Parent frustrated with PGCPS school bus tardiness

19c8e73b-e932-4187-b5d5-7ee45e3e1d3d-medium16x9_GreenbeltMSGREENBELT, Md. (ABC7) — Many kids expect a great first day of school, but it wasn’t for Tony Blount’s 11-year-old and 13-year-old.

He says the school bus never picked his daughters up on Wednesday morning.

“We had no communication at all,” said Blount. “Sat out here for about 30/40 minutes, wound up driving the kids to school.”

The Greenbelt Middle schoolers ended up being late for school, according to Blount.

Then they had more problems, in the afternoon, with their school bus.

“When we got on the bus, the driver didn’t know where he was going,” said Blount’s daughter. “People were like directing him where to go and stuff.”

“They didn’t get home until an hour and twenty minutes after they were supposed to get here,” said Blount.

Blount says he never received a response from the bus lot after several calls or any details on why the bus was late.
“There needs to be better communication, because who wants to send their child to school on a bus, where today is a rainy day, what if there was an accident on the road,” said Blount. “As a whole PG county needs to be more responsive.”

We reached out to Prince George’s County Public Schools, so far we have not received a statement regarding the matter.

via WJLA

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Former federal officer faces life term for fatally shooting his estranged wife – (PGCPS Employee)

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In this photo taken May 6, 2016, police took Eulalio Tordil, then 62, into custody. (Alex Brandon /AP)

The former federal protective officer who went on a two-day shooting rampage in Maryland last year is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday morning in the killing of his estranged wife.

Eulalio Tordil, 64, pleaded guilty in June to fatally shooting Gladys Tordil in the parking lot of Beltsville High School as she was picking up her daughters.

The shooting on May 5, 2016, in Prince George’s County set off a manhunt for Eulalio Tordil, who after killing his wife wound up the next day in neighboring Montgomery County and fatally shot two others in his attempts to flee police.

A Prince George’s County judge could sentence Tordil to life in prison without parole in the slaying of his wife, a term he would serve in addition to the sentence he received in Montgomery.

In July, a Montgomery County judge sentenced Tordil to four back-to-back life sentences in the slayings of Malcom “Mike” Winffel, who was coming to the aid of a woman whose car Tordil was trying to steal at a mall, and Claudina Molina, who was shot by Tordil as he tried to take her SUV outside a grocery store. The sentence also includes punishment for two counts of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of two others who survived the rampage.

In addition to the slaying of his wife, Tordil will also be sentenced for attempted murder in the shooting of a man who tried to intervene in the Beltsville High parking lot.

Tordil had gone to the school two months after his wife filed a protective order against him. In her request for the order, she said that he had slapped her so hard he broke the glasses on her face and that he threatened to hurt her if she left the marriage. The Parkdale High School chemistry teacher also said Tordil subjected her two teenage daughters to military-style punishment.

A judge granted the order, forcing him to turn in a cache of weapons to law enforcement and go on administrative leave from his position in the Federal Protective Service. Tordil, however, retained one gun that authorities did not know about. In a journal of his writings, which prosecutors detailed in court during his sentencing in Montgomery, Tordil planned the string of violence against his wife in the aftermath of their failed relationship and the impending loss of his job.

Tordil also wrote in his journal that he planned to die “in a hail of bullets” via “suicide by cop.”

Instead, police arrested Tordil, who had lost his eyeglasses when Molina ripped them off his face while fighting him as he tried to take her car.

Unable to see, he went across the street for lunch at Boston Market and coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts before police arrested him without incident.

via Washington Post

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Gladys Tordil, (a former PGCPS Employee) was killed when her husband Eulalio Tordil shot her dead one Thursday afternoon.

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PGCPS student robbed after being dropped off at wrong bus stop

pgcps-busesLANDOVER, Md. – A Prince George’s County middle school student says after orientation day at his new school, his bus driver dropped him off at the wrong stop and he was robbed of his new Nike sneakers and cell phone.

The seventh grader’s mother says her son was left at Kenilworth Avenue and Eastern Avenue on Tuesday, which is nearly two miles from their home in Fairmount Heights.

Tameika Jackson didn’t want her 12-year-old son to be identified, but she let him speak with FOX 5 about what happened. He says a group of men approached him soon after he got off the bus.

“This one guy, he came up to me and then he said, ‘Give me your phone and then your shoes,'” the boy said. “And they were at least 20 years old, so I didn’t know what else to do. So I gave them my shoes and my phone. And after that, there was this one girl at the [Metro] bus stop, I walked up to her and asked her if I could use the phone to call my mom.”

The boy said he had told the bus driver where he lived, but was dropped off there anyway. Jackson says she is furious.

“I picked him up, he was barefoot, no shoes on,” she said. “And there was a bunch of junkies out there. He was upset, he was shaking and I just told him everything was going to be fine, but I will get to the bottom of it. And I brought him home. He says he doesn’t want to go back to school tomorrow.”

Jackson says she called FOX 5 because she couldn’t reach anyone at G. James Gholson Middle School in Landover where her son attends.

A Prince George’s County Public Schools spokesperson says they are now investigating what happened and alerted the school’s principal to the situation.

The principal later called Jackson and apologized, saying she will personally make sure the boy is on the correct bus headed to the correct location on Wednesday and in the days to come. The transportation director also contacted Jackson by phone Tuesday night.

Jackson says she never got bus information in the mail prior to the start of school, so her son’s father drove the boy to school Tuesday and spoke to school staff about which bus he was supposed to be on.

She says the child got on the bus he was told to ride. Jackson says she has an older child who attended Gholson and he got dropped off at a bus stop two blocks from their home.

“I’m to the point now that I don’t want to go to work the rest of the week because I want to make sure that he feels comfortable getting on the bus and getting off the bus,” Jackson said.

School officially starts on Wednesday in Prince George’s County, but some students had orientation on Tuesday.

via Fox5DC

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Former Maryland substitute teacher indicted on federal child porn charges

A former Prince George’s County substitute teacher and basketball coach accused of sharing child pornography through a Dropbox account has been indicted on additional related charges by a federal grand jury.

Christopher H. Speights, 34, has been charged with two counts of production and one count of the attempted production of child pornography after a jury returned an indictment against him in U.S. District Court in Maryland, according to federal court records.

He entered a plea of not guilty at his initial appearance before a judge on Aug. 22.

Speights is accused of victimizing four minors to produce and transmit child pornography, the July 27 indictment says.

Police said they’re still investigating whether the images depicted children whom Speights worked with at the school or through his coaching.

“This investigation is active and ongoing,” said Greg Shipley, a spokesman for Maryland State Police. “We are working with federal officials and the county state’s attorney’s office.”

Speights also faces prosecution in Prince George’s County, where he was arrested in April on charges of producing, possessing and distributing child pornography.

Police in April seized several electronic devices from Speights’s home in Capitol Heights and found images of children performing sexually explicit acts, according to charges filed by Maryland State Police. Investigators found at least 153 files containing graphic images, and Speights admitted to uploading child pornography to a Dropbox account, charging papers state.

Maryland State Police said they were asked to look into the case in December after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children alerted authorities to concerns from Dropbox regarding suspected possession of illegal content, according to the charging papers.

Speights, who worked for Prince George’s County Public Schools for nine years, was a substitute teacher and coach at Bradbury Heights Elementary School, police said. He also was a basketball coach for South County Sports Academy.

Speights’s plea of not guilty was entered in federal court the day after a judge in the same courthouse sentenced Deonte Carraway to 75 years in prison on child pornography charges involving a dozen children. Carraway was a former volunteer and teachers’ aide at Judge Sylvania W. Woods Elementary School in Prince George’s County and the director of a local choir.

After Speights’s arrest in April, the school system said he was no longer employed with the county, and the district has been working to improve student safety.

“We stand ready to cooperate as needed, but we have received no further information from law enforcement and no confirmation of whether any PGCPS students were involved,” said John White, a spokesman for Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Federal court records show that Speights is being represented by the federal public defender’s office, which has a policy of not commenting on open cases. Speights’s public defender for the local case in Prince George’s County declined to comment.

via Washington PostVPGmap

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UNION DENSITY IN MARYLAND, 1983-2016

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ACE-AFSCME Local 2250 members demonstrate in Upper Marlboro in a past photo concerning public corruption and other issues affecting the PGCPS workers in Prince George’s County. ACE-AFSCME Local 2250 and Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) are currently in bed with the management to the detriment of teachers and other employees in Maryland.

By Adam Pagnucco. 

Labor Day is the one day of the year when the press discusses one of America’s great historic institutions, the labor movement.  Much of the press’s discourse contains annual descriptions of labor’s decline, some sympathetic and some not.  Whatever its causes, the story is true: union influence over the economy and American quality of life has been shrinking for decades.  Maryland is not immune.

Labor unions are important protectors of working class and middle class people.  Unlike political parties, corporations and the press, labor unions were created directly by working people, are governed by leaders those working people elect and are accountable to their memberships.  In their heyday from the 1930s through the 1970s, they played indispensable roles in passing laws on social security, civil rights, wage and hour standards and benefit protections.  They also reversed the income inequality that prevailed from the Gilded Age through the 1920s and built America’s first large, influential middle class.  Under assault by corporate America, hostile politicians, problematic trade policies and economic change as well as – in some cases – handicapped by myopic leadership, they have mostly retreated to the public sector and a few urban strongholds in the Northeast, the Midwest and the West Coast.  Many of today’s economic problems, like stagnant wages, vanishing pensions and the increasing dominance of the one percent can be linked to union decline.

The ultimate source of union power is labor’s percentage of the workforce, commonly called union density.  When unions establish collective bargaining for a critical mass of employees in a given market, whether industrial, geographic or both, their compensation becomes the standard that even non-union employers must meet.  That’s right – even non-union workers benefit from unions.  But when unions are unable to organize significant percentages of workers in their markets, they struggle to maintain high levels of wages and benefits in the face of overwhelming non-union competition.  Hence, union density is a critical measure of union effectiveness.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, union density in the United States was 10.7% in 2016, down from 24.0% in 1973.  Maryland’s union density in 2016 was 11.0%, almost exactly the national average.  New York was the only state in 2016 to have a union density of more than 20% while 27 states had densities of less than 10%.

One might suppose that Maryland would be an exception to the rule of declining unionization given the size of its public sector, its long-time control by labor-friendly Democrats and the status of Baltimore as a once-great manufacturing and shipping center.  But the truth is that Maryland has mirrored the rest of the country in falling union density.  In 1983, 18.5% of its total workforce was in unions.  By 2016, that share had fallen to 11.0%.

Union decline in Maryland has been uneven.  Protected by laws allowing state and local government collective bargaining and friendly politicians, public sector unions have mostly held onto their power.  Their density in 2016 (27.4%) was little changed from 1983 (29.9%).  The real fall of Maryland unions has taken place in the private sector.  In 1983, 14.4% of Maryland private sector workers were union members.  In 2016, that share had dropped to 5.6%.Private-Union-Density

Private sector union collapse in Maryland has been broad and deep.  Construction unions saw their density fall from 16.0% in 1983 to 12.7% in 2016.  In the services sector, the drop was from 10.7% to 5.0%.  And in private manufacturing, unions in Maryland have been almost obliterated.  Union density in that sector fell from 29.2% in 1983 to a shocking 3.9% in 2016.

Progressive elected officials and advocacy groups have focused on measures like minimum wage laws, sick leave laws, tax legislation, health care reform and education funding to help the working and middle classes and reverse income inequality.  All of those things matter.  But a long-term, sustainable progressive agenda may be impossible without a healthy labor movement.  Independent labor organizations are critical to passing good laws, holding corporations and politicians accountable and preserving the gains made by working people against constant attempts to reverse them.  Without them, the one percent will continue their march to total domination.

Disclosures: Your author holds two degrees in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and worked for sixteen years as a strategic researcher in the labor movement.

GrievanceOPINION

USE OF GRIEVANCE SYSTEM IN PGCPS

The Grievance system is unique process that governs dispute resolutions in the schools.  Principal, supervisor are made aware of the grievance and can address it before it comes to the attention of the principal’s supervisor. If the grievance remains unresolved at Step 1, it then proceeds to the attention of the principal’s supervisor. The purpose of a grievance is generally to enforce the terms of a collective bargaining agreement between the unions.

The following unions in PGCPS District led by ASASP, PGCEA, ACE-AFSCME Local 2250 and SEIU Unions filed grievances on behalf of several members on several occasions. These grievances proceeded all the way up the chain of command for Prince George’s County Public school district to various managers, Directors and Chiefs, Superintendent William Hite Jr., Dr. Crawley who resigned recently and others also received grievances. However, the PGCPS management did nothing to address the discrimination, retaliation and other corrupt activities, despite being aware of the issues. The management failed to respond to any of the Union grievances filed by the Union because the Unions themselves are involved in questionable activities. It is this egregious conduct fueled by Thatcher Law firm corruption which has polarized the whole school District. The whole school District will never move forward until corrupt lawyers are cleansed from the system.

The terrorist attacks in 2001 were aimed not only at destroying buildings and human lives, but also at undermining Americans’ confidence in their government. While the terrorists’ attempts at the latter ultimately backfired, they did illustrate that our country is only as strong as the commitment of our people and leaders to protect the ideals upon which it is based: individual liberty, freedom of expression, and the ability to redress grievances through a system of laws rather than violence. When lawyers for the local board retaliate and acts unethically on behalf of the School District, when the unions appointed lawyers and other attorneys hired by staff are compromised, they undermine the rule of law and faith in the system. The image of lawyers is not just a matter of professional or personal pride; it affects the public’s belief in our justice system, and ultimately, our faith in our democracy. The fact that there has been so many cases in both the State and Federal courts filed against PGCPS by several employees in recent years, is a clear manifestation that there are many problems within the PG County School District. We must demand answers from our elected officials in regards to the Thatcher Law firm which is engaged in criminal conspiracy with Mr. Bryan A chapmanMr. Damon Felton and others in defrauding staff within the PG County district. One female employee who protested mistreatment of her colleagues was fired in the middle of her discovery case with malice rather than settle the dispute. There is a big possibility that she might never even win the case because of what her attorney did to the case in conjunction with the Thatcher Law Firm and Mr. Roger Thomas. Only time will tell.  It’s clear there’s a criminal cabal around the Thatcher Law Firm  that’s giving deadly advice to lawyers hired by various personnel. The Book of Mark, 8:36, sternly asks: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”

Other PGCPS employees have been chased away recently like goats in the middle of Savanna after filing cases… Who does this to employees for exercising their rights and fighting for the rights of others? Who does this? Who else is involved in this criminal enterprise?  What happened to common decency ladies and Gentlemen?

In the past, we reached out to the County Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin Maxwell s, however, nothing came out of it. There have been more problems in Prince George’s County than any other time in history. Time has come to move in the right direction with new leadership and a new agenda due to cover ups which are ongoing in Maryland at the expense of past and current workers.

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PGCPS and Milestone Communications End Deal for Future Cell Towers

tower_closeup3.jpgA huge victory for public school students in Prince George’s County recently! Parents and teachers no longer have to fight new Milestone cell tower installations on public school playgrounds! The project was controversial from the very beginning when PGCPS led by former Board chairperson approved the project and Put Cell Towers on 73 Pgcps Playgrounds in 40 Seconds in 2014. Reform Sasscer Movement has been fighting this project from day one and we are happy to see it end. It was driven by personal greed and corruption at the expense of the county citizenry.

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PGCPS and Milestone Communications End Deal for Future Cell Towers
| Comunicado del director ejecutivo, el Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, con respecto a las torres de telefonía celular en propiedades de PGCPS

PGCPS AND MILESTONE PGCPS END DEAL TO CONSTRUCT FUTURE CELL PHONE TOWERS

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for students and staff. To this end, we have terminated an agreement with Milestone Communications to place future cell phone towers on school system properties.

We heard your concerns about the potential impact of cell phone towers on student health, questions about the site selection process, opportunities for community engagement and other issues. Therefore, we believe this decision is in the best interest of our schools, students and families.

Milestone Communications, a Virginia-based firm, will continue to manage existing tower locations at seven sites. PGCPS has not made a decision regarding future agreements with telecommunications providers.

We appreciate your continued input and support in ensuring healthy learning environments for all students.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell

Chief Executive Officer

COMUNICADO DEL DIRECTOR EJECUTIVO, EL DR. KEVIN M. MAXWELL, CON RESPECTO A LAS TORRES DE TELEFONIA CELULAR EN PROPIEDADES DE PGCPS

Estimados padres y tutores:

Las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Prince George (PGCPS) están comprometidas a proporcionar un ambiente de apoyo y seguro para los estudiantes y el personal escolar. Con ese fin, hemos pactado un acuerdo con Milestone Communications para la futura colocación de torres de telefonía celular en propiedades del sistema escolar.

Hemos escuchado sus inquietudes sobre el posible impacto de las torres de telefonía celular en la salud de los estudiantes; las interrogantes sobre el proceso de selección del lugar; las oportunidades para la participación comunitaria y otros temas. Por lo tanto, creemos que esta decisión vela por el beneficio de nuestras escuelas, estudiantes y familias.

Milestone Communications, una firma con sede en Virginia, continuará manejando las torres existentes en siete ubicaciones. PGCPS no ha tomado una decisión en relación a futuros acuerdos con los proveedores de telecomunicaciones.

Apreciamos su apoyo continuo y sus comentarios para garantizar que existan entornos de aprendizaje sanos para todos los estudiantes.

Atentamente,

Dr. Kevin Maxwell

Director ejecutivo

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Hogan: Baltimore’s criminals and victims “just the same people shooting each other”

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Above: Blaming judges for suspending sentences on violent repeat offenders, Gov. Larry Hogan weighed in on Baltimore’s high homicide rate today. (Fern Shen)

After a meeting Gov. Larry Hogan attended today about Baltimore’s high homicide rate, he made it clear who he blames for the problem – judges he said are going too easy on violent repeat offenders.

“They are not being sentenced to jail and that’s why they’re out on the streets,” Hogan said, addressing a scrum of reporters in the lobby below his downtown Baltimore office.

The fact that the judges chose not to send a representative to this meeting of the Baltimore City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (BCCJCC), Hogan said, was “baffling and frankly disappointing.”

Expanding on his view of the problem, Hogan said the victims and the shooters are essentially the same group of people.

“The average person who’s been killed in the city has 11.9 arrests on their record,” he said.

“One day they’re the shooter, the next day they’re the victim and it’s just the same people shooting each other,” he said, “and we’ve got to get them off the streets.”

Hogan said he planned to include a “truth in sentencing” measure in his crime package in the next legislative session.

Mayor Catherine Pugh. (Fern Shen)

Mayor Catherine Pugh seemed to echo Hogan’s themes and points.

“The governor was a little disturbed because none of the judges showed up,” she began, when asked her impressions of the meeting.

She, too, chided the judges.

“The conversation was about the judges and the judges weren’t in the room to hear the conversations,” Pugh said. “There are too many suspended sentences and we have repeat offenders continuing to walk the streets of our city.”

She also had stats to share about the problem:

“89% of  individuals who have come in contact with the criminal justice system have been in contact with the criminal justice system 9 to 11 times – that’s a real issue for the city of Baltimore,” she said.

Press and Public Kept Out

The meeting up in the William Donald Schaefer Tower was meant to address what’s been happening down on the streets – daily killings that are on pace to produce another 300-plus year for city homicides.

Hogan, a Republican, who has not attended the somewhat obscure Council’s monthly meetings in the past, made a point of announcing his plan to show up at this one – and bar the press and public from attending.

(A Brew reporter, like other members of the media, was told by a Department of General Services police officer today that reporters could not attend the meeting or even enter the building. Eventually reporters were permitted into the lobby.)

In meetings typically open to the public, the Council is composed of a representative of the mayor’s office, Baltimore Circuit Court, City Council, State’s Attorney’s office and the police.

Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera told Hogan in a letter that the judges would not attend, citing the rule of judicial conduct that says a judge “shall not be swayed by public clamor or fear of criticism.”

Attorney General Brian Frosh. (Fern Shen)

Governor Hogan calls a meeting for the purpose of trying to get crime DOWN in Baltimore. He invited judges to help in this effort but they refused to attend. AG Brian E. Frosh attended but then defends the judges saying “..it would be ‘not proper’ for the judges to attend the meeting.” Then he says, “We have a problem in our country, led by the White House, of disrespect for the judiciary and disrespect for the rule of law.” Frosh was really quick to inject the White House because he’s obsessed with going after the President. But seriously, shouldn’t the judiciary be part of the process for reform?

Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, who attended the meeting, agreed that it would be “not proper” for the judges to attend the meeting.

“We have a problem in our country, led by the White House, of disrespect for the judiciary and disrespect for the rule of law,” Frosh said.

Frosh said he hoped that the Council’s meeting signaled greater cooperation that would result in more progress on fighting crime, but warned that “we’re not going to see results overnight.”

No New Strategies

As for tangible new strategies to combat the current crime wave, none was presented to reporters after the one-hour meeting.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby pointed to a previously cited funding increase for victim family services.

She also said that Acting Maryland U.S. Attorney Stephen Schenning has agreed to cross-designate two more city prosecutors as federal prosecutors to bring cases in the federal courts.

State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby . (Fern Shen)

(Schenning and City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young were among those attending the meeting who chose not to talk to reporters afterwards.)

Pugh mentioned items on a “wish list” that she previously presented to Hogan that he has already agreed to.

They include the reinstatement of parole and probation officers who had been removed from police precincts by the Rawlings-Blake administration.

Davis: We’re on Third Base

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis echoed the words of the governor and mayor in calling for stronger sentencing,

Expressing his version of the statistic that Hogan and Pugh put forth, Davis said “our homicide victims have had 10.7 arrests apiece in a lifetime. That’s wildly disproportionate.”

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. (Fern Shen)

Employing a baseball analogy for the crime fight, he said police and prosecutors have, in effect, “gotten us to third base.”

He was asked, “Are the judges the ones you think need to get us to home plate?”

“I think so,” Davis replied. “I think so.”

Via Baltimore Sun 

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