Prince George’s Co. substitute teacher removed indefinitely after allegations of verbal, physical abuse

A substitute teacher at Lake Arbor Elementary School in Prince George’s County, Maryland, has been removed indefinitely following allegations that he verbally and physically abused students.

On Friday, Assistant Principal Camille McLaughlin sent a letter to parents stating the unidentified substitute had been removed indefinitely and was under investigation for reports of verbal and physical altercations with students in a classroom.

She added that “providing a safe and orderly environment for our students remains our highest priority” and asked parents to encourage their children to report any troubling incidents with adults.

Tierra Parker said her son was one of the students abused on Feb. 7. She said he came home from school that day and told her the teacher had lifted him in the air and choked him by his shirt collar. He said that was just one of two incidents.

The student also claimed that the substitute “pulled his left leg and dragged him out of his chair, leading to him hitting his head on the side of the chair and falling on his back,” Parker told WTOP.

Parker immediately reported the incidents to both the school and county police.

“I just want the kids to be aware that this is not right,” Parker said. “Make sure you’re just telling an adult of the situation, don’t just go home and just think that that’s OK.”

She said she wants the school system to do more thorough background checks while hiring. She’d also like to see additions that make classrooms safer.

“I feel like every classroom should have cameras,” Parker said. “Just in case things like this happen, we can have some type of clarification. We can see what’s going on in the class, instead of like ‘he say, she say’ we can actually see what’s going on in the class.”

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Grace Newton

Grace Newton is an Associate Producer at WTOP. She also works as an associate producer for NPR Newscast. Grace was born and raised in North Carolina but has lived in D.C. since 2018. Grace graduated from American University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in art history in 2022.

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