WASHINGTON - A school board member called for the resignation of the Prince George's County School CEO after questioning an alleged cover-up regarding the county's Head Start Program.
This call for his resignation comes after the Prince George’s County Public Schools Chief Of Staff, George Margolies, was relieved of his duties following a leaked email he wrote regarding ongoing issues in the school system.
"It's very clear to me based on that email that came to light two days ago that there absolutely was," said Prince George's County school board member Edward Burroughs III during an interview on FOX 5 about the alleged coverup.
"In the email, the Superintendent Chief Of Staff details this agreement that was made between the Board Chair and Vice Chair to bury this information from the public and the board," he continued. Burroughs brought with him documentation of the email and a letter he say was from the federal government addressed to Maxwell.
"In this email, it says, 'I have reached a compromise with the Board Chair and Vice Chair to hide this information.' That makes them complicit in the cover-up. That's not okay. There are other executives that were on this email that should also be held accountable and so his resignation alone does not go far enough," Burroughs said.
Burroughs says Margolies stepping down is a step in the right direction but others should be held accountable. "I can tell you that it is impossible to govern a system when no one trusts you," adding that he will call for Maxwell’s resignation at a meeting later today.
"I mean it's very clear to me that this was covered up and not addressed and it seems like they're more concerned about ending the scandal than addressing the needs of the students. If you notice, the majority of these students are special needs. They're inaudible. They cannot speak for themselves. And so it's important that we work together publicly to get them justice," he said.
FOX 5 spoke with Margolies Wednesday afternoon just hours after leaving his position and asked him whether Dr. Maxwell was aware of the problems within the county's Head Start program.
"I don't have to speak for Dr. Maxwell," he said. "I believe everything Dr. Maxwell says – when he learned about them and when he didn’t learn about them."
Margolies said although his leaked email was not part of a cover-up and the email is one of many that continued a discussion that had started back in December of 2014 – well before the allegations.
"It had nothing to do with the issue of corporal punishment for Head Start students," said Margolies Wednesday. “Ms. Boston was pressing hard that we have a discussion at the board meeting on Head Start. I was suggesting that if we have discussion on Head Start at board meetings on a regular basis, why not have a discussion on Gifted and Talented students, special education students, ELL (English-language learners) students? And that there is another way to transmit information about Head Start.”
Margolies shrugged his shoulders when asked if an email with a contentious tone was enough to seal his fate with the county. He believes he was made the scapegoat by certain board members for a series of scandals surrounding the school district.
"If you're going to fail to act to protect kids – and when you do - you cover it up. you don't have the integrity necessary to continue to be superintendent in my view," Burroughs said Thursday.
Burroughs says he recognizes the risk he is taking by being vocal about these issues. "A lot of these students are special needs. They're inaudible. They cannot fight for themselves and it is my job to ensure they get their justice."