Parent concerned over student safety in Prince George’s Co.

WASHINGTON — The father of a 4-year-old boy who was allegedly molested by a bus aide for James Ryder Randall Elementary School in Clinton, Maryland, says he is heartbroken.

“I tried my best to protect my kids — to let nothing happen to them. I go to the school; I go to the bus stop; I meet the teachers. I’m heavily involved, just so that this kind of thing won’t happen,” said the devastated parent, who asked reporters not to identify him to protect his son.

The victim’s father and some frustrated board members talked to reporters after Tuesday’s briefing by Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell.

During the briefing, Maxwell confirmed that police and Child Protective Services were investigating allegations into the school bus aide who is accused of molesting preschool children with special needs, first reported by NBC Washington.

The aide and a person in a supervisory role were immediately put on administrative leave, Maxwell said, after he first learned of allegations in late August.

Still, the concerned father said he was bothered by the sense that information is often withheld by school officials.

“I trusted the bus and the school system to take care of my kid; he was supposed to be going to Head Start,” the parent said. “He was in Head Start to get a head start in life and it was the total opposite.”

Maxwell said police had contacted the parents of children who took the same bus as the 4-year-old who was reportedly molested. He added, “And if parents haven’t heard from law enforcement — who’s handling the investigation — they have no reason, to our knowledge, to be concerned about anything.”

Maxwell also told reporters Tuesday that a principal had been placed on leave from Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary, but did not say exactly why.

That news infuriated school board member Edward Burroughs, who said members of the board had just wrapped up an executive session with Maxwell and no mention was made of the incident at the elementary school — the same school where, last year, the principal was replaced after an aide was alleged to have sexually abused students there.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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