Prince George’s Co. Council chair responds to Head Start report

WASHINGTON — Prince George’s County Council members expressed some alarm at the news regarding the county’s loss of federal funding for the Head Start program after a report detailed “deficiencies” including abuse of its students.

In a release issued Wednesday afternoon, County Council Chair Derrick Leon Davis stated that he’d been in touch with Dr. Kevin Maxwell, the CEO of the Prince George’s County school system, and with Dr. Segun Eubanks, Chair of the Board of Education, after a report from the director of Head Start at the Department of Health and Human Services detailed shortcomings by the school system to correct teacher behavior.

The report said some Head Start instructors at three different schools either used humiliation or corporal punishment to discipline children as young as 3.

Davis said the council will “require an immediate and detailed briefing regarding the troubling matters involving the school system’s Head Start program.”

A third case cited by federal officials documented an incident involving a 5-year-old who went to the nurse and was sent back to her classroom. Finding no one there — the class was on the playground — the child returned to the nurse’s office, but was unable to open the door so the unsupervised child walked home where she was found crying outside her apartment door by an aunt.

In his statement, Davis called the accounts “disturbing and totally unacceptable.”

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