Monthly Archives: January 2019

Swamp Watch: Trans teacher sues P.G. County alleging ‘horrifying’ abuse

jennifer_eller_insert_courtesy_lambda_legal

Jennifer Eller is suing Prince George’s County Public Schools, alleging years of horrific anti-trans abuse.

By Lou Chibbaro Jr.

A lawsuit filed against Prince George’s County Public Schools and the county’s Board of Education charges that a female transgender teacher was subjected to five years of discrimination, harassment, abuse and retaliation by school administrators, fellow teachers, students and parents after she transitioned in 2011 from male to female.

The lawsuit was filed Nov. 28, 2018 in United States District Court for the District of Maryland by the nationally known law firm Arnold and Porter on behalf of Jennifer Eller, an English teacher. On Dec. 20, the LGBT litigation group Lambda Legal joined Arnold & Porter in representing Eller.

The lawsuit says Eller taught at three schools in the P.G. County public school system from 2008 to 2017, when the lawsuit says she was forced to resign after school officials allegedly refused to adequately address the anti-trans harassment and abuse Eller encountered beginning in 2011.

“For years, I was aggressively misgendered, attacked and harassed in the hallways and even in my own classroom by students, peers and supervisors,” Eller said in a statement released by Lambda Legal.

“I woke up each day afraid to go to work because I didn’t know where the next attack would come from, but I already knew full well that the school administrators would do nothing to support me,” she said. “My pleas for help, for sensitivity training on LGBTQ issues for students and staff, fell on deaf ears,” she said.

“Finally, the harassment and the humiliation became unbearable and I had no other alternative than to resign,” she said in her statement. “No one – student or teacher – should go through the hell I was put through at school just for being who they are.”

The lawsuit charges that the treatment to which the school district and its administrators subjected Eller violated Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the federal Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Equal Protection Cause of the U.S. Constitution, the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act, and the nondiscrimination provision of the Prince George’s County Code.

In addition to Prince George’s County Public Schools and the Prince George’s County Board of Education, the lawsuit names as a defendant Monica Goldson, the school system’s Interim Chief Executive Officer.

John White, the official spokesperson for the Prince George’s County public school system, declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying the school system doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

Under court rules the school system, school board, and Goldson have 21 days from the time they were officially served papers naming them as defendants in the lawsuit to file an answer to the lawsuit.

The statement released by Lambda Legal says the alleged discrimination and harassment against Eller began in March 2011, three years after she began working as an English teacher at Kenmoor Middle School in Landover, Md. It was at that time, the statement says, that Eller informed the principal at the school that “she would be transitioning to live authentically as the woman she is.”

According to the statement, when she began to present as a woman she was subjected to verbal abuse by students and was instructed by school officials to “stop wearing skirts or dresses.”

via washington blade

Monica Goldson

the lawsuit names as a defendant Monica Goldson (seen here), the school system’s Interim Chief Executive Officer.

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Maryland Elections Officials Change Voter Turnout Prediction After Ballot Shortage

African American voters in Maryland. PHOTO/Rich Vary/NewsHourBy Reform Sasscer Staff:

Prince George’s County elections officials acknowledged mistakes and say they’re changing the way they predict voter turnout after dozens of precincts ran out of paper ballots during the November election. This blog was the first to report widespread voter suppression in Prince George’s County in what appeared to have been an organized scheme to elect certain candidates at the expense of the wider population. Clearly, in a state with democratic voters the elections results left a lot to the imaginations.

Decades ago, amid the most overt privations of Jim Crow, African-Americans used to tell a joke about a black Harvard professor who moves to the Deep South and tries to register to vote. A white clerk tells him that he will first have to read aloud a paragraph from the Constitution. When he easily does so, the clerk says that he will also have to read and translate a section written in Spanish. Again he complies. The clerk then demands that he read sections in French, German, and Russian, all of which he happens to speak fluently. Finally, the clerk shows him a passage in Arabic. The professor looks at it and says, “My Arabic is rusty, but I believe this translates to ‘Negroes cannot vote in this county.’ ”

Old jokes have lately been finding renewed salience. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and grandfather clauses, once the most common mechanisms for disadvantaging minority voters, have been consigned to the history books, but one need look no further than the governor’s race in Maryland to see their modern equivalents in action. The race between the Republican, Larry Hogan, and the Democrat, Ben Jealous, the former NAACP leader o—who, had he won, would have been the first black  governor in Maryland. However, that was never to be in what appeared to be a voter suppression in Maryland especially in Prince George’s County and Baltimore city. There was also other violations in which  democratic leaders joined forces with Hogan behind the scenes to dupe voters in violation of laid down processes.

One voter Terry Cleaver  felt the election was stolen and stated the following : ….30 precinct without ballots in one of the two most democratic counties in the state. …..An honorable and decent man would want a run off to know if he, LARRY HOGAN, was truly elected…..GOP slime will grab power “at any price” and to hell with your voting rights…..I’m betting on the latter. …..Jealous won and IT WAS STOLEN….We can lay down and take it or start making NOISE to the media…..Just demand a run off every time you see Hogan’s name.”

We reprint the report by NBC4 News below:

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Prince George’s County elections officials say they’re changing the way they predict voter turnout after dozens of precincts ran out of paper ballots during the November election. Hundreds of voters waited in lines for ballots for hours after the polls were supposed to have closed. Investigative Reporter Jodie Fleischer explains what the county is doing to keep that from happening again.

By Jodie Fleischer and Katie Leslie

Prince George’s County elections officials say they’re changing the way they predict voter turnout after dozens of precincts ran out of paper ballots during the November election.

The shortage left hundreds of voters standing in line hours after the polls were supposed to have closed and ultimately delayed the reporting of results statewide.

Among the changes: Elections officials will no longer use prior voter turnout to predict the number of ballots needed for each precinct and instead will consider the number of registered voters assigned to each polling place.

Prince George’s County elections officials have previously said they anticipated higher turnout this year than the typical midterm election and therefore used the 2016 presidential election turnout as the basis for the number of ballots it ordered.

However, it still fell short. The report confirms nearly 30 precincts ran out of paper ballots. The News4 I-Team reviewed the ballot allocation numbers for each and found some of those only had roughly 30-35 percent voter turnout.

According to the report, poll workers will now be required to monitor and document the number of ballots the precinct has on hand so they know when to request more. Other ideas include having specific point people to receive and expedite all ballot requests to make sure the response is immediate.

Elections officials will also work with law enforcement on potential traffic solutions in the event additional ballots are needed during rush hour — an issue officials say delayed the delivery of additional ballots in November.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot lambasted Prince George’s County’s performance during a recent Board of Public Works meeting. He was one of many state officials awaiting Prince George’s review of its ballot problems, and in an interview with News4, he called the proposed changes common-sense.

“Each event that happens like this is very corrosive as far as the public’s trust and confidence in the system,” Franchot said.

“Hopefully we will improve,” he added.

The head of Prince George’s elections couldn’t be reached for comment this week, but the report also indicates elections officials will begin a series of “lessons learned” meetings in January.

via NBC4

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14-year-old PGCPS girl arrested for emailing threats to Maryland schools

Still0102_00006_1546448334664_6580642_ver1.0_640_360By Dick Uliano

WASHINGTON — A 14-year-old girl was arrested Wednesday for making threats against two high schools and a middle school in Prince George’s County, Maryland, police said.

The girl confessed to writing a series of emails containing threats against Bladensburg High School, Parkdale High School and William Wirt Middle School. Police concede the student didn’t have the means to carry out her threats, but her emails struck fear among hundreds of parents and students, and required a robust public safety response.

The girl is facing charges, including making threats of mass violence and electronic threats mailed to a minor. Police are still investigating why she sent the threats.

Prince George’s County police Chief Hank Stawinski said threatening mass violence is no prank, and the girl’s emails frightened the public after word spread on social media.

Police also boosted security at all three schools.

“We conducted a search of this juvenile’s home and we seized all of her computer equipment,” Stawinski said in a statement. “The repercussions of making threats such as these are real and should be sobering to any young person … A threat is a threat and it will be dealt with accordingly based on the fear that they generate in the community.”

Police also said one of the girl’s emails included obscene photos, drawing an additional charge of possession with intent to distribute obscene matter.

via WTOP 

Read More >>>Prince George’s County police investigating PGCPS school threats

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Prince George’s County police investigating PGCPS school threats

parkdale

Parkdale High School (pictured) was listed as one of the schools under threat.

By Reform Sasscer Staff:

– Prince George’s County police increased their presence at three schools early Wednesday morning following threats made by email over the holiday break.

According to police, they are investigating threats at Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) including William Wirt Middle School, Bladensburg High School, and Parkdale High School.

School district officials told the press earlier today that, police had identified the person behind the threats, and that they do not seem to be credible.

Extra officers were at the schools on Wednesday as a precaution.

Earlier in the day, Hyattsville Middle school was on total lockdown for a period of time following rumors of a person with a gun and a car jacking.

Several police cars were on the premises and a Helicopter was seen hovering in the vicinity of the school as police investigated the reports.

The reports of a gun man inside the school ended up being unfounded, one parent say.

No injuries were reported and everyone is safe.unnamed

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Prince George’s County Police vehicles

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