Author Archives: sasscer

14-year-old PGCPS boy in critical condition after ‘near-drowning incident’ at Six Flags wave pool: Officials

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Six Flags America in Maryland is pictured in a Google Street View image dated 2018.

Saturday June 16, 2018 A Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) teenage boy was hospitalized in critical condition after a “near-drowning incident” at Six Flags America in Maryland on Wednesday, Prince George’s County Fire officials said.

The 14-year-old was rescued from a wave pool at the park and taken to a hospital after being treated by park officials and the county paramedics, said Six Flags spokeswoman Denise Stokes.

Stokes did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the near-drowning.

“The safety of our guests is always our highest priority,” Stokes said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the guest and his family,” she added.

The boy is an eighth-grader at Beltsville Academy who was at Six Flags for a class trip, Principal Leslie Lowe said in a letter to families Wednesday.

“A number of students who witnessed the incident were deeply affected by it,” Lowe said in the letter. “A support team of school psychologists, professional school counselors, and pupil personnel workers from Prince George’s County Public Schools were said to be available on Thursday to provide counseling and support to students and staff. Counseling will continue to be available for both as long as necessary.”

“I know that you join me in sending our very best wishes to the student’s family,” Lowe added.

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Beltsville Academy 

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(VIDEO) Shock as Former PGCPS Students caught on camera fighting in a popular shopping mall over a man

5Two women suspected of being area former PGCPS students were caught on camera fighting over a man in a popular shopping mall.

The shameless bimbos with strong ties to Nigeria caused a scene as they went all out on each other in a crazy catfight.

As usual, the fake hair was the easy target as they pulled off the weaves while hurling insults with wild abandon.

Such ugly scenes of women fighting over men in public have become commonplace. There have been other similar incidents such as happened at Ardmore Elementary School  on June 12th, when Principal Georgette Gregory decided to go down with teacher during recess as students watched to their dismay.

Watch the madness below.

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Shock as PGCPS Ardmore Elementary School Principal decides to go down with teacher – Accused of assault, hurling expletives.

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Principal Georgette Gregory is accused of an assault, hurling expletives, and yelling at a teacher in the school grounds at Ardmore Elementary School

Saturday June 16, 2018 – Principal Georgette Gregory, of Prince George’s County Public School’s (PGCPS) Ardmore Elementary School is without a doubt determined to go down  due to reports of a deliberate assault on a teacher during recess on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, which was widely reported on social media.

According to reports on social media, created by user Crystljms and later by Crystal Jewel, both County citizenry wondered what was going to be done after Principal Georgette Gregory assaulted a teacher in plain view of students. According to their reports, the County Police and an ambulance were sent to respond to the school; the teacher was transported to the hospital. On Tuesday,  Crystljms requested that this blog call the CEO’s office to ask what was being done about the principal’s misconduct.

On June 15, 2018, Crystal Jewel wrote on Facebook regarding the events at Ardmore Elementary. She wrote, “Please help me understand. On Tuesday, during recess, students witnessed the principal at Ardmore Elementary School hurling expletives, and yelling at a teacher. The principal even assaulted the teacher. Police and an ambulance came to the school, all of which, children bore witness to, yet no one has even released a statement to the parents regarding what occurred. Despite dozens of calls from parents inquiring about what their children witnessed, no one seems to care about the appropriate trauma responses needed for the kids or feel the need to release a statement to the parents… I am just at a lost as to what to do….Community members have called me, but who actually can make sure the children are addressed in this? The CEO office has been contacted, the Board Vice Chair, County Executive office….still nothing!”

President Theresa Mitchell Dudley of Prince George’s County Educator Association (PGCEA) stated that, We are in contact with our member and PGCPS. There is an investigation and we are taking this very seriously. The issue of notification of parents is a decision PGCPS makes.”

Later through social media, Doris Reed – the Executive Director of Association of Supervisory & Administrative School Personnel (ASASP) – stated that, I would caution sharing allegations. I believe the investigation will include everyone involved.”

Below are samples of the comments on social media:

There have been numerous concerns regarding the widespread shenanigans of Prince George’s County administrators. The issues have always been cover-ups and a bandage to the problems rather than addressing the underlying grievances.

Corruption erodes trust in public institutions and democracy, as it: undermines our internal market; hampers foreign investment; costs taxpayers millions; and in many cases, helps organized crime groups carry out their dirty work. This instance and the response of the PGCEA highlight that individuals without a sound education are like society without a sense of direction.

The stark difference between the 84 executives hired by Dr. Maxwell and the 20 executives hired by Former Superintendent Dr. Hornsby raises serious concerns. Dr. Maxwell and his cronies, including the Thatcher Law Firm in Greenbelt, “carry water” and the Union lawyers for the current executives, who have been robbing the County blind. Additionally, there are allegations that some of the attorneys at PGCPS Sasscer have not yet passed the bar, but still get paid to sit around.

Corruption flourishes when someone has monopoly power over a good or service, has the discretion to decide how much you get or whether you get any at all, and where transparency and accountability are lacking. So, to fight corruption, we must reduce monopoly and discretion, and increase transparency in several ways.

Corruption = Monopoly + Discretion – Transparency

Enhancing accountability means many things, and creative leaders use a remarkable variety of methods. One way to improve accountability is to improve the measurement of performance. Leaders can work with their employees and clients to create new systems for measuring the performance of agencies and offices—and then link rewards to results.

Accountability is also increased by inviting outside agencies to audit, monitor, and evaluate.

What about ethics and morality? Successful leaders set a good example. They often create training programs for employees and citizens. The keys are systems that provide better incentives for imperfect humans to perform in the public’s interest—and to avoid corruption.

Subverting Corruption

When corruption has become systemic, it resembles organized crime. It has its own parallel system of recruitment and hierarchy, of rewards and punishments, and of contracts and enforcement. This parallel system contains  inherent weaknesses. For example, bribery and extortion are not legal in any country of the world. Therefore, they must be kept (somewhat) secret. The money gained must be hidden. One cannot openly recruit new members. The mechanisms for enforcement are illicit.

How can these corrupt systems be subverted? Obviously we cannot count on members of organized crime to clean themselves. Instead, we must analyze the corrupt systems and ask, “How might they be destabilized?” Who is “we”? It can be a new president and his or her administration, or a new mayor, or a leader of a public enterprise; but it can also be you and me as members of civil society. Around the world, we see new examples of: citizen activism; business groups entering into “integrity pacts”; and intellectuals, journalists, and religious leaders going beyond lectures and sermons to analyze corrupt systems and work together to subvert them.

By asking Rushern Baker III, to solve their Education problems, Prince George’s County and Maryland leaders should know that it’s like telling the hyena to help search for your stray sheep in the forest! Many in the County leadership can not learn a thing. They lack common sense, human dignity, are corrupt or driven by the desire for free cash whose source is unknown!154819_135618879938997_1040738368_n

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Chaperones accused of drinking at prom for Prince George’s Co. school; principal placed on leave

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 – Three administrators, including the principal, at a Prince George’s County high school are on administrative leave while the school looks into allegations that chaperones were drinking during the school’s prom.

Northwestern held its prom on May 18 at a brand new hotel across the street from the University of Maryland.

An emergency staff meeting was held at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville Wednesday afternoon where an announcement was made to staff about the administrators being placed on leave.

According to Prince George’s County Public Schools spokesperson John White, the school system is investigating a claim that school administrators, who should have been sober and chaperoning the event, were instead drinking at the hotel bar.

White confirmed that Northwestern High School principal Carlene Murray was placed on administrative leave along with assistant principals Christopher Burrows and Patricia Duffy.

White said Duffy and Burrows are accused of drinking while Murray was put on leave for her conduct related to the prom. However, she is not accused of drinking at the event.

FOX 5 reached out to all three administrators through email, but have not received a response as of Wednesday evening.

A source familiar with the administration at the school said Burrows and Duffy were placed on leave immediately after the prom and Murray was placed on leave on Monday.

Hyattsville police confirmed a school resource officer went to the hotel after the prom and obtained footage from surveillance cameras.

A teacher at the school, who asked to remain unidentified, was at Wednesday’s emergency meeting at the school. He said he was not at the prom, but the allegations did not surprise him.

“We have lots of evidence with film, witnesses and people who were there, so it is not surprising at all,” he said.

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Via Fox5DC

Prince George’s school board members allege ‘massive’ payout being considered for embattled CEO

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Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell has not submitted a letter of resignation six weeks after saying he would step down. (Mark Gail for The Washington Post)

Donna St. George

Six weeks after the leader of the public school system in Prince George’s County announced plans to step down, he has not submitted a resignation letter, and several school board members allege a “massive severance payment” is under consideration.

A three-member board minority bloc is calling on County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) to oppose any effort to provide severance money to embattled chief executive Kevin Maxwell, who has been embroiled in controversy for much of the past year.

“A date for Dr. Maxwell’s last day of service has not been communicated to us or the public, the board has not discussed his departure at all, and we have heard that you, and school board members appointed by you, are orchestrating a massive severance payment for Dr. Maxwell,” the minority bloc wrote in a letter sent to Baker on Wednesday.

The letter comes as Baker faces the final stretch of his campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor, with the June 26 primary less than two weeks away.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Baker said that discussion about a possible severance payment should wait until after the school year ends. The last day of classes is June 20.

“I don’t want anybody focusing on anything but children until the end of the year — until we get past all of this — and then that’s when they could talk about the settlement,” he said. “That’s going to be between the school board and Dr. Maxwell.”

Maxwell announced May 1 that he would leave his leadership post sometime after the end of the school year, a decision that came amid scandals over large pay increases to senior staff and inflated graduation rates in Maryland’s second-largest school system.

But no details were given, and school board chairman Segun Eubanks said the board would address the matter once the academic year ended.

Eubanks said Wednesday he had not seen the letter from the minority bloc and had no comment on what he believes are false and baseless allegations.

School district officials confirmed Wednesday that Maxwell has not provided a resignation letter. “He said his transition will be discussed after the school year,” said spokesman John White.

In announcing his “transition” from the school system, Maxwell said distractions had taken a toll on students, families and staff. He also noted political realities, with county executive candidates calling for a change in school-system leadership.

The letter to Baker — who handpicked Maxwell in 2013 and reappointed him last year — noted in bold letters that Maxwell’s contract does not require a severance payment and also said the board is “under no obligation to spend taxpayer dollars” for one.

A full payout of Maxwell’s contract would cost well more than $1 million, said board member Edward Burroughs III, a frequent critic of Maxwell. With three years left on a four-year contract, Maxwell earns a base salary of $299,937, and also gets raises, retirement contributions, annual leave and other benefits.

Rather than steer money to Maxwell, district efforts could be boosted instead, the letter said: expanding prekindergarten, purchasing classroom supplies and covering the cost of Advanced Placement and SAT exams.

Burroughs said he has been told by several people familiar with the situation that Maxwell is not leaving unless he is paid a severance. No transition plan has been made, he said, and no temporary leader has been tapped to take over when Maxwell leaves.

“The public was under the impression that he was resigning and there was a last day identified,” he said. “Neither of those things are true.”

David Murray, also part of the board’s minority bloc, called the wait troubling and said it appeared to be linked to the primary. Baker does not want a controversy about a pay package just before voters cast ballots, he asserted. Early voting starts this week.

“I’ve never seen a departure of a superintendent like this,” he said. “It’s very odd. We’re pretty much in limbo, at the will of Dr. Maxwell. No one knows when he’s leaving.”

Scott Peterson, a spokesman for Baker, said Burroughs provided the letter to the media before sending it to Baker. “With early voting starting tomorrow and election day just 12 days away, I’m not surprised he is delivering yet another letter to the press to sensationalize a process that he knows very well is between Dr. Maxwell and the Board of Education,” he said in a statement.

The minority bloc — which also includes Raaheela Ahmed — told Baker it is important to keep in mind what they described as “numerous examples of poor management and oversight of our county public schools during his tenure.”

They cited the district’s loss of a $6.4 million federal Head Start grant, its lack of oversight on graduation protocols and “outrageous” pay raises to “select” central-office employees. The letter also noted that poor execution of a new policy on reporting suspected abuse in schools had led to hundreds of employees being placed on administrative leave.

Last month the NAACP and union leaders spoke out about Maxwell’s departure, urging that he leave by June 30 and that a temporary replacement be named quickly.

via Washington Post

Read more>>>Scandals Affirm Maryland As an emerging Union Corruption Capital.

Family of officer killed by friendly fire during police ambush files lawsuit in Md.

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Jacai Colson (Prince George’s Police Department/ Reuters)

Lynh Bui

An undercover detective fatally shot by a fellow officer as they responded to a shootout in front of Prince George’s County police headquarters had his badge in his hand and was shouting “Police! Police!” before he was killed, according to a wrongful-death lawsuit the slain officer’s family filed Monday.

The lawsuit asserts that the officer who killed Prince George’s Det. Jacai Colson in 2016 showed a “reckless disregard for human life” by shooting through a view obstructed by a fence at someone who did not match the suspect description radioed to law enforcement.

The lawsuit in Prince George’s County Circuit Court was filed against the officer who shot Colson, Taylor Krauss, and the county.

Colson gave his life protecting his community and fellow officers, the Colson family said in a statement, and the lawsuit seeks “complete accountability for Jacai’s death.”

“Complete accountability means holding Officer Taylor Krauss responsible for recklessly firing his weapon under circumstances where no reasonable officer would have fired,” according to the family’s statement, sent through Baltimore-based attorney Jason G. Downs. “Indeed, no other officer fired at Detective Colson underscoring the reckless and senseless nature of Officer Krauss’ actions.”

Krauss, who has been with the department about eight years, is being represented by the county attorney and remains on the force. He declined to comment on the lawsuit when reached through the county police union.

A grand jury that met for seven weeks to review evidence in the case declined to indict Krauss of murder and manslaughter four months after the shooting.

The lawsuit stems from a March 16, 2016, attack on a police station in Palmer Park, Md., in the suburbs of Washington. Police, including Krauss and Colson, swarmed the area after a man fired shots at the station’s doors, at officers and randomly at cars and an ambulance while the shooter’s two younger brothers recorded the incident on their cellphones.

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Officer Taylor Krauss, a veteran of the Prince George’s County Police Department, who mistook Colson for an armed threat.”

Colson arrived at the scene in street clothes and began firing at the shooter. During the chaotic scene, Krauss mistook Colson as an additional assailant and fired, thinking he was protecting a police officer pulling up in a marked cruiser, police and prosecutors have previously said.

The lawsuit asserts that calls to 911 described the man firing randomly as a heavyset black man with dreadlocks and in a black jacket. Colson, according to the lawsuit, had an athletic build — at about 5-9 and 156 lbs. — and wore a shortcut Afro and beard. The lawsuit also noted that Colson and Krauss had worked in the same building and at adjacent desks.

After Colson arrived, he got out of a car and fired 11 times at the man shooting at the station before the shooter fell to the ground. Two officers disarmed and detained Ford as Colson ran down the street to a community center for safety. Krauss had fired at Colson twice from the parking lot through a wooden fence and missed. After the shooter was down, Krauss fired a third shot from behind a wall — the fatal hit to Colson.

Before he was struck, the lawsuit said, Colson can be heard on police radio shouting, “Police, police!”

“Detective Colson’s badge,” the lawsuit asserts, “was found laying between his left shoulder and left hand.”

County Executive Rushern L. Baker III’s “thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Colson family,” county spokesman Scott Peterson said. He “understands that the filing of the lawsuit is the family’s way of seeking redress for their loss. This matter will ultimately be left to the courts to determine the outcome of this case.”

The grand jury that heard testimony on Krauss’s actions had to consider whether he was negligent and “whether or not the actions of this officer in the mind of a reasonable person acting in his position would have been reckless,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said when announcing that the grand jury had declined to indict Krauss.

Colson’s work as an undercover officer probably played into the grand jury’s decision, Alsobrooks said. The grand jury also considered local and national concerns centered around race-based policing and implicit bias, Alsobrooks said. Colson was black and Krauss is white.

Three brothers were arrested in the incident. Michael DeAndre Ford has been charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder in the shooting and is awaiting trial. His younger brothers, Malik Ford and Elijah Ford, who police say drove their brother to the scene and recorded it on cellphones as the shooting unfolded, pleaded guilty in their cases.

Via Washington Post

Read more >>> Officer Accidentally Shot Fellow Officer During Videotaped Maryland Shootout by PGCPS students

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Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks (seen here) “The grand jury that heard testimony on Krauss’s actions had to consider whether he was negligent and “whether or not the actions of this officer in the mind of a reasonable person acting in his position would have been reckless,” She said.

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‘A ticking time bomb’: MS-13 threatens PGCPS school, warn teachers, parents, students

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Prince George’s County police cruisers were parked outside William Wirt Middle School in Riverdale, Md., in May. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

Michael E. Miller

The boys had once been friends before MS-13 began recruiting one of them. Now, as other students streamed to class one April morning at William Wirt Middle School in Riverdale, Md., the two teens squared off in the third-story bathroom — a fight captured by another student on his cellphone.

The MS-13 recruit threw a punch at his former friend’s head. His opponent ducked and tackled the 15-year-old, their sneakers squealing as they tumbled to the green tile floor.

“I like that,” someone shouted off-camera as the recruit tried to cover his head.

“That look like it hurt,” someone wrote under the video, which was uploaded to Instagram on April 19 and has been viewed more than 400 times.

Gang-related fights are now a near-daily occurrence at Wirt, where a small group of suspected MS-13 members at the overwhelmingly Hispanic school throw gang signs, sell drugs, draw gang graffiti and aggressively recruit students recently arrived from Central America, according to more than two dozen teachers, parents and students. Most of those interviewed asked not to be identified for fear of losing their jobs or being targeted by MS-13.

Although administrators deny Wirt has a gang problem, the situation inside the aging, overcrowded building has left some teachers so afraid that they refuse to be alone with their students. Many said they had repeatedly reported incidents involving suspected gang members to administrators, only to be ignored — claims supported by documents obtained by The Washington Post.

“Teachers feel threatened but aren’t backed up. Students feel threatened but aren’t protected,” one educator said. “The school is a ticking time bomb.”

The gang’s presence at Wirt comes at a time when the Trump administration has declared war on MS-13, and communities throughout the country are confronting a surge in MS-13-related violence.

Nearly a dozen parents told The Post they were worried about gang activity at the school, which is located 10 miles from the White House. Many said they were intent on transferring their kids. Several said they were scared their children would be killed.

One eighth-grader said she had been raped in the fall by a schoolmate in MS-13 — an attack that took place off school property and that she reported to police, but then recanted out of fear of the gang. Prince George’s investigators concluded the report was unfounded, but the girl said she now lives in fear the gang will stab her as she leaves school.

Rhonda Simley, the principal at Wirt, declined repeated requests for an interview.

“The principal is aware of concerns about gangs in the community, but has not experienced any problems in school,” Prince George’s County school system spokesman John White wrote in an email.

Prince George’s police, which has an officer stationed at the school, declined to discuss the allegations of gang activity.

“This is their house, so we’re going to defer to school leadership,” said police spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan. “If school security isn’t telling us about something, then we don’t know.”

As of May 1, police had been called to the school 74 times this school year, according to a police department tally requested by The Post.

Five students had been arrested for assault, drug possession and bringing a BB-gun into the building, White said in an interview.

Although teachers estimate there are only a dozen or so MS-13 members at the school, other students have banded together to resist them, leading to an arms race of sorts. Teachers said at least four knives and four BB-guns were found at Wirt this year, although White put the tally at two knives and one BB-gun.

“If someone doesn’t do something soon,” said the eighth-grade girl’s father, “there’s going to be a tragedy at that school.”

‘Completely out of control’

Evidence of MS-13’s sway at Wirt isn’t hard to find. Just follow the dirt path that winds from the edge of the school’s parking lot into the woods, across a stream and towards the rear of Parkdale High.

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A tree defaced by an MS-13 tag in the woods between William Wirt Middle School and Parkdale High School, where there was a near-fatal gang-related stabbing in February. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

Here, a few hundred feet from both schools, the trees are covered in MS-13 graffiti. Empty beer cans, candy wrappers and crumpled assignments surround a stump blackened by fire. One tree trunk appears as if it has been used for knife practice.

Ten MS-13 members attacked a gang rival in these woods in February, hitting him in the back of the head with a baseball bat before stabbing him three times in the stomach, according to police. Eight Parkdale students were arrested, although only one had attended Wirt. Two months earlier, a shooting involving another Parkdale student and MS-13 sent both schools into lockdown.

Dozens of schools from Northern Virginia to Long Island to Boston are dealing with a resurgence of MS-13, which has been linked to a string of grisly killings throughout the country. The gang’s growth has been fueled by a wave of 200,000 teens who traveled to the United States alone to escape poverty and gang violence in Central America. The vast majority enroll in school and stay out of trouble, but a small percentage get involved in MS-13 here.

Nearly 5,000 of those unaccompanied minors have arrived in Prince George’s since 2012, affecting schools in Langley Park, Hyattsville, Beltsville and Riverdale. Wirt was struggling before the influx of so many vulnerable kids helped swell the school’s population by 50 percent.

Around 1,200 students now pack a building designed for 750, many housed in a dozen dilapidated trailers. Nine out of 10 students who walk up Wirt’s rainbow-colored front steps receive free or reduced lunch and most are not reading or doing math at grade level.

They are being educated at one of the county’s oldest middle schools, slated to be replaced by 2020 after years of leaks and mold. Simley, a first-time principal who arrived at the school in 2016, is the school’s third leader since 2014.

Many teachers said they care deeply about the school’s unaccompanied minors, who are often traumatized by the journey to the United States, alienated from relatives here and isolated by their limited English. But they also said a small number of these children are more than troubled: They are MS-13.

One educator was stunned when, at the beginning of the school year, a handful of students continually shouted obscenities and threw objects around the classroom. The educator soon noticed the same students scrawling “MS-13” on papers, desks and their skin. They bullied Spanish-speaking classmates and sexually harassed the girls in class. Several students openly counted cash, allegedly money earned from selling marijuana in Wirt’s bathrooms, transactions that a student and several parents also described to The Post.

But administrators brushed aside complaints, the educator said, and the behavior spread to other students.

White denied administrators have ignored complaints of gang activity, adding that neither school security guards nor the police officer there had reported problems.

Documents obtained by The Post supported the educator’s account, however. And other employees offered similar stories. One recalled how MS-13 members bullied a girl so badly she dropped out of the school.

Fights have increased dramatically as MS-13 pressures recent arrivals to join the gang, teachers said. Several said suspected MS-13 members have burst into classrooms and attacked students.

“We now have two to three fights per day,” one instructor said. “At this point, it’s completely out of control.”

White played down those reports.

“Do fights occur at the school? Yes, but they occur at schools across the country,” he said. “Until we have evidence that [gang activity] was the cause of the fight, we don’t know. And so far, we haven’t found that evidence.”

White said there have been 32 suspensions this year for fighting.

In a recent emergency staff meeting, the principal attributed an uptick in violence to a “race war” between Hispanics — who make up roughly 80 percent of the school — and black students, according to people present.

White acknowledged Simley used those words but said she was urging her staff to intervene to prevent a “race war.”

Teachers said the fights haven’t been over race but resistance to MS-13.

One Hispanic eighth-grader told The Post that he and other U.S.-born students — black and Latino — banded together after an attack by knife-wielding MS-13 members last summer.

Many fights are arranged ahead of time via social media, filmed in the bathroom and then uploaded to private accounts on Instagram or Snapchat with names like “William Wirt Fights.” The videos are a recruitment tool for MS-13.

“They only post them when they win,” the eighth-grader said.

White said the school is aware of the videos but did not consider them gang-related.

Fighting tends to intensify in the spring, which teachers call “recruitment season.” They described seeing older kids — including former students now at Parkdale or other local high schools — loitering just beyond the boundaries of the school.

In the past, officers from Prince George’s police gang unit came to the school to teach employees to recognize indicators of MS-13 affiliation, like hand signs, light blue clothing, colored rosaries and Nike Cortez shoes.

But this year, the gang unit never came, leaving first-year teachers to figure it out on their own — in some cases, too late.

“The jumping, the recruitment, they are trying to do it here,” said Maureen Williams, an eighth-grade science instructor. She said she was familiar with MS-13 from years of teaching in Los Angeles, where the gang was founded in the 1980s. But at Wirt, she said administrators and police didn’t seem to be taking the issue seriously.

“They are not doing enough,” Williams said. “They need to get a grip on it before it proliferates.”

One of her colleagues described the administration’s stance on gangs as “don’t ask, don’t talk about it.”

White said the school takes gang activity seriously, but the situation has improved since last year to the point that the principal no longer felt the need for a gang unit meeting.

Some employees said they are worried the school’s inaction will result in bloodshed. One recalled watching school officials pull a large folding knife from a student’s pocket after receiving a tip he intended to stab someone. But that student was back in class two weeks later.

“These kids are getting a slap on the wrist,” that educator said. “The school has enabled the gang through its lack of enforcement.”

Teachers said they frequently aren’t informed when students were suspended — even for bringing weapons — and that serious incidents often aren’t entered into students’ records.

White said the school follows county guidelines on discipline and that teachers aren’t required to be notified why students are suspended. Students had been suspended 168 times this year, he said, but none had been expelled.

“Without metal detectors, which we do not have, we do our best . . . to identify any dangerous activity at schools,” he said.

Several educators said they have been threatened by students in MS-13. Two teachers said they are worried gang members have identified their cars and could follow them home. At least one female teacher was sexually harassed by a suspected gang member, her colleagues said.

“There is a genuine risk,” one said, “but the school is pretending the problem doesn’t exist.”

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William Wirt Middle School seen from the woods where there was a near-fatal MS-13-related stabbing in February. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

‘Look what I have here’

It began with a photo.

The girl had recently arrived in the United States, one of about 1,000 unaccompanied minors placed with relatives in Prince George’s County last year. When her uncle gave her some Nike Cortez sneakers, the 14-year-old posted a picture of herself wearing them online.

Then the threats began.

“Which [gang] do you represent?” asked an older girl in Spanish on Facebook last fall. “If you wear Corteses you know what kind of trouble you’re in.”

The girl said she didn’t mean anything by it, but it was too late.

“I already have you being watched,” the older girl said. “You go to William [Wirt] and you’re in 8th [grade] and I also know where you live.”

Days later, the girl was sleeping when she began receiving messages from a boy, she recalled. It was well after midnight, but the seventh-grader told her to come outside, where he and some friends were waiting in a car. When she didn’t reply, he began angrily calling her. They were MS-13, she recalled him saying, and if she didn’t come out then they would come in and kill her and her family.

They took her to an apartment where the boy showed her an array of knives.

“He said he could cut my guts out,” she told The Post.

The girl described the attack to Prince George’s and Bladensburg police that day. She said her assailant chose her from several girls at the apartment.

“He said, ‘I’m taking this one,’ ” she told a female officer, according to a recording her father made of the interview. “He began to touch me. The other ones left, and he began to take off my clothes.”

When she told him to stop, he took out a knife and said, “Look what I have here,” she said.

“Then he began to rape me,” the girl told police. “I began to cry because it hurt.”

Later, when a male officer questioned her, however, the girl began to worry the gang would come after her so she recanted, she told The Post.

The girl spent the next couple of weeks at home, angry and depressed, she said. When she returned to school, she and her father met with school officials. She said she told them she had been raped by a student in MS-13, and identified him, but the school took no action.

White said the school was aware the girl had disappeared from home but not of her rape allegation. It was up to police to investigate incidents outside school, he said, although the school offers students counseling and support.

Other families told similar stories about MS-13 violence and intimidation. One Honduran mother said her 15-year-old son came home with a broken hand at the beginning of the school year. When he was injured a second time this year, she pressed him for details. The eighth-grader eventually told her that MS-13 members had made him fight another student in the bathroom.

Then he suffered a concussion after another fight this spring, and she took him to the hospital for the third time. A psychologist who spoke to her son came away so worried, he gave her a note to take to school.

“He said, ‘If you don’t protect your son, the next time you bring him to the hospital he’s going to be dead,’ ” the mother recalled.

The school assigned one of its three security guards to watch over her son when he changed classes or ate lunch, she said. But as soon as the guard was absent, her son was jumped by MS-13, she said.

She has seen videos of him fighting inside the school and fears that he is now being pressured to join the gang. When she peeked at his phone, she found a message from an MS-13 member saying the devil was angry with him and to watch his back. “I don’t know how to make him understand that I’m worried about him, worried for his life,” she said.

Another mother said she had brought her son to America as a baby to escape gang violence in El Salvador. So she was shocked when her boy, now 13, told her MS-13 was trying to recruit him at Wirt.

“They told me if I didn’t fight, they’d stick the knife in me,” she recalled him saying. She, too, saw videos of her son fighting in the school’s bathrooms. And she, too, went to the school to demand it do something.

“Many kids have disappeared because of this gang,” she said she told a school counselor. The school assigned a security guard to watch over him, too, she said.

Some parents said they had tried taking away phones or deactivating social media accounts to prevent their kids from being recruited. When one mother let her son use her phone, she received a message from an MS-13 member saying the gang was going to cut out his tongue.

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Bullets allegedly left in the hoodie of an eighth-grade student at William Wirt Middle School by an MS-13 member. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

The girl who alleges she was raped said the same boy also threatened her with a gun he brought to school, and another MS-13 member put two bullets in her hoodie as a warning.

The girl said she reported the gun incident to security but not finding the bullets. White said the gun incident was not reported.

The girl is now being recruited by members of MS-13’s rival, 18th Street gang, her father said. He panicked when she disappeared from school in early May. Police found her at an 18th Street hangout.

Her father has started driving her to and from school each day for protection. Next year, he said, she will be attending a high school where the gang has less of a presence. But first, she has to finish eighth grade.

As she walked down Wirt’s rainbow steps one May afternoon, she passed the MS-13 member who had left the bullets in her hoodie.

“I’m going to give you such a beating, girl,” he muttered in Spanish, she said, as a Prince George’s police officer sat in his squad car a few feet away.

Before she could react, her father appeared at the end of the stairs. He put his arm around her and guided her to the car. She slid into the back seat and slammed the door, staring out the window as Wirt slipped out of sight.

Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.

via Washington Post

Read more:

‘I’m not going anywhere,’ rapped a defiant MS-13 gang member. Days later, he was dead.

She thought she’d saved her daughter from MS-13 by smuggling her to the U.S. She was wrong.

‘You feel the devil is helping you’: MS-13’s satanic history

Trump’s MS-13 crackdown: Going after suspected gang members for immigration violations

‘Vying for control’: How MS-13 uses violence and extortion in America’s jails

Scandals Affirm Maryland As an emerging Union Corruption Capital.

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