Council Committee to Discuss MCPS Policy on Abuse Allegations
The Montgomery County Council’s Education Committee has scheduled a worksession for Feb. 2, to talk about the Montgomery County Public Schools’ policies and procedures regarding child abuse allegations that occur on school property.
The worksession was scheduled in response to community concerns regarding MCPS delays in informing the respective school communities when alleged incidents of abuse were recently reported at multiple schools.
The Education Committee, which is chaired by Craig Rice and includes Councilmembers Marc Elrich and Nancy Navarro, is scheduled to meet at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 2 in the Third Floor Council Conference Room of the Council Office Building in Rockville.
“Professionals in education and health have been required for many years to report possible abuse to the police or to child protective services,” Rice said. “We have become accustomed to seeing such reports of abuse shared with parents. Why these particular incidents did not follow the same practice needs to be addressed. Recently, some of us have been shaken by multiple reports of possible abuse at public schools in Montgomery County. To heighten our concern, these incidents have spurred a larger discussion within the county as to how these incidents are handled and whether additional measures may need to be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of our students.”
Councilmember Rice said Superintendent of Schools Joshua Starr and the members of the Board of Education will be invited to participate in the worksession. He said that the committee will not only review the facts around the two recent incidents, but also will look at how procedures can be improved in the future and how MCPS could work with other governmental agencies to appropriately address such situations.
“Our focus will be on how the school system and appropriate county agencies can work together to more quickly and decisively address such allegations,” Rice said. “In addition, two other areas require immediate attention: Communication—particularly within the school community—and prevention.”
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