Monthly Archives: June 2016

Ex-PGCPS Deonte Carraway Indicted

…on 270 Counts in Child Sex Abuse CaseDeonteCarraway_1454966996900_819754_ver1.0_1455045115080_823075_ver1.0

A former Maryland school aide has been indicted on hundreds of charges following allegations he sexually abused students at a Prince George’s County elementary school.

A grand jury indicted Deonte Carraway on 270 counts of sex abuse of a minor, sex offenses and child pornography charges Tuesday. The indictment covers 23 victims.

“Mr. Carraway is facing multiple life sentences if he is found guilty of these offenses,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said.

Carraway had served as an aide at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Prince George’s County, first as a paid teacher’s assistant and then as a volunteer.

Prosecutors say Carraway made videos of children having sex with him and each other at the school, at a church and at other locations in Maryland. The videos allegedly produced include videos showing Carraway having sex with a 9-year-old boy and an 11-year-old boy. He “threatened, pressured, enticed, and/or coerced children” to engage in the acts, the indictment said.

The alleged victims included children between the ages of 9 and 12, according to court documents.

The more than 50 videos he allegedly produced will be used as evidence, and the victims will not be put on the stand, Alsobrooks said.

Among the hundreds of charges Carraway is now facing: 23 counts of sex abuse of a minor; 125 counts of first-, second- and third-degree sex offenses; 66 counts of creating child pornography; and 56 counts of possessing child pornography. Some of the charges stem from acts depicted in cellphone videos taken on various dates, according to the indictment.

The alleged abuse occurred between August 2015 and February of this year, the indictment said.

All of the charges stem from Carraway’s interactions with students at the school, the state’s attorney’s office said.

Carraway has pleaded not guilty. In March, a judge ordered him to remain in jail as the case proceeds.

“He needs to not ever be around children again, as far as I’m concerned,” said the mother of a 10-year-old victim. “He’s where he needs to be right now.”

In April, Carraway’s public defenders argued that the court should suppress some of Carraway’s statements because some of those statements might have been “involuntary.” The attorneys also sought to suppress evidence taken from Carraway’s cellphones.

His defense attorneys said Carraway “exhibited significant cognitive deficits, with a full scale IQ of 63, which placed his overall intellectual functioning in the deficient range.”

Carraway was arrested Feb. 5 after the uncle of a 9-year-old boy saw a nude image on the child’s phone, according to police. Police also said Carraway waived his rights and admitted his role in producing child pornography.

The state’s attorney’s office is conducting an investigation into whether anyone else should be held accountable.

Source: Ex-School Aide Deonte Carraway Indicted on 270 Counts in Child Sex Abuse Case | NBC4 Washington pgcps_logo


Keep nonpartisan school board elections truly nonpartisan


Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III visits students at Bladensburg Elementary School in August 2013. (Amanda Voisard/For The Washington Post)

By David L. Cahn and Tommi Makila June 17
David L. Cahn is co-chair of Citizens for an Elected Board. Tommi Makila is a founding member of the Alliance for Nonpartisan School Board Elections.

Under Maryland law, county school board elections must be nonpartisan. Unfortunately, that has been the case in name only in Prince George’s County. For decades, partisan officials have endorsed candidates for the county’s Board of Education and added them to their slates and partisan sample ballots. In addition to tying the candidates to political parties, these endorsements have provided the establishment-favored candidates with a significant financial advantage that is very difficult for their truly nonpartisan opponents to overcome.

Over the past several years, the school board has become increasingly politicized. In 2013, the Maryland legislature reorganized the school system’s governing structure through House Bill 1107. This law added four partisan appointees to the previously all-elected, nonpartisan school board and allowed the partisan county executive to appoint the board chair, vice chair and superintendent (now called the chief executive). The law also weakened the board and transferred many of its powers to the chief executive, putting the administration of our schools and decisions about school closings in the hands of a political appointee.

Partisan meddling in our school board elections has intensified this year. For example, Cheryl Landis of the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee is running for the District 5 school board seat. In the April primary, she was promoted heavily — and successfully — by numerous partisan elected officials. This meddling is likely to continue in the general-election campaign. The candidate has even used her own social media page to present herself as a Democratic candidate for school board, posting a partisan endorsement under the banner “Democrats 2016.

This meddling must stop!

To ensure that our schools do not become embroiled in party politics (including intraparty politics), we are calling on the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee and all partisan elected officials to stop endorsing candidates in nonpartisan school board elections and to stop publicizing the school board endorsements they have already made.

We call upon all school board candidates to repudiate any partisan endorsements they have received; ask to be removed from partisan slates, sample ballots, posters and social media; and ensure the public that, if they are elected, they will govern our school system without regard to party politics.

We also call for repeal of the 2013 legislation that stripped much of the power from our elected school board representatives and watered down our voting rights. Our schools need to be led by individuals who are responsible to the voters, not to the political establishment.

via Washington PostScreen-Shot-2014-12-29-at-11.34.35-PM



DC teen threatens mass shooting at PGCPS high school

Still0624_00000_1466807962100_3404918_ver1PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (WUSA9) — A local teenager is under arrest after D.C. police foiled his alleged plot to use an AK-47 to shoot up his ex-girlfriend’s high school in Prince George’s County.

The 17 year-old is being charged as a juvenile, so we can’t name him, but we can share details of his horrifying plot.

Not only did the teenager threaten to commit a mass shooting at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, he planned a series of violent attacks because his ex-girlfriend wouldn’t date him anymore, police said.

“Well, we need to take guns off the street,” said Ethel Briggs of Silver Spring. “If we didn’t have guns so accessible to people, we wouldn’t be hearing these horror stories.”

According to a search warrant obtained by WUSA9, the 17 year-old from D.C. planned to go to his ex-girlfriend’s Greenbelt home and kill their entire family and bring his friends with him to watch.

“It’s really frightening. Because this is our neighborhood and this is where we invest in raising our kids and we’re committed to creating a better community and a safe place so it’s just terrifying,” said Tammy Colandrea of Greenbelt.

He also allegedly threatened to go to his ex-girlfriend’s high school and “shoot it up.” In text messages, he promised to “kill her along with anyone inside the school.” He also vowed to attack her mother’s workplace in New Carrollton and kill his ex’s new boyfriend.

“It’s outrageous,” said Jenny Gayosso of Greenbelt. “You should think that being in school, they should be safe. You wouldn’t think something like that would happen.”

Jenny Gayosso has two children at Roosevelt High School, including daughter Kayla Gayosso.

“That’s other schools, but you never think it’s going to happen to your school. And when it does, that’s just crazy,” said Kayla.

The 17 year-old’s plot was stopped after D.C. police got word of the planned attack. Officers searched his Northeast, Washington home and seized an AK47 assault rifle, 180 rounds of ammunition, marijuana and a fake ID.

“If anybody thinks for one second that the actions of the Gun Recovery Unit there didn’t save countless lives, you’re making a mistake. That’s the stuff they do every day, said D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

The teenage suspect is facing child pornography charges. He allegedly took video of his ex-girlfriend performing a sex act and posted it on Instagram out of revenge.

The teenager is being held in D.C., awaiting extradition to Prince George’s County. He faces gun charges in D.C. and threat and child pornography charges in Greenbelt.

Read more>>>WUSA9


Three TFA Teachers Removed from RI Charter School

...for Texting Disparaging Comments about Students

AR-160629824Three Teach for America teachers at Blackstone Valley Prep School in Rhode Island resigned after they were discovered to have texted each other with disparaging comments about their students.

In the expletive-ridden messages, teachers spoke casually about students, calling them “idiots,” and “dumb [expletives].”

The school head denounced their actions and brought in counseling for students and teachers. He said this “very tragic thing” would not happen again.

The teachers who resigned were trained by Teach for America (TFA), an alternative teacher training program that places young adults in schools across the country. They were suspended by that program.

Teach for America offers five to seven weeks of summer training before someone is hired by schools. Typically, these students are recent college graduates. TFA requires a two-year commitment.

No experienced teacher would have done something so stupid that you cannot even fathom it. 01 newport ri coastline credit onne van der wal



PGCPS Elementary teacher arrested in prostitution sting


Martin Brown (Photo: Prince George’s County Police Department)

HYATTSVILLE, Md. (AP) —According to WTOP,  Authorities in Maryland say a Prince George’s County elementary school teacher has been arrested in a prostitution sting operation.

 Officials say 29-year-old Martin Rye Brown of Silver Spring was arrested Tuesday on charges of prostitution and human trafficking.

Brown is accused of soliciting a prostitute and renting a room that was used for prostitution.

 Police say Brown is a teacher at Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School in Hyattsville.
 Prince George’s County Public Schools system said in a statement officials are aware of the suspect’s arrest and will cooperate with authorities in the investigation.

Hogan opposes plan to cut Maryland school inspection goal

Larry Hogan Jr 4_1415213452087_9455646_ver1.0_640_480According to Baltimore sun, Gov. Larry Hogan is opposing a plan by Maryland’s school construction chief to reduce the number of school maintenance inspections the state conducts each year.

David G. Lever, the soon-to-depart executive director of the Interagency Committee on School Construction, proposed the reduction this week. He said cutting the goal of 220 annual inspections to 100 reflects the “reality” of his agency’s staffing problems.

The initial response from Hogan’s office was that the governor would leave the matter to the committee, but on Thursday night he posted a statement on Facebook in which he joined Comptroller Peter Franchot in flatly rejecting the proposal.

“It’s hard to understand how anyone, especially someone supposedly in charge of Maryland school construction, could think it’s a good idea to do less school maintenance inspections,” Hogan wrote. “This is a very important issue. It’s about the safety of our students.”

The governor’s opposition puts the fate of the proposal in serious doubt. While two of the committee’s five members are appointed by General Assembly leaders, two are Hogan appointees — General Services Secretary C. Gail Bassette and Planning Secretary David R. Craig. The fifth vote is held by Karen B. Salmon, the interim state superintendent of schools.

When Lever proposed the change to the five-member committee Wednesday, one of Hogan’s appointees asked that a vote be deferred. The board agreed to hold a vote by teleconference next week.

Lever told the board that the agency has a backlog because it has only two inspectors — one is retiring and the other is on leave. The program manager position is vacant.

Hogan dismissed that contention.

“This is not an issue of staffing; over the last two budgets, we’ve increased the number of state employees working there,” he said. “I stand strongly with Comptroller Franchot on this issue; this is not the direction our state needs to go.”

Lever said Friday that the agency is “well aware” of the importance of inspections. He said the agency has kept up with inspections but has not had enough staff to produce follow-up reports.

The agency hopes to fill its vacancies soon, but doesn’t want to rush. “We need very qualified people and it can be very difficult to find qualified people,” he said.

Lever’s proposal calls for the agency to conduct 100 inspections in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The number would increase to 185 annually, putting the agency on pace to inspect each school every eight years instead of its current goal of every six.

If the proposal is turned down, Lever said he’s not sure what the agency can do. “We’ll have to figure it out at that point,” he said.

Lever plans to leave his post Sept. 1. He charged that Hogan and Franchot politicized the process of allocating school construction money and resigned in protest. Hogan reacted by saying he was “pleased” and wished Lever would quit sooner.

Former Del. John Bohanan, who along with former Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman was appointed to the panel by the legislature, said it was an overreaction to portray the move as gutting the maintenance inspection program.

“Lever was basically saying, ‘Here’s the reality given the resources and the budget,’” said Bohanan, a Democrat who represented Southern Maryland. He said inspections should be discussed by a commission on school construction recently appointed by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, both Democrats.

Busch said he would like to see a report from the committee members on how many employees are needed to maintain the inspection schedule.

“We have to find the appropriate level of staffing to get the work done,” he said. “If we can’t, it’s our fault.”

Hoffman, a Democrat who represented Baltimore in the Senate, said the matter is a “solvable” problem that could probably be fixed by hiring contract writers to chip away at the backlog of reports.

She said Lever’s proposal is likely an attempt to get problems straightened out for his successor.

“Until Dr. Lever’s gone, the governor is not going to be happy,” she said.



Council moves forward with bill to add two at-large members


The measure, CB 40-2016, was sponsored by Council Chair Derrick Davis, Vice-Chair Dannielle Glaros and council members Todd Turner and Deni Taveras. It’s not good for democracy and good governance!

UPPER MARLBORO – It might be getting a bit more crowded on the county council dais.

On June 14, the county council voted 7-0 to introduce a measure that, if it succeeds after a public hearing and a second vote, would be submitted to referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot and amend the Prince George’s County Charter. The amendment would add two at-large seats to the Prince George’s County Council, to be filled by voters county-wide. Currently, the body only contains district council members who are elected only by residents of their specific districts.

The amendment also specifies that a district council member who has already served the maximum two terms allowed by the current charter would still be eligible for one of the at-large seats, potentially doubling the time a councilmember could serve from two to four terms.

The measure, CB 40-2016, was sponsored by Council Chair Derrick Davis, Vice-Chair Dannielle Glaros and council members Todd Turner and Deni Taveras.

Davis said the county’s original charter from 1970 did include at-large members. His first exposure to the issue came in 2000 when he was a member of the charter review commission, which meets every four years to advise the council on ways to improve governance through amending the charter.

“This getting to the ballot is a culmination of processes, for me, that started in 2000. If you go back and look at all the charter reviews, you will see there have been many recommendations that have been made over the years, every four years,” Davis said.

Prior to the vote, the council heard from a panel of speakers about regional governance issues. One speaker, Rosalyn Pugh, said adding at-large members would bring more equality with the executive branch.

“The executive branch has a county executive who is elected county-wide, while we have our county council members elected in the legislative branch only district-wide. And so we have an imbalance between the two branches of government,” she said.

The primary benefit, as Davis sees it, would be the ability for the council to more easily look at issues holistically as opposed to just how they would benefit the individual district each member represents.

“As opposed to focusing on creating opportunities, we are focused on the few opportunities that are here and how we divide it up. We become more in-tune to division and not in-tune to multiplication, and I think division is our undermining,” he said.

Turner agreed with the argument as a result of his experiences in municipal government, where he served as both a district-based and at-large council member.

“What I found during that was your focus – always the same as a member of a body; you want to do what’s in the best interest of the residents – you also had somewhat more freedom being in an at-large position to take on issues that you saw, in my case it was city-wide as opposed to just my district,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t necessarily have the opportunity to think about how that would impact the rest of the county.”

Councilmembers also preemptively responded to an anticipated counter-argument that this is an attempt by current office holders to circumvent term limits.

“This is clearly an attempt to structure our governance to be competitive in this region. It starts with our internal structure and sort of disavows the notion that internally we need to fight over the crumbs. This is the furthest thing from personal. This is clearly, from my perspective, about the politics of Prince George’s County in the region,” Davis said.

Although the measure cleared the first hurdle and is now headed for public hearing, some council members did express reservations.

Councilwoman Mary Lehman wondered why the decision was made to go with nine district and two at-large as opposed to restructuring to maintain the same number of members but enlarge the districts to accommodate the at-large councilmembers. She mentioned that Montgomery County has a 5-4 split between district and at-large members.

“One question I have, I’m not necessarily opposed to expanding the legislative branch to have, I’d like to think, better representation, but where’s the debate about what that looks like?” she said.

Lehman also brought up the issue of cost. The county is dealing with a structural deficit already.

“What is the fiscal impact of adding two more council members to this body? It’s not zero, I can assure you, and so residents deserve to know what the price tag is,” she said.

But Davis said thinking more in terms of one county versus district-by-district would encourage more development and, thus, revenue.

“People always talk about penny wise, pound foolish. When you’re fighting over pennies, you never get to fight for dollars,” he said. “This is not about tunnel vision. This is about the regional vision for Prince George’s County and the state vision for Prince George’s County and our rightful place in it.”

CB 40-2016 next goes to a public hearing, which was set for July 11 at 7 p.m. after Lehman requested an evening time to allow more citizens to participate. If it passes the subsequent vote by the council, it will be sent to the board of elections and must be certified by August 15 to appear on the November ballot. All referenda in the county must be on a presidential election year ballot.

Recognizing this could be a contentious issue, Glaros urged residents to be thoughtful in considering the proposal.

“We live in an environment, a very hostile environment, I think, with the national election scene, and I would urge folks to sort of listen, listen and listen and weigh and think about what you feel are the pros and cons,” she said.

Via Prince George’s county sentinel 


The measure, CB 40-2016, was sponsored by Council Chair Derrick Davis, Vice-Chair Dannielle Glaros and council members Todd Turner and Deni Taveras. It’s not good for democracy and good governance! This is a way of hanging onto power through the backdoor.