Tuesday is election day – Four important votes to cast for school board

By Tonya V. Wingfield
Tuesday is election day and there are four important votes to cast for school board. I was troubled to read a Washington Post article that states our future County Executive, who is the highest prosecutor in the county, has endorsed the three incumbents (Boston, Grady, Williams) that did nothing to hold Dr. Maxwell and Dr. Eubanks accountable when he broke state law despite the law being clear in determining when the law has been violated:
Family Law – Title 5 – Children
Subtitle 7 – Child Abuse and Neglect
§ 5-704. Reporting of abuse or neglect — By health practitioner, police officer, educator, or human service worker.
(a) In general. — Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including any law on privileged communications, each health practitioner, police officer, educator, or human service worker, acting in a professional capacity in this State:
(1) who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, shall notify the local department or the appropriate law enforcement agency; and
(2) if acting as a staff member of a hospital, public health agency, child care institution, juvenile detention center, school, or similar institution, shall immediately notify and give all information required by this section to the head of the institution or the designee of the head.
(b) Oral and written reports; cooperation among departments and agencies. —
(1) An individual who notifies the appropriate authorities under subsection (a) of this section shall make:
(i) an oral report, by telephone or direct communication, as soon as possible to the local department or appropriate law enforcement agency; and
(ii) a written report:
1. to the local department not later than 48 hours after the contact, examination, attention, or treatment that caused the individual to believe that the child had been subjected to abuse or neglect; and
2. with a copy to the local State’s Attorney.
(2)
(i) An agency to which an oral report of suspected abuse or neglect is made under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall immediately notify the other agency.
(ii) This paragraph does not prohibit a local department and an appropriate law enforcement agency from agreeing to cooperative arrangements.

Dr. Maxwell and Eubank’s breaking of the above stated law resulted in the federal government terminating our Head Start program after over 50 years of successful management. In a board meeting it was disclosed that Carolyn Boston also was aware of the abuse; thus also breaking this law. And even after discovering a tape of students with special needs being molested was in the possession of the administration since November 2015 and parents not notified until September 2016 they again did nothing to hold Dr. Maxwell or members of his senior staff accountable. Subsequent to the Head Start, Judge Sylvania Woods and James Ryder Randall at least three additional cases involving sexual misconduct/assault have occurred on school grounds.
In the case of the Head Start program, Dr. Maxwell and Dr. Eubanks admitted during a board meeting that they made the decision to withhold the information from other board members and the public; thereby preventing and interfering with other members of the board to report the abuse. They confessed to breaking the law, yet these three incumbents turned a blind eye. State law is clear of the penalty for violating the law:
Family Law – Title 5 – Children
Subtitle 7 – Child Abuse and Neglect
§ 5-705.2. Preventing or interfering with report of suspected child abuse or neglect prohibited.
(a) Preventing or interfering with report prohibited. — An individual may not intentionally prevent or interfere with the making of a report of suspected abuse or neglect required by § 5-704 or § 5-705.1(c)(2) of this subtitle.
(b) Penalty. — A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $ 10,000 or both.
Instead of pushing for the enforcement of the law, these three board members voted to reward Dr. Maxwell with a $800,000 separation package in 2018 when they should have held Dr. Maxwell accountable and given the board the votes it needed to fire Dr. Maxwell in 2016. Imagine what $800,000 could have done to fund schools.
It’s frightening that the State’s Attorney would endorse incumbents that have demonstrated they break laws and not hold law breakers accountable, especially when it pertains to the protection of children in our school system. For me it does call into question her motives, but that’s a vote that cannot change. This is also another reason it is important that Carolyn Boston, Lupi Grady and Sonya Williams are voted out of office. Ms. Alsobrooks will become the next County Executive and to endorse a candidate she knows broke the law and two whose silence condoned the actions of those law breakers creates a dynamic our system does not need if the goal is to restore the people’s trust by electing school board members that will hold the next CEO, his/her administration and their own peers accountable for their decisions and actions that hurt children.

So on Tuesday, please vote against the incumbents. For District 3, please vote Juwan Blocker. During all the scandals and efforts to disenfranchise students and school-based personnel, Juwan stood by our students, parents and teachers. He has demonstrated he will not be bought by the political establishment.

These are good school board meeting to watch that make it clear the law was broken. Listen to the remarks from Shauna Garlington Battle, Esq. General Counsel.

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