Investigation finds MCPS Principal Joel Beidleman engaged in misconduct

A months-long investigation found that a Montgomery County Public Schools principal engaged in misconduct and violated sexual harassment policies while on the job. 

The investigation from the Montgomery County Maryland Office of the Inspector General that found that Dr. Joel Beidleman engaged in misconduct while he served as the principal of Farquhar Middle School.

READ MORE: Investigation into promotion of Principal Joel Beidleman finds ‘significant and troubling failures'

The investigation began after The Washington Post accused Beidleman of sexual harassment by dozens of teachers back in August. 

According to the investigation, Beidleman "made repeated comments about the appearance of female subordinates, directed offensive comments and jokes of a sexual nature at subordinates, bullied subordinates, and had a sexual relationship with a subordinate over whom he had supervisory responsibility." 

It also states that due to Beidleman's behavior, staff was afraid to disagree with him, were worried about their job security and felt intimidated and disrespected. 

The results of the investigation have been passed on to the Superindent of Schools Dr. Monifa B. McKnight, who will then take appropriate action. Beidleman was placed on "extended leave" after The Washington Post reached out regarding sexual assault allegations. 

This investigation is one of two into MCPS, the second reviewing MCPS's process for responding to allegation of misconduct by school employees. 

As reported in August, Beidleman was allegedly reported to MCPS 18 times over seven years – with little to no repercussions. In fact, he was promoted this past June to run Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville. 

READ MORE: Montgomery County executive blasts school board after principal promoted amid harassment allegations

A civil discrimination lawsuit was filed against Montgomery County’s Board of Education and former Principal Joel Beidleman last month, with some parents saying they expect more lawsuits to come.  

READ MORE: Parents say MCPS ignored complaints about principal for years

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Monifa B. McKnight released a statement in response to the report: 

The investigation by the Montgomery County Maryland Office of the Inspector General regarding allegations of misconduct by Dr. Joel Beidleman confirms some of the most troubling aspects of this matter. The Board of Education is committed to using the work of the Inspector General, both this investigation and the second pending report reviewing the processes and procedures for handling complaints of misconduct, as a catalyst for thorough systemic reform and enhanced accountability. The Board of Education will put policies and systems in place that nurture and support a culture of respect where employees feel safe and confident that complaints or concerns will be addressed. The Board thanks the Inspector General for the work of her and her team.