."
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.