Sunday, February 1, 2015

Letter #4: Starr was upset for one day and an entire webpage was dedicated to his upset. Meanwhile, "Who is Protecting our Children?"

This is the fourth in a series of letters written to Superintendent Joshua Starr, MCPS and Montgomery County officials over the last 15 months concerning the many arrests of MCPS staff, substitutes and contractors on charges of sexually abusing MCPS students.



Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2014 12:45 PM
Subject: Sexual abuse in MCPS

June 19, 2014

Dear Dr. Starr, MCPS staff member, Members of the Board of Education and Members of the County Council, 

On one day in December of 2013, Dr. Starr received a series of tweets he found upsetting and offensive. The county’s response to Dr. Starr’s experience, has been swift and comprehensive. Over the past six months, media interviews were conducted, a letter went out to all MCPS parents and schools, a task force was created, in fact, six subcommittees to the task force were formed. The MCPS website has an entire webpage dedicated to this topic. The website lists 3 meetings (including agendas), resources, safety tips for parents, video links and a charge statement. 

I have written to you all before, and write again to ask, don’t the children of our schools who have been sexually abused by MCPS staff (and contract staff) deserve at very least the same response? Dr. Starr was upset for one day. These children, their friends, other students, their families and other staff in MCPS schools have been upset for far, far longer than one day. Don’t they deserve the same time, consideration, resources, commitment and dedication as Dr. Starr? Dr. Starr is an adult who can protect himself. Who is protecting our children?

Over the past two school years 10 MCPS staff members (and 3 contract employees) have been arrested for sexual abuse of children in the schools. One of them tattooed one of his victims name on his body. Doesn’t that child and her family deserve at least the same level of response as Dr. Starr who, on one day, got several tweets that scared him?

I have been attempting to get a response from someone from MCPS / Montgomery County Government since October, 2013. I was cautiously optimistic when I was contacted in February by the school system and asked to take part of a work group that was forming to look at prevention of child sexual abuse in the schools. The first meeting took place in April. There was no agenda. The MCPS staff who were there, while very nice and seemingly committed, had no timeline, no clear commitment from their upper management, no date for a next meeting, no action steps. There is no website, no resources, no safety tips for parents on the MCPS website. When I reached out to the work group a couple weeks ago to see when the next meeting would be, I was told the person running it was retiring and the person taking over would look into it.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, a Whitman football coach was arrested for the sexual abuse of an exchange student he hosted in his home. Has anyone checked the locker rooms at Whitman to see if he put video cameras there to rule out his filming Whitman students as he did his exchange student? Meanwhile, back in the real world, a MCPS teacher pled guilty to sexual abuse and in the trial we learn MCPS allowed him to resign rather than being fired after their investigation. Meanwhile, back in the real world where children don’t have time to wait for committees to form, where parents are unaware of their rights and unaware of the basic steps they can take to protect their children, where MCPS staff are violating the law by not fulfilling their legal obligation as mandated reporters of their suspicions of abuse, children are still being harmed.

As with previous attempts to reach someone who will take action, I will attach my previous letters in case you would like to read them. 

I thank you for your time in reading this and look forward to your response.


Jennifer Alvaro


  1. I thought that three strikes and you're out. Unless of course the referee is napping.

  2. I've always thought that part of "cyber-civility" was answering, or at least acknowledging, emails....

    1. Or at least asking a parent for additional info before simply hitting the BLOCK button on Twitter!


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