Tag Archives: PG County

Prince George’s County special ed teacher among 27 charged in federal drug bust in DC area

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BOWIE, Md. (ABC7) — A Prince George’s County special ed teacher has been charged in in a 20-month federal drug bust in the DC area.

Zenja Truitt works at Bowie High School and the school district says she’s been employed since 2016.
Truitt, 47, was one of the 18 people arrested and a total of 27 indicted.

Federal law enforcement officials say the group is accused of conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine – between June 2016 and August 2017.

More than 2,000 grams of cocaine and more than 200 grams of heroin were seized, along with firearms, vehicles, body armor and more than $40,000 in cash.

According to an announcement from U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, “A total of 21 locations were searched during the law enforcement actions on April 12, including four in the District of Columbia, 11 in Prince George’s County, two in Calvert County, Md., one in Charles County, Md., two in Anne Arundel County, Md., and one in Montgomery County, Md.”

Some of those charged face life behind bars. Truitt could spend 20 years in prison.

The announcement from U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu:

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Zenja Truitt works at Bowie High School and the school district says she’s been employed since 2016.

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BOE Member Sonya Williams In major water as Arun Puracken joins the 2018 race – as people’s choice – District 9

81744AA3-C8FD-4F91-8B22-BEC03F92ACCAWe finally have a Teacher Running for Board of Education. This is the way to go Mr. Arun Puracken. Education matters and it is the key to life. It should matter now more than ever.

Mr. Arun Puracken school board campaign launch was more lit than some delegate, Senate, and Council campaign launches. There is lots of love and support from the community and the board members themselves starting with Mr. Edward Burroughs III, Mr. David Murray and Ms. Raaheela Ahmed our “rebellious, fearless leaders”.

we encourage more teachers and others to step up to run for various political offices and lead the way forward in Maryland. This is one way to shake up the state and the county Leadership in order to make a difference in the future.

Nominate a Leader to be Featured in Education Matters

Do you know a leader in your community supporting our schools and making a difference in the lives of children both in and out of school? We are seeking nominations for individuals to be highlighted in our Leadership Spotlight segment. Nominees could be principals, superintendents, teachers, teacher assistants, guidance counselors, parents, students, business leaders, community volunteers, afterschool providers, and more.

Here are Some pictures from Mr. Arun Puracken Friday December 8th, 2017 event.

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Meeting scheduled for December 3rd, 2017. Please Make Plans to Attend.

1455397056443Join (PG Parents for Education – Action group) for a major meeting at Wegmans in Largo.

Woodmore Towne Centre
9001 McHugh Dr, Lanham, MD 20706
When: On Sunday December 3rd, 2017
Time: from 3pm to 4:30pm

Topics for Discussion

  1. More Ways for staying involved within the county.
    Advocating for youth, teachers/staff, parents and special education needs referenc
  2. Ways to Fund raise for cases already in litigation.
  3. preparation for input during December 5th, 2017 Prince George’s county delegation 2018 legislation public hearing.
  4. Better Ways for fight against corruption in Maryland. (Grade change scandal, physical and sexual abuse, mistreatment of children, and other issues done by Administration).
  5. ways to assist victims of crime in the county.
  6. Promoting Good leaders for 2018 election cycle.
  7. Other issues.

We hope to see you all…

Cost: free

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#MovingForwardTogether #MajorMeeting #ParentsSummit #PGCPS #PGPARENTS #BetterSchoolsIntiative #FightCorruption #HeadsOn #ReduceCorruption
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*If Congress won’t fix corruption. Together, we can.*

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2 confirmed cases of tuberculosis at PGCPS high school

IMG_1667UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – Two people at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro have been diagnosed with tuberculosis, according to school officials.

Prince George’s County Public Schools say the two confirmed cases of the bacterial infection are being treated, and other students and staff are not at risk of additional exposure.

The school system did not say if the affected individuals were students or staff members.

“Although the risk of exposure is small, we are working with our health professionals to offer TB screening out of an abundance of caution,” said Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell.

Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium that usually attacks the lungs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of the disease include a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or phlegm, weakness or fatigue, weight loss, no appetite, chills, fever and sweating at night.

Prince George’s County health officials say it normally takes at least eight hours of close contact in a small room for tuberculosis to be passed on to others, and it cannot be contracted from shorter exposure periods such as passing a person in a hallway or sitting in a cafeteria for an hour.

“The Health Department and PGCPS prioritize the health and safety of all students, staff, and parents,” said Prince George’s County health officer Pamela Creekmur. “We are working expeditiously to provide information, screening, and any additional follow up to maintain the health and wellness of the Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School community.”

via Fox 5 DC

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PGCPS student robbed after being dropped off at wrong bus stop

kidbusLANDOVER, Md. – A Prince George’s County middle school student says after orientation day at his new school, his bus driver dropped him off at the wrong stop and he was robbed of his new Nike sneakers and cell phone.

The seventh grader’s mother says her son was left at Kenilworth Avenue and Eastern Avenue on Tuesday, which is nearly two miles from their home in Fairmount Heights.

Tameika Jackson didn’t want her 12-year-old son to be identified, but she let him speak with FOX 5 about what happened. He says a group of men approached him soon after he got off the bus.

“This one guy, he came up to me and then he said, ‘Give me your phone and then your shoes,'” the boy said. “And they were at least 20 years old, so I didn’t know what else to do. So I gave them my shoes and my phone. And after that, there was this one girl at the [Metro] bus stop, I walked up to her and asked her if I could use the phone to call my mom.”

The boy said he had told the bus driver where he lived, but was dropped off there anyway. Jackson says she is furious.

“I picked him up, he was barefoot, no shoes on,” she said. “And there was a bunch of junkies out there. He was upset, he was shaking and I just told him everything was going to be fine, but I will get to the bottom of it. And I brought him home. He says he doesn’t want to go back to school tomorrow.”

Jackson says she called FOX 5 because she couldn’t reach anyone at G. James Gholson Middle School in Landover where her son attends.

A Prince George’s County Public Schools spokesperson says they are now investigating what happened and alerted the school’s principal to the situation.

The principal later called Jackson and apologized, saying she will personally make sure the boy is on the correct bus headed to the correct location on Wednesday and in the days to come. The transportation director also contacted Jackson by phone Tuesday night.

Jackson says she never got bus information in the mail prior to the start of school, so her son’s father drove the boy to school Tuesday and spoke to school staff about which bus he was supposed to be on.

She says the child got on the bus he was told to ride. Jackson says she has an older child who attended Gholson and he got dropped off at a bus stop two blocks from their home.

“I’m to the point now that I don’t want to go to work the rest of the week because I want to make sure that he feels comfortable getting on the bus and getting off the bus,” Jackson said.

School officially starts on Wednesday in Prince George’s County, but some students had orientation on Tuesday.

via Fox5DC

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PGCPS School Board Millennials

Published on Jul 12, 2017The Prince George’s Board of Education has three of the youngest school board members in Maryland. Learn who influenced them to run for office & what they consider important issues in the educational system. Patricia Villone reports.

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Ex-PGCPS School Aide Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of at Least 11 Students

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Deonte Carraway, 22

GREENBELT, Md. – A former elementary school volunteer in Prince George’s County appeared in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, Monday morning and entered a guilty plea in connection with a child pornography case that shocked the county’s school system.

Deonte Carraway, 23, pleaded guilty to all 15 federal counts of sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography. He faces 60 to 100 years in prison when he is sentenced in June.

Carraway admitted to directing young students to engage in sexual activity with each other and with himself. Federal prosecutors say he used cellphones to record the sexual acts, had victims send him pornographic videos and photos and also sent child pornography to victims.

The sexual acts occurred at several locations including Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School and inside private homes, according to prosecutors.

Police arrested Carraway last year after a family member of one of the victims discovered nude images on the victim’s phone and reported it to authorities. Federal prosecutors outlined their case against Carraway Monday, saying he had victimized at least 12 children between the ages of 9 and 13 between October 2015 and February 2016.

In addition to the federal case, Carraway faces 270 Maryland charges related to child abuse and child pornography. The local charges were pending as the federal case unfolded, and it is not clear if Carraway will enter a guilty plea in connection with them.

Between the local and federal cases, prosecutors believe he is responsible for abusing at least 23 children between the ages of 9 and 13.

The case caused outrage among parents who have filed lawsuits against the school system, claiming administrators did not do enough to stop Carraway.

School leaders established a student safety task force in response to the case last year. In May, the task force released a report and education officials announced they would set up a new office of accountability and would roll out dozens of policy, training and even curriculum changes in an effort to protect students from physical and sexual abuse at the hands of adults they are supposed to trust.

via WTOP
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The Day Former PGCPS Executive Cornered With Corruption Walked Away.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Schools director Dr. Shawn Joseph (Former PGCPS Executive) ordered his staff not to answer NewsChannel 5’s questions about his hiring practices, planning instead to attack the station’s reporting after a story aired.

That’s according to emails obtained under the Tennessee Public Records Act.

Joseph’s directive came after NewsChannel 5 Investigates questioned the hiring of two individuals with connections to the new schools director.

As previously reported, one of those hires, Kathleen Dawson, was named an executive lead principal to supervise other principals – even though she has never worked a full year as a lead principal in any school. Another hire, Tamika Tasby, was put in charge of professional development for teachers even though she has no classroom experience.

On November 10, in anticipation of that news report, NewsChannel 5 submitted specific questions to the district about the hiring of the two women.

According to the emails, the district’s senior communications director, Janel Lacy, forwarded that request to Joseph and other members of his leadership team.

“I believe it’s in our best interest to respond, since he’s likely to go forward with a story regardless,” Lacy wrote. “The story will be much worse without a response from us.”

Joseph’s chief of staff, Jana Carlisle, responded that same day: “Dr. J is disinclined to engage.”

The next day, Lacy again pushed Joseph’s team to respond to NewsChannel 5’s questions.

“I think at the very least we need to answer whether the positions were posted or not,” she emailed. “If they weren’t posted – and legally didn’t have to be posted – then let’s own that and the decisions to hire them…. Better to address it head on.”

Lacy prepared a draft statement in which Joseph would say he felt “confident that time will show we have the right people in the right places – and that we are moving at a rapid pace to give our students higher quality instruction in every school.”

Joseph responded: “No, I do not like it.”

“I don’t want us to respond,” he continued. “If he does a story, we will follow up with a very direct statement towards his conduct…period.”

JOSEPH: “I DON’T WANT US TO RESPOND” (p. 1)

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3226375-Shawn-Joseph-Emails.html#document/p1/a329264
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View the entire document with DocumentCloud
It’s not clear what Joseph intended, but the district ignored NewsChannel 5’s questions and never gave any explanation about why no statement was issued.

Since there was no response to our questions, NewsChannel 5 Investigates filed a public records request for the emails in an effort to determine Joseph’s thinking and understand his refusal to respond.

That attitude followed an earlier on-camera interview in which Joseph had become agitated about questions about his use of district employees as chauffeurs.

Ironically, in a separate exchange, emails show that Metro Council member Russ Pulley told the district’s lobbyist that “taxpayers should be more concerned about the money we are spending answering these open record requests from Phil Williams.”

That comment came after NewsChannel 5 Investigates raised questions about spending by the district under Joseph’s leadership.

Pulley shared his response to a constituent about Joseph’s spending. He told the constituent, “I agree the optics of this or [sic] not the greatest, but the reality is we can do a much better job of finding waste other than this.”

But, then, in an email to the district lobbyist, Pulley showed no concern over “the optics.”

“Please let Dr. Joseph know that he has my full and complete support,” Pulley wrote. “And I also have absolutely no problem with how he conducts his business.”

via NewsChannel 5

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Shawn Joseph was the Prince George’s district’s deputy superintendent of the teaching and learning division and oversaw numerous departments, including the early education department that oversaw the Head Start grant in which the federal government revoke a $6.4 million due to teachers mistreating students.

The notice of the revocation, sent to the PGCPS district on Aug. 12, 2016 found that teachers used corporal punishment on children, as well as humiliated them in the county’s Head Start program in the Maryland district, according to a Washington Post report.

Shawn Joseph was not listed in the report or in the notice of revocation. He officially began the Metro Schools job on July 1, 2016 in Nashville. However, emails shared later shown that, Mr. Shawn Joseph was made aware of the issues but failed to act.

The first incident of child neglect was first reported in December 2015, according to the report, and the revocation document says that a 3-year-old boy at a Prince George’s early learning school was forced to mop his urine in wet clothes.

The teacher sent a photo of the student mopping the urine to the parent, the report says. It adds that a family services worker likely discouraged the parent from filing a complaint, which was eventually filed in mid-January 2016.

The deficiencies in reporting the incident of neglect were shown to be corrected in April 2016 during a follow-up visit, according to the report. And Shawn Joseph said the investigation was handled by human resources personnel.

But further incidents occurred on June 10 2016 and June 15, 2016 according to the report, and led to the eventual revocation of the federal Head Start grant. It said efforts to ensure staff followed the standards of conduct training outlined by administrators weren’t effective.

Other issues were also found including during that time where a student left the school’s campus and walked home unnoticed by employees. Staff did not know the child’s whereabouts for more than an hour. Rather than address the issues, Prince George’s County public schools personnel together with others engaged in cover ups rather than address the issues properly.

Just like Tennessee Metro School District under Shawn Joseph,  Prince George’s County Public Schools is run in similar version in which appointments are made based on family or friends without proper regard to their qualifications to positions of authority.

Read more >>>BOE political cronyism-nepotism refresher

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PGCPS Student Shot Near Suitland High School; Search for Gunman Underway

A bullet flew through the window of a school building with a student and teacher inside

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A high school student opened fire near a high school in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Friday afternoon, shooting a fellow student and sending a bullet through the window of a school building, police say.

The student fired multiple shots in an apartment building parking lot within sight of Suitland High School in District Heights, police said.

The search for the shooter is ongoing.

A teen boy was shot in the leg and is expected to recover.
The school was placed on a lockdown that later was lifted.
Many parents rushed to the school, fearful that their children had been shot.

“Police can’t tell you anything, the school can’t call parents and let anybody know anything,” one mother said, nearly in tears. She said she had two daughters who attend the school.

Upon learning that boys had been involved in the shooting, not girls, the mother exhaled and clutched her hand to her chest.
“Thank you,” she said.

According to the initial investigation, a group of students left the school and argued in the apartment building parking lot, a Prince George’s County Police Department spokeswoman said.
One student opened fire and hit the teen. A classmate dragged him into the high school for help.

Prince George’s County police and fire and rescue was called to the scene about 12 p.m. Soon after, they found the victim near the school annex building, which houses art and music classes.
He was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police later found a bullet lodged in the ceiling of that school building. A student and a teacher were inside the classroom but were not hurt.

At least five shell casings were found.

Suitland High is a performing arts school known for its students’ achievements.

A witness told News4 he saw three students involved in the conflict: one who was shot, one who helped the victim and another who ran away.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor posted on Twitter that this was “NOT an active shooter” situation.

“The investigation has moved into the neighborhoods, where we’re currently searching for the suspect,” Lt. David Coleman said.

Student Kelai’ah Wheelen said she just wanted to go home.
“It was terrifying,” she said.

Anyone with information for police is asked to call 301-772-4910. To leave a tip anonymously, call 866-411-TIPS, send a text message with PGPD plus your message to CRIMES or visit http://www.pgcrimesolvers.com.

Source: Student Shot Near Suitland High School; Search for Gunman Underway | NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Student-Shot-Suitland-High-School-prince-georges-co-410650005.html#ixzz4VnEWjIue
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PG County Teen killed in Capitol Heights police-involved shooting

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Terrence Thomas Jr.

CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md.

A 19-year-old Prince George’s County teenager was killed Thursday morning and another man was taken into custody following an officer-involved shooting in Capitol Heights.

Prince George’s County police said they responded at around 8 a.m. to Byers Street when two officers were sent to check on a report of a suspicious vehicle.

Police found two men sleeping inside. Terrence Thomas Jr. was in the driver’s seat and a second older man was in the front passenger seat when police arrived to check out the car.

“The male officer was on the driver’s side and the female officer was on the passenger side,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski. “As they woke the individuals, the passenger immediately moved to exit the vehicle and simultaneously – and this is important, these things all occurred at the same time – simultaneously, the driver of the vehicle armed himself with a handgun and then pointed it at both the passenger and at the female officer.”

The police chief said the officer on the driver’s side of the vehicle fired two shots, which appear to have gone through the windshield.

Police released photographs on social media of a handgun on the floorboard of the driver’s side of the car, and a long gun, which was taken from the car and laid out on the street.

Stawinski said officers immediately took the passenger into custody and began CPR on Thomas. He also said the vehicle the officers walked up on was one they had been looking for.

“This vehicle does match a description for a vehicle that we believe to be involved in some robberies and shootings in this vicinity,” Stawinski said. “That is not for certain, but that is one of the investigative leads we are currently, actively working on for you.”

The shooting took place just a few blocks from Thomas’ home. He was well known here in this neighborhood.

“Everybody knew him, he was funny, he stayed around here laughing,” said Darnell Bell. “He was a serious dude, but he was also a funny dude too.”

Bell said Thomas was all about looking out for his family and friends.

But according to online court records, Thomas has recently been in trouble with the law. He pleaded guilty to a drug charge and had an upcoming court date on a gun charge. He had also been convicted on an assault charge in D.C. He went on trial and was found guilty. The judge in that case sentenced him to 180 days in jail, but all of those days were suspended.

“I just want to say that I’m very proud of our officers this morning,” said Stawinski. “Under tremendously stressful conditions, they responded well, they were measured in their response.”

Watch the video below for the full media briefing held Thursday morning by Prince George’s Police Chief Hank Stawinski:

Via Fox 5 ~~~~ See video here

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