Monthly Archives: October 2016

Concerns over substitute teacher screenings in PGCPS

subteachers_1477911891584_6678110_ver1-0

PGCPS Board of Education HQ at Sasscer

By Mikea Turner, WUSA

CLINTON, Md.- A concerned mother is raising questions about the screening and training process for substitute teachers assigned to special education classrooms after an incident in her son’s class.

A few weeks ago, a substitute teacher at Barnaby Manor Elementary ‘tapped’ Ashley Thomas’ six-year-old son on that back of his hand after reaching for something he wasn’t supposed to on a chalkboard.

“The principal called and stated Alex went up to the chalkboard to get something he wasn’t supposed to and the substitute teacher went over to him and tapped his hand,” Thomas said.

Alex,Thomas’ son, has autism. He’s a first-grader at the elementary school. She tells WUSA9 she was really upset when she got a phone call from an apologetic school principal about the physical discipline.

According to a school medical record, a teacher took Alex to the nurse’s office to be examined for injury after the incident.

He was not hurt, but Thomas said her son should have never been touched.

“You don’t know how hard a tap is. My first reaction was at least it was his hand, it could have worse,” the boy’s mother stated.

A spokesperson for the Prince George’s County Public School System tells WUSA9 the matter is under investigation and the substitute teacher has been removed.

Thomas tells WUSA9, Alex’s school teacher was out for several weeks in September.

During that time, Thomas said Alex had multiple substitutes which confused him. She said autistic children need structure and need to be clear about what is going on. She noticed a change in his behavior for lack of adjustment.

She said she is not confident that substitute teachers are equipped to handle children with special needs.

“To me, these teachers need to be screened.” Thomas said.

“They need to be asked ‘do you know how to work with special needs kids?’

WUSA9 reached out to the county’s public school system to find how subs are picked for classrooms with special needs students. A spokesperson tells WUSA9 there is no specific training outside of “the same annual training sessions as full-time employees. “However, several steps are taken to look for substitute teachers that meet the needs of their assigned school.”

Prince George’s County Public Schools released the following statement to WUSA9’s Mikea Turner:

Prince George’s County Public Schools substitute teachers are required to participate in the same annual training sessions as full-time employees. We take several steps to ensure that our substitute teachers meet the needs of their assigned school. Whenever possible, we look for substitute teachers with experience serving that student population. We maintain a database of high-performing substitutes.

Via WUSA9 image

***

14-Year-Old PGCPS, 18-Year-Old DCPS Students Killed in Shooting After Party in Capitol Heights

103116briandavisandtoddjameswebbjr

Todd James Webb Jr., 14 (Right), and Brian Davis, 18 (Left), were pronounced dead on the scene.

CAPITOL HEIGHTS, MD – A second student who was killed in the Capital Heights early Sunday morning  has been identified  as a 18-year-old Brian Davis who lived in Northwest Washington D.C. and attended Roosevelt Senior High School. On Monday, students there left flowers and wrote notes about Davis on neon poster boards.

As reported earlier,  14-year-old Todd James Webb Jr who was a Prince George’s County Public Schools student was also shot dead after a double shooting in Capitol Heights early Sunday morning, police said.

Around 2:45 a.m., police responded to the 6800 block of Walker Mill Road for a shooting. There they discovered six victims in a parking lot.

Todd James Webb Jr., 14, and Brian Davis, 18, were pronounced dead on the scene.

The high school students died after someone opened fire on the 6800 block of Walker Mill Road, in the parking lot of the apartment complex where Webb lived.

Police arrived about 2:45 a.m. Webb and Davis were dead, one man has life-threatening injuries, another person still is hospitalized with less serious injuries and two other people were treated at a hospital and released, police said.

Of the four surviving victims, two remain in the hospital, one with life-threatening injuries. The second victim is expected to survive.

Detectives are working to arrest the suspect(s) in this case. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and indictment.

Police have not said if any of the victims were residents at the apartment and are working to see why there was such a large crowd in front of the apartment at the time of the shooting.

Reform Sasscer Movement Secretariat spoke to younger men who were around a scene of an accident earlier on Saturday evening and they said were students of Prince George’s county public schools (PGCPS) celebrating Halloween. They were unsupervised. They told this reporter of drug problems in the area.

“You should remember Todd just by his warm embrace. He was just so funny,” said Todd Webb’s sister Sharniqua Brooks.

Webb was only 14 years old. He is described as a good kid, who was on the honor roll at Suitland High School.

A gofundme page has been set up for Todd Webb. His sister told the press he wanted to be a police officer. Click this link to help his family. 

Another gofundme page has been set up for Brian Davis who lived in Northwest Washington D.C. and attended Roosevelt Senior High School.  Click this link to help his family as well.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to http://www.pgcrimesolvers.com and submit a tip online.

>>>Read moreimage

***

Trial of former PGCPS aide facing child porn charges postponed

DeonteCarraway_1454966996900_819754_ver1.0_1455045115080_823075_ver1.0

Deonte Carraway

The trial of a former elementary school volunteer accused of producing dozens of pornographic videos of students and other children has been postponed until next year.

 

Deonte Carraway was scheduled to go to trial in Prince George’s County Circuit Court on Nov. 1, 2016 but attorneys on both sides will likely ask for a continuance this week to have more time to prepare, said John Erzen, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office.

According to court documents, Carraway coerced the children to perform sexual acts so he could record videos of them. The videos show Carraway engaging in sex acts with the children as well as the children engaging in sexual behaviors with each other.

Carraway volunteered as a school aide at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Glenarden and also led a children’s choir in the community where he met many of his victims.

He was indicted on state charges of child sexual abuse and other sex offenses in Prince George’s County. Police and prosecutors say he handed out cellphones to children and communicated with them through an anonymous social media app to solicit recordings and photos of children performing sexual acts at an elementary school, private homes and other sites.

A new date for Carraway’s trial in Prince George’s Circuit Court has not yet been set. Carraway’s trial in federal court is currently scheduled for March 2017.

>>>Read more

image

***

Update: PGCPS Student shot dead identified.

CwCkjUKXYAAOO0_.jpg

Todd Webb Jr was A student in Suitland high school in PGCPS and was trying his best to stay out of trouble.

A 14-year-old boy (Todd Webb Jr) who was a student in PGCPS Suitland High School and an 18-year-old are dead and a man is in critical condition after a shooting at an apartment early Sunday morning in Capitol Heights, Maryland.

Prince George’s County Police say they were called to the scene in the 6800 block of Walker Mill Road at around 2:45 a.m and found six shooting victims. Todd Webb Jr., 14, and Brian Davis, 18, of Capitol Heights and NW Washington DC respectfully, were pronounced dead at the scene while the other four were taken to a local hospital. Two of the shooting victims have since been released from the hospital. One man remains in the hospital with life-threatening injuries while another remaining in the hospital is expected to survive, according to police.

Police have not said if any of the victims were residents at the apartment and are working to see why there was such a large crowd in front of the apartment at the time of the shooting.

Reform Sasscer Movement Secretariat spoke to younger men who were around a scene of an accident and they said were students of Prince George’s county public schools (PGCPS) celebrating Halloween. They were unsupervised. They told this reporter of drug problems in the area.

“You should remember Todd just by his warm embrace. He was just so funny,” said Todd Webb’s sister Sharniqua Brooks according to WJLA.

Webb was only 14 years old. He is described as a good kid, who was on the honor roll at Suitland High School.

A gofundme page has been set up for Todd Webb. His sister told the press he wanted to be a police officer. Click this link to help his family. 

Detectives are currently working to identify a suspect or suspects and motive for the shootings, and they’re asking for help from the public. If you have information about the shootings, please call 1-866-411-TIPS. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered.

>>>Read more

d0f02950-03cc-41d1-a8ae-783552f20be1-large16x9_pgshooting1

Evidence of gunfire on Walker Mill Rd. in Capitol Heights, where 6 people were shot overnight, 2 died. Community mourns after two teens were shot and killed in Prince George’s Co.

img_7091
image

***

Six people shot in Capitol Heights, two dead Includes a PGCPS teenager.

img_7086CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. – Six people were shot overnight in Capitol Heights, Maryland, and police say two of the victims have died. In addition, a man suspected to have stolen a car (Chrysler) from an open drug market in the same vicinity of the Washington DC /Prince George’s county border, drove a car at a high speed crashing into incoming traffic at around 3:15pm. At around 8:35pm on Saturday night, the police were still investigating the accident. (See photos below).

The Chrysler rotated and then hit the front end of an SUV, which had pulled from a parking space in the westbound lanes. It then flipped over onto its roof and hit a Pepco pole near the intersection of Division Avenue. The driver of this vehicle fled the scene but was apprehended a short time later.

The Honda rotated clockwise and hit two parked cars. The driver, Kim Moore, 50, of Bladensburg, Maryland, was transported to a local hospital where she later died.

Five others were injured in the accident, including two children. They all had serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The suspect is currently charged with leaving after colliding but police are still investigating to see if any other charges will be brought against the suspect.

Later, Prince George’s County police say around 2:45 am Sunday, officers were called to the 6800 block of Walker Mill Road in Capitol Heights. Once on the scene, they discovered that six people had been shot.

Reform Sasscer Movement spoke to younger men who were around the scene of the accident and they said they were students of Prince George’s county public schools (PGCPS) and were unsupervised. They told this reporter of drug problems in the area.

Two of those victims have died, and police say one of the deceased victims is a teenage boy from PGCPS.

Detectives are currently working to identify a suspect or suspects and motive for the shootings, and they’re asking for help from the public. If you have information about the shootings, please call 1-866-411-TIPS. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered.img_7091

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

image

***

In PG County Vote NO on ALL Ballot Questions

img_7056Vote NO on ALL Ballot Questions

PG-Politics recommends a NO vote on ALL ballot questions.

All of the county-specific questions will increase the cost of county government and increase the “structural deficit” that our greedy elected officials are using as an excuse for raising taxes.  Some of the questions will primarily benefit special interest groups, not the public at large.

The one state question could prevent the Governor from appointing the best qualified replacement in the event of an Attorney General or Comptroller vacancy.

Vote NO on the county bond questions (A, B, C, E, F).

In addition to the direct costs shown in the ballot language, these bond issues will obligate the county to pay an undisclosed amount of money for an undisclosed period in interest and other debt service related costs.

County officials have been complaining that they do not have enough money–that they have what they call a “structural deficit.”  Any additional commitments to pay the principal, interest, and fees related to these bonds will inevitably increase that “structural deficit.”

Thus, planning to spend even more money is both irresponsible and almost certainly preliminary to yet another attempt to circumvent the will of the people and raise taxes.

Question F is especially bad!  It would transfer transfer over $120 million plus ongoing interest, fees, and rents from the taxpayer to Rushern Baker’s development cronies to pay for moving county offices out of county-owned buildings in Upper Marlboro into totally unnecessary leased space in Largo.  It is little more than welfare for wealthy special interests who finance political campaigns.

And there is no real guarantee that the proceeds from any of the bond issues will actually be spent as promised.  Our elected officials have repeatedly misled us about how money will be spent–remember that the lottery was sold to us with the promise that it would fund schools, not stadiums for wealthy sport moguls.  And a number of our elected officials, including Rushern Baker, have lied to us about TRIM and raising taxes.  They have earned out distrust.

Question D is another payoff for special interests.  Adding to the county council would cost the county well over a million dollars a year, adding even more to the “structural deficit” at a time when the county claims it is too poor to fully staff police district VII.

Note that the supporters funding a yes vote on Question D are primarily wealthy special interests who see it as an easy way to buy more elected officials.

And although the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee voted against supporting Question D, many candidate committees are sponsoring a dishonest “2016 Democratic Sample Ballot” telling people to vote for the question.  I have listed some of the campaigns promoting this dishonest sample ballot in another posting.

You might want to ask your council members why providing more opportunities for career politicians to feed at the public trough is a higher priority than public safety and to whom the new at-large members will really owe their primary allegiance.

Question G is partly an admission of failure and partly welfare for lawyers.  County officials want to be able to spend tax money, again increasing the “structural deficit,” and their claimed need for higher taxes, on outside lawyers. Their claim seems to be that outside lawyers are necessary when the council and executive disagree on legal issues, but there is no explanation of why county lawyers cannot br=e trusted to interpret the law.  The state Attorney General is authorized and staffed to settle any such disputes with spending county money on outside lawyer.  And there is no accountability here–this question would essentially give the council and executive a blank check for welfare payments to lawyer cronies.

A vote for any of the county questions is a vote for higher deficits and higher taxes.

A vote for Questions D, F, or G is also a vote to reward or subsidize cronies and other special interests.

Vote NO on ALL ballot questions

via Diane C. Russell

image

***

Md. State Board of Education member resigns over back-to-school order

Larry Hogan

Gov. Larry Hogan

BALTIMORE — Gov. Larry Hogan is getting more pushback on his mandate that all public schools start after Labor Day — including from his own State Board of Education. Some of the State Board members appear to be driven by personal  self interest for some times now.

 S. James Gates, the vice president of the state board and a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland, announced he was resigning from the board Tuesday and in a letter to Hogan said the governor’s executive order “has the remarkable potential to damage both the most at risk and the most ambitious students in Maryland.”

In August, Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order mandating that all public schools start classes after Labor Day and end classes by June 15. Earlier this month, Hogan amended the order, narrowing the conditions under which most school districts could get a waiver that would exempt them from his mandate.

 Before Tuesday’s meeting, state board member Chester Finn, expressed concern about Hogan’s move saying it took away a measure of local control and that Hogan may have “undermined” his own state school board.

Last week, Hogan called local school board officials who object to the change and have raised concerns “whiny.”

 Doug Mayer, Hogan’s communication’s director, said in a statement to WTOP that the governor thanks Gates “for his tremendous work.” Hogan plans to fill the vacant seat on the state board of education “in the near future,” Mayer said.

“Ultimately, state board members are free to their own opinions — misguided as they are — but that won’t stop Governor Hogan from doing what is clearly right and what the vast majority of Marylanders want to see done,” Mayer said.

102516 Gates Resignation Letter by wtopweb on Scribd

20100901130453-1_0

S. James Gates, the vice president of the state board and a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland ought to have resigned a long time ago with Dr. Lilian Lowery for engaging in misconduct. Mr. Gates has no principled stand and has made questionable decisions driven by what appears to be  personal self interest instead of helping the children of Maryland. It’s good riddance for sure!

MarylandMap2
***