Category Archives: Uncategorized

Culture change is key to school security at Crossland HS and others.

CROSSLAND_1490220890078_9022541_ver1.0TEMPLE HILLS, MD (WUSA9) – In the wake of an on-campus stabbing at Crossland High School Monday, student leaders and administrators have stepped up a year-long anti-violence campaign.

“I get tired of being classified as that, there’s problems here,” said Crossland’s Student Government President Andrea Nickens.

Nickens is helping lead an effort to change a culture that accepts violence.

On April 8th, student leaders are staging a “fun run” to build a different kind of culture. The “Color Me Crossland” event is intended to convert discussions about non-violence into positive actions and to invite students to become “ambassadors of peace.”

The culture Nickens and others are fighting is best exemplified on websites such as WorldStar HipHop, which successfully trades in a subculture of school “fight videos.”

In the wake of the stabbing at Crossland, one mother tweeted out a series of such fight videos taken at the school claiming they are proof all high schools need more security.

“A lot of youth come to these schools with weapons,” complained mother Rachelle Lewis.

High schools in Prince George’s County have an assigned police officer on duty at all times, as well as a counseling staff responsible for hallway and building security.

Students leaders like Nickens said additional school security is only part of the equation.

Crossland Principal Dr. Theresa Moseley Fax said culture change requires support before children get to high school.

“If we have kids with problems socially, emotionally, or mentally, we have to get those needs addressed,” Mosely Fax said Monday.

Via Wusa9 image

***

PGCPS School safety questioned – in the wake of Crossland stabbing

C7YQOjIUwAA4_KFTEMPLE HILLS, MD. (WUSA9) – In the wake of a stabbing at Crossland High School Monday, at least one parent is coming forward with video saying weapons in school are a serious issue.

Rachell Lewis provided video she said shows a young man wielding a knife inside Crossland during a fight in October.

School officials say they cannot verify that the video occurred at the school.  No one was injured in the fight, the mother said.

“A lot of youth come to these schools with weapons,” Lewis said.

Crossland Principal Dr. Theresa Moseley Fax says her high school is secure.

“We have not had any issues of violence at Crossland High school, inside the school,” Mosley Fax said.

An 18-year old student was injured at about 8:25 a.m. Monday when he was stabbed outside the school during a class activity that had moved outdoors.

A former student, 18-year-old Nathaniel Coates was tackled by a teacher and taken into custody with the help of a police officer on duty at Crossland at the time. Coates will be charged in the attack, according to Prince George’s County Police.  A knife was recovered.

The injured student was taken to a hospital for treatment with non-life threatening injuries.

The stabbing happened as a masonry class was working on repairing a damaged brick wall.

The attacker “did not like the way the student looked at him, and just stabbed him,” according to Principal Mosley Fax.

Moseley Fax said Crossland students and staff have had an ongoing anti-violence campaign during the 2016-17 school year. On Tuesday, staff and students will wear red T-shirts supporting the campaign, the principal said.

https://www.scribd.com/document/342518216/Prince-George-s-County-Student-Safety-Action-Plan#from_embed

via WUSA9

princegeorges1***

1 Arrested After Student Stabbed at Maryland High School

C7YQOjIUwAA4_KFTEMPLE HILLS, MD.- A student was stabbed during class at Crossland High School in Temple Hills Monday morning, Prince George’s County police said.

Police said the victim was stabbed after a verbal argument turned violent with 18-year-old Nathaniel Coates. The stabbing occurred during a class that was happening outside on campus.

Officers arrested Coates and recovered the weapon. Police said Coates is a former student.

According to authorities, the victim has been taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Crossland High School was not put on lockdown since everything happened within a short time frame.

See more >>> NBC4

princegeorges1***

Structure of the PGCPS board of education debated by members

rushernsegunkevin-1050x722By YASMINE ASKARI

Members revisited the conversation of Prince George’s County Schools Board of Education’s hybrid structure during its work session last Thursday. The discussion first focused on reasons to oppose an amendment that would change the board’s ability to override the recommendation of the county’s school CEO and then shifted into a discussion of the accountability of appointed officials.

The current 14-member board is a hybrid of four appointed officials, nine elected and one student member, with both the current chairman of the board and the vice chairman of the board appointed officials.

At Thursday’s session, board members were presented with an amendment that would change the supermajority vote requirement to override the CEO’s recommendation from a two thirds vote amongst board members to a three-fifths vote.

Curtis Valentine, a member of a board subcommittee, recommended the board oppose the amendment based on the committee’s understanding that there will be a review of legislation in the coming year that will allow board members and the community to comment on every aspect of legislation related to the board’s hybrid structure and not just the three specific changes.

While the board Chairman Segun Eubanks was quick to point out the board’s tendency to vote unilaterally and dub the current hybrid structure “one of the most important and profound school governance experiments in the nation” he was quickly rebutted by board member Edward Burroughs III.

Burroughs contended that the voting rule had made a difference.

“Last year, [board member Beverly] Anderson chaired the budget committee and worked with the administration for a long time on the budget. And we had a vote to put math and reading specialists at the bottom 25 of our schools and we got eight votes. That failed by one vote,” Burroughs said. “If it was three fifths, those students today would have math and reading intervention that they desperately need. So that makes a difference to me. I don’t care about process and waiting for a report. Those kids needed that service right there and then, immediately.”

He then shifted the conversation to critique Eubanks praise of the board’s structure.

“When we talk about this being this world renowned structure, I disagree,” Burroughs said and pointed out that chair of the board Eubanks familial relationship with County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) is a problem.

“When the county executive determines to appoint his former brother-in-law to chair of the board, that is a problem. That is not democracy, that is not good for the system, that is not good for checks and balances,” Burroughs said. “And it makes a difference. When you have non-elected board members, and four appointed board members, and we are being told that we cannot elect our own leadership, that’s crazy.”

Burroughs went on to critique both the board chairman and vice chairwoman’s management of the Head Start program.

“If you look at Head Start, we were not able to hold our board chair and vice chair accountable for their actions or misactions on behalf of those kids because of this structure. It means something to me that all four labor unions are agreeing on this. There’s a reason they all support this.”

Burroughs was hastily thanked for his comments by Eubanks who proceeded to defend himself.

“I’ve been an educational professional for 35 years. I’ve read more books in education than some folks around here have read any books about any subjects in their entire lives. I have committed my life to social justice and I don’t care who I’m related to, or was related to, or was ever related to, I am one of the most qualified educators in this county, and in this state, and in this country,” Eubanks said. “I will stand by records. I will hold up against anybody on this board or anywhere else.”

It was somewhat of an abrupt turn from a work session that started with discussion on legislation, but other members began to voice their views, including Anderson and student board member Juwan Blocker.

While the board ruled to oppose the amendment, the conversation on the board’s hybrid structure was barely settled.

“This hybrid board has covered up a lot of nepotism in Prince George’s County,” Blocker said. “We need to be the ones who decide our leadership.”

Via The Enquirer Gazette

cqkyduwueaajvi9.jpg

Board member Juwan Blocker – “This hybrid board has covered up a lot of nepotism in Prince George’s County,” Blocker said. “We need to be the ones who decide our leadership.”

Burroughs

Board member Edward Burroughs III.

image

***

Prince George’s County schools cancelled due to A Day Without Women

20f11d23-006c-4c46-a706-3e0f8082ee08-large16x9_1280x720_60502C00UEDEV.jpgBy YASMINE ASKARI

Prince George’s County Public Schools were closed last Wednesday in a last-minute decision due to a high number of teachers and staff members taking the day off for the Day Without a Woman protest.

“Throughout Prince George’s County Public Schools, a high number of school-based and support staff have requested leave for Wednesday, March 8. As of 5:30 p.m., approximately 1,700 teachers and 30 percent of transportation staff have requested leave. We cannot transport students and provide safe, productive learning environments without adequate staff,” Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell said in a statement. “As a result, schools will be closed tomorrow for students. We apologize for the inconvenience this will surely cause to many families.”

The day-long strike, which coincided with International Woman’s Day, was organized by the Women’s March on Washington. Following the lead of the “Bodega strike” in New York City by Yemini store owners and the Day Without Immigrants, the strike intended to highlight the importance of women in the workforce and as consumers.

“This was not a union led effort,” said Theresa Dudley, president of Prince George’s County’s largest teacher union, the Prince George’s County Educator Association. “I was just as surprised as everyone else when they closed school for the children.”

Most teachers were reluctant to come forth on whether they took the day off for the protest due to the county’s stance on stating political views. Despite this, Dudley disclosed that many teachers went to the rally in Washington in representation of Prince George’s County educators.

While some parents on social media expressed disappointment about the short notice, parent organizations such as Reform PGCPS were more supportive.

“The timing of the cancellation was surprising and appeared a last minute resort, however, given the high rate of projected staff absences, the system did not have much choice,” the group said in an email.

“Our organization recognizes the importance and impact of such an event and is supportive of the cause. There is of course the question of the timing of the event during the workweek, scheduling it during the weekend might have allowed more women to participate without having to lose wages,” the group stated.

Other parents on social media noted that while schools had been closed, the school lunch program was still running for underprivileged children.

“Great job PGCPS in recognizing our community needs and much respect for using this platform to inform all,” one parent said on Facebook.

Prince George’s County was one of three large school districts to cancel classes due to the protest. Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in North Carolina also cancelled classes due to the high number of staff taking leave.

The Enquirer Gazette

princegeorges1

***

PGCPS Community Activists Want To Repurpose Shuttered Schools In Prince George’s County

if you missed the story about PGCPS Vacant schools in Prince George’s County by Tracee Wilkins, see it here >>> Community Activists Want To Repurpose Shuttered Schools In Prince George’s County

Some Prince George’s County citizenry have put pressure on their elected officials including area Board of Education member Mr. Alexander.

princegeorges1

 

***

4 Empty PGCPS School Buses Catch Fire in Parking Lot

pgcps-buses

Fire officials say four school buses caught fire in a parking lot, causing a quarter of a million dollars in damage.

The Prince George’s County Fire Department says the fire was reported about 9 a.m. Sunday in the Brandywine area at a school bus parking on Short Cut Road. Four buses were on fire.

The fire was extinguished and no one was injured. Investigators believe the fire originated in one of the buses and then spread.

The cause remains under investigation.

Damages are estimated at $250,000.

princegeorges1

***