Thursday, December 4, 2014

Breaking: Starr's Secret Task Force Exposed. One member calls group ‘a complete farce’.

Superintendent Joshua Starr set up a secret task force to deal with the dozen arrests of MCPS staff on sexual abuse of students charges over the last 3 years.  The secret task force began meeting on April 24, 2014.

Only now is the task force finally being reported on in the press.  The Gazette is the first to break the story of the existence of this secret "task force."   Note this secret task force does not have a website, press releases, or a twitter handle like the MCPS Cybercivility Task Force, nor does this task force have any public accountability. 

Meanwhile, the MCPS Child Abuse Policy remains 26 YEARS out of date. 

...Group member Jennifer Alvaro — who teaches child abuse prevention programs — called the work group “a complete farce” and said she sees multiple problems in the system’s approach to child abuse.

One mistake the group has made, she said, is not discussing past or recent specific incidents, including those at Clemente and Baker middle schools.

“If you’re going to revamp the entire school system approach to preventing the sexual abuse of its students, how can you do that without looking at specific incidents?” she said.

Alvaro said the district is unnecessarily delaying certain actions that could help address the issue. The school system needs to immediately post more clearly visible information on child abuse on its website and develop an employee code of conduct for a consistent definition of inappropriate behavior, she said.

The packet recently given to principals indicates that the system is providing contradictory directions, Alvaro said. She said she doesn’t understand why some staff don’t know when to report an incident, which some in the work group raised.

The school district has shown it is “unwilling or uncapable” of making necessary changes, she said, and needs to hire an outside agency to investigate and set up policies and procedures for the district regarding child abuse.

“Their absolute refusal to be transparent about policies and procedures, their refusal to post an employee code of conduct, their refusal to be open with parents about the magnitude and extent of the problem is keeping children in danger,” she said.

1 comment:

  1. Let us hope that no part-time legislators are on this Secret Task Force and that none will be consulted!


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