UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — The Prince George’s County Board of Education voted to relinquish a federal grant for the county’s Head Start program after a scandal involving two cases of mistreatment of some students in the preschool program.
When the school system was originally notified about the cases of mistreatment, the Administration for Children and Families, which controls the $6.4 million in federal money given to the county to run the program, ordered the school system to take corrective actions.
“We will continue to investigate the events that occurred and hold accountable the systems and or individuals who failed to protect our children,” said board chair Segun Eubanks during a Thursday night board meeting.
“ACF takes seriously our responsibility to ensure all Head Start grantees foster a healthy and safe environment for the children and families they serve,” the administration said in a statement.
“That’s scary, that you would have to actually worry that you can’t trust a school system to ensure that your child is safe,” parent Helen Ballard said during the meeting.
“I think it is very clear to me that we need a state or federal investigation on what occurred; it makes no sense to me to have the school district investigate itself,” said board member Edward Burroughs.
Baker’s spokesman, Scott Peterson, said the county executive has expressed his anger and disappointment over the situation but will not ask the two to step down.
The program for children between the ages of 3 and 5 serves more than 900 kids In Prince George’s County.