Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Exclusive: Confidential Starr Memo on Abuse of Students

The Parents' Coalition has obtained a Confidential June 11, 2013, Memorandum from Superintendent Joshua Starr to the Board of Education regarding the "Process to Monitor Allegations of Inappropriate Behavior."

Along with the confidential memorandum we also obtained an August 28, 2013, memorandum from the MCPS Chief Operating Officer, Larry Bowers, to Principals and Directors.  The Chief Operating Officer memo states:

...There are no changes to the mandated reporting procedure in cases of suspected abuse, neglect, and mental injury. The procedures for addressing those issues are outlined in the MCPS Regulation JHC-RA, Child Abuse and Neglect, which is available online at

And, as you have probably guessed by now, the link in the paragraph above goes to a Board of Education regulation that hasn't been updated since 1989.  

MCPS COO Larry Bowers tells administrators there are "no changes" to the mandatory reporting procedures, yet there have been many changes to this Maryland law since 1989. 

Note how on Page 1 of Attachment A of the Bowers memorandum shown below there is no mention of calling Montgomery County Police, and the flow chart is written as if contacting Child Protective Services is one of three options.  

Under current Maryland law, calling Child Protective Services or the Police is a required first step when child abuse is suspected. It is not an option to report the suspected abuse to one of these agencies, it is required.  MCPS teachers and administrators are not being trained using current Maryland law, they are being trained using MCPS' out of date policy.


  1. So the processes were developed with input from all the unions (MCEA, etc.) but not the police, or county or state social services agencies or any professionals in the field. Good to know. Appalling.

  2. This is absolutely unacceptable. There are plenty of administrators who will protect their own turf at all costs (denying anything "inappropriate" was done by staff, and NEVER file such a report. My experience was pre-new policies and I can tell you how it became all about ME and not about the inappropriate behavior of the staff member. When will leaders wake up and REALLY seriously protect kids? I'm SO SICK of the platitudes! If there's not enough money for prevention policies, maybe priorities need to be changed? Unacceptable...

  3. To track an allegation
    They speak in obfuscation
    To dodge the situation
    And fudge the information.


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