PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. - FOX 5 has confirmed that 124 Prince George's County school employees are on leave for abuse, neglect or misconduct allegations.
The news coming after a meeting on Monday where top school leaders had to answer to the county about continuing allegations of child abuse within the district.
The number of school employees on leave for misconduct was not discussed at the meeting, but a district spokeswoman later confirmed the number.
For perspective, there are 20,000 employees within the school system, according to the schools CEO.
We know one of the employees on leave is a bus aide accused of molesting special needs kids at James Ryder Randall Elementary in Clinton. Prince George's County police say they will take the case to the states attorney's office on Tuesday to see if there's enough evidence to make an arrest.
The family of one of the alleged victims was at the county meeting Monday. The three-year-old child's aunt said she doesn't understand what's going on in the school system.
“I came up through the Prince George’s County school system, my mother stood in line for three days. It was one of the best school systems in the area. This is not the same school system I was brought into,” said Riva Ladonna, the child's aunt.
Dr. Kevin Maxwell, Prince George’s county schools CEO, spoke about the continued problems, saying, “I know many of you are concerned about media reports about ongoing safety issues in our schools. I want to assure you that I share that concern. And I assure you that we are working aggressively to address the root causes and dismiss individuals who disregard our student’s welfare, well-being and dignity.”
Maxwell also told county leaders that three school employees with the Head Start program have been fired, and that he wants to fire three more after it was discovered that educators were mistreating children.
Maxwell said that all district staff has been re-trained on how to report abuse. Employees have been told to go directly to child protective services if they have any concerns where, In the past, they could just go to a supervisor within the school.
That re-training came after a school aide was arrested last year, accused of sexually abusing kids and filming the abuse at school.
Maxwell said that with the re-training, reports of suspected abuse have now tripled, presumably a reason for the high number of staff members on leave for misconduct. FOX 5 reached out to a district spokeswoman who said she could not elaborate on the high number of employees on leave.