Parent Talk Live
Former Prince George's County Public Schools Head Start Family Service Coordinator
claims she was terminated for defending a parent of an abused child
This is part three of an exclusive Forest Of The Rain Productions interview with Ms. Demetrius Deal, former Prince George's County Public Schools Head Start Family Services Coordinator. She agreed to discuss her claims, she was terminated for defending a parent of an abused child and her comments about a "cover-up" related to child abuse and neglect within Prince George's County Public Schools Head Start program.
According to Ms. Deal, the abused 3-year-old child was forced to mop up his urine as punishment for soiling his clothes during nap time. The county's public schools system and board of education were notified that the Head Start grant worth 6.5 million was terminated due to failure to "timely correct one or more deficiencies," a spokesperson said.
FOTRP: Explain why you stated there is a culture of cover-up?
• Did the School system ever give an explanation on why the Head Start teacher remained within the system for months, even after Office of Head Start deemed her unfit to work in front of Head Start children and stated she could no longer get paid with Head Start funds on February 17, 2016?
• Why wasn’t the principal of H. Winship Wheatley, the Program Supervisor of Head Start, paraprofessional in the classroom, the teacher, and myself placed on Administrative leave, after the Outcome Finding Report came out on February 29, 2016?
• Why on December 21, 2015, I brought forth to the principal at H. Winship Wheatley, face-to-face then through email, two parent complaints and a request for a formal meeting to address my concerns about some inappropriate, unprofessional and unethical texts I received from this same teacher who later was accused of making a child mop up their urine and sending the pictures to the parent; however, those complaints and my request for a formal meeting got swept under the rug and never addressed, even after several email attempts.
• Why on January 13th, at 7:30 am did the Lead Teacher of H. Winship Wheatley Head Start send me a text, stating, “When I get to work in a few minutes do you want me to give Julie heads up that you’re going to need to talk to her? Or do you want me to stay out of it?” I contacted the Lead teacher that night and sent her a text with the child picture of him mopping up his urine. She directed me to share the picture with the building principal immediately the next morning by which I did.
• Why on January 13, 2016, after meeting with me, requesting me to write a statement and having the parent to come to Wheatley and re-write her statement because the first one the Program Supervisor of Head Start scanned/emailed to the her wasn’t legible, the principal of H. Winship Wheatley never reported the incident to CPS like she lead us to believe?
• Why on January 13, 2016, I spoke with the Program Supervisor of Head Start and was told to stay out of it; the Board is handling this incident now. She stated this in front of the parent of the victim.
• Why on January 14, 2016, a meeting was conducted with the Head Start teacher, the principal and the Area I Instructor and the teacher was placed on Leave. The program Supervisor of Head Start wasn’t in attendance of this meeting.
• Why did I have to upload then email the texts and the picture the parent sent me from January 12, 2016, to the principal of Wheatley because the principal stated she needed a tangible copy to submit to CPS?
• Why after the parent spoke with the principal of H. Winship Wheatley on January 19, 2016, and getting no satisfying answers, did the parent of the victim have send out an email to top officials, screaming for help & answers?
• Why didn’t the CEO, Executive Director, Area I Instructor, Principal of H. Winship Wheatley, Program Supervisor of Head Start, and the Coordinating Supervisor of Early Childhood Programs respond to the parent of victim email?
• Why on February 5, 2016 the Area I Instructor contacted the parent of the victim to inform her that the investigation was over and the teacher will be returning to work on Monday, February 8th, even though it was documented that her son had his afternoon nap interrupted and was forced to hold a mop while pictures were taken of him in soiled clothes. Two paraprofessional watched this mother's son being humiliated just for having an accident in his sleep?
• Why did the Office of Labor & Relation drop the ball and allowed this teacher to return to work, even though she committed a heinous act against a minor?
• Why on February 5, 2016, the parent of the victim had to resort to filing a stay-away-order against the teacher, just to keep her off the property and her child safe?
• Why on February 8, 2016, did the parent of the victim call me crying, stating the teacher had her served with a stay-away-order as well?
• Why on that same day did the principal of H. Winship Wheatley had the nerve to tell the parent that she couldn’t come on school property because the teacher informed her that she placed a stay-away-order on the parent of the victim?
• Why on February 9, 2016, I was called into the principal of Wheatley office to be accused of sharing privileged information with the parent? By which I still don’t know what the principals was talking about because the only communication I had with the principal was informing her of the parent of the victim concerns that the parent brought forth to me.
• Why did I have to go to the parent of the victim house every morning, after she was served a stay-away- order from the school, to see if she wanted me to take her child to school because I didn’t want him to miss any days and I felt like someone needed to support this mom?
• Why did the Area I Instructor write the timeline and not the Program Supervisor of Head Start per the Outcome Finding Report?
• Why on February 11, 2016, the child’s new paraprofessional was served with a subpoena, on behalf of the parent of the victim?
• Why on February 11, 2016, after working hours did the program supervisor called me 12 times, indicating the next day it was an emergency and she didn’t want me to get served so stay away from the school.
• Why on February 12th I was served with a subpoena at my daughter’s daycare, on behalf of the parent of the victim?
• Why on February 12, 2016, the paraprofessional and myself went to court and testified on behalf of the parent. The parent stay-away order was granted, the teacher stay-away-order was thrown out.
• Why once the paraprofessional & I returned to H. Winship Wheatley the principal called use into her office, questioning us, and later stating we were going to get her in trouble, basically because we told the truth.
• Why on February 12, 2016, the program supervisor of Head Start called down into the classroom, interrogating the paraprofessional and I. The program Supervisor interrogated me on how I was served and why did I let them serve me. I told her I am under no legal obligation to answer that question. She informed me to stay away from Wheatley because I was spending too much time there. I told her to put it in writing. I felt humiliated. I sent an email to her supervisor advising her of the program supervisor line of questioning and her behavior.
• Why did I have encounter workplace retaliation, at the hands of the principal & program supervisor after I was subpoenaed to court by the parent of the victim on February 12, 2016?
• Why on February 16, 2016, the Program Supervisor of Head Start requested to meet with me via email, stating that the teacher was initiating a complaint against me for allegedly telling staff she should be fired for having a child mop of his urine. On February 17 at 1 pm, I met with the PS of Head Start to verbally receive this information.
• Why on February 17, 2016, I had to send an email to the Head Start Program Supervisor and the principal of Wheatley expressing the need for union counsel because they continued to ignore my request for a formal meeting and to address the two parent complaints. In this email, the Program Supervisor of Head Start stated, “All disciplinary actions involving texts and inappropriate behaviors with Leslie Stewart have been already addressed in the recent meeting with PGCPS.” This response was sent via email on February the 18th.
• Why on February 17, 2016, at 3 pm in Bowie, a closed meeting was conducted to discuss the situation with the teacher who made a child mop up his urine…the following staff was in attendance: The Head Start teacher, H. Winship Wheatley Principal, Program Supervisor of Head Start, Coordinating Supervisor of Early Childhood Education, Area I Supervisor, and the Executive Director. I not sure who else were there!
• Why was the principal of H. Winship Wheatley on February 19, 2016, allowed to send home a letter to Head Start parents supporting a child abuser, stating that this teacher who committed a heinous act “will be missed.”
• Why also on February 19, 2016, was a child abuser able to write a goodbye to her parents, attached to the principal letter?
• Why on February 23, 2016, did I have to put together a parent meeting to address parent concerns at Wheatley, as relates to the suspected abuse of the Head Start teacher because the principal nor the principal would address the parent concerns?
• Why did I receive an email from the Program Supervisor on February 26, 2016, requesting work by which she claimed was overdue; however, I had witness and documentation that the deadline wasn’t until March 4, 2016, as stated in the follow-up email to her?
• Why did I have to send an email on February 29, 2016 to the principal of Wheatley and the Program Supervisor of Head Start the concerns of the parents in the victim of the child who was made to mop up his union classroom because neither one of them would attend this open meeting to address the parent’s concerns?
• Why on February 20, 2016, was this teacher able to transfer to another Early Childhood program, working with children, after committing an act of child abuse and neglect?
• Why on February 23, 2016, the Program Supervisor of Head Start refuse to give the Office of Head Start my name when they requested to speak to me about the incident?
• Why did the Program Supervisor of Head Start refuse to corroborate with the Fed’s and submit the required documents?
• Why did my “Employment Termination” letter state that I suspected abuse on December 22, 2015, yet the parent put in writing to the Fed’s, the program supervisor, and the Coordinating Supervisor of Early Childhood Education in an email on March 8, 2016 that she didn’t share any allegation of abuse to me the FSW, until January 12, 2016? In addition, why did the parent of the victim write another letter/email to my union, sharing that I NEVER discouraged her from reporting the incident on December 22, 2015?
• Why would the parent of the victim, STATE publicly and in numerous emails that never discouraged her from reporting an incident of child abuse & neglect at the hands of a Head Start teacher?
• Why did I have to send the Office of Head Start an email on March 3, 2016, at 11:57 AM to refute their allegation written about me in the Outcome Finding Report? And why did the Office of Head Start honored my request to be heard, so they sent a lead investigator back out to speak to me on April 13th?
• Why did I did I have to take a half-day of leave on March 3rd, 2016, once I read the Outcome Finding Report on March 3rd in front of my staff because I was visibly distraught, crying and believed I was set-up by the program supervisor and the principal of Wheatley? An email was sent to the program Supervisor, her supervisor and the timekeeper, at 12:09 PM to state I needed to take a half-day sick leave…I felt betrayed from what I read!!
• Why on March 8, 2016, an email was sent to the Program Supervisor, the Coordinating Supervisor of Early Childhood Programs and a separate one to the Fed’s, from the parent to the victim, after the parent of the victim read the Outcome Finding Report, stating the following:
• Why on March 10, 2016 at the all-county Child Abuse & Neglect Training, the General Counsel, Shana Battle stated in front of 150 Head Start staff members that if an educator doesn’t report the incident of child abuse & neglect but, the educator reports it to the principal, it’s the principal responsibility to make sure that the incident gets report to CPS?
• Why on March 18th I reached out to my Employee & Labor Relation Advisor via phone call and discussed my concerns, as it relates to the Outcome Finding Report, by which I was informed to send a timeline of events, just in case a complaint came across their desk by Wanda Battle, my ELRO representative? In addition, I attached the Outcome Finding Report to this email for documentation purposes. Mrs. Battle called me back immediately, on my cell phone by which I have a report of all my incoming calls, asking why did I attach that report? I stated it’s a point of reference.
• Why did I have to send an email requesting union representation to conduct a formal meeting with program supervisor of Head Start on March 18, 2016, to initiate a complaint because I was in a hostile environment and was being harassed AGAIN?
• Why did the Office of Employment Labor & Relations, Wanda Battle send me an email on March 21, 2016, stating, “I have not received an ELRO complaint against you? If you are seeking to file a harassment case, please complete the attached Discrimination/Harassment complaint form and return to Ms. Amana Simmons, EEO Advisor.”” Even though, I would be later to be fired for this same complaint as it relates to the Federal Outcome Finding Report?
• Why did the Lead Investigator of the Office of Head Start inform me that the Program Supervisor of Head Start refuse to give them my name, when she came out to interview me on April 13, 2016? Why did this same investigator ask me to continue to support this parent of the victim?
• Why did the Office of Head Start send the Program Supervisor and the victim of the parent an email with immediate recommendations, after our meeting on April 13, 2016, that I continue to support the parent and I am involved in this immediate recommendation?
• Why didn’t the Office of Head Start fire me, yet fired the Head Start teacher?
• Why was the Head Start teacher who made the child mop up his urine allowed to come on school property and hang-out, and later antagonize the parent of the victim, even though she was on administrative leave “air quote’’ during the timeframe of January 15th through February 11th?
• Why did the Program Supervisor of Head Start tell me I could no longer service my caseload at H. Winship Wheatley nor should I report there anymore, to keep me away from supporting the victim and her son? Why did I have to put this in writing and request for union representation on May 16, 2016?
• Why did I have to submit several grievances and harassment complaints against the Program Supervisor of Head Start to her supervisor, my union and Labor & Relations because I was being bullied, harassed, targeted and in a hostile environment, just for advocating for the parent of the victim? Dates starting early as September 2014 through June of 2016 via email.
• Why did the Chief Executive Officer send out a “BULLETIN” to ALL employees to provide information on the Head Start program requirements on April 14, 2016?
• Why on May 16, 2016, I had to send out another email to several Labor & relation staff members and my union requesting union representation and guidance because I was told without reason to stay away from H. Winship Wheatley by the Program Supervisor, even though I was scheduled to attend the end of the year ceremony program by which I was on the original program to present? I provided a lot of services to those families and the Principal couldn’t attest that!
• Why did I receive an email on June 22, 2016, from the program supervisor of Head Start stating she needed to schedule my annual evaluation? Thus, I sent a reply stating, under the circumstance of my complaints against her, I didn’t feel it was in my best interest that she evaluates me. I also stated in an email that if would not be fair, impartial and bias by which came out to be TRUE. She gave me all satisfactory on my evaluation, stating that all Coordinators received the same outcome. I later found that to be untrue, when I discover the Head Nutritionist evaluation on the printer and seen scores of outstanding and excellent. I confronted her later in a private meeting with Mrs. Gaines (Head Start Consultant) and shared my findings. She agreed to change my evaluation, she just needed some time, I reported this meeting to her supervisor and my union the same day, but I regret not putting it into writing.
• Why did I have to send an email on June 23, 2016, to the Coordinating Supervisor of Early Childhood requesting another formal meeting to address my concerns with Program of Supervisor of Head Start? In this email, I demanded that the Program Supervisor be written up and express that my complaints in the least 6 months were being overlooked.
• Why on July 7, 2016, my position was removed from the general grant (School Board money) and placed under the Head Start grant? And why did the Director of Payroll services inform me not only did they move my position under the Head Start grant, they back-dated it as to suggest I was always getting paid from those monies…effective March of 2014, which happens to be the date I became the Family Service Coordinator of Head Start! Why after speaking to my Employee & Labor Relation Advisor on August 18, 2016, she stated only two people had the authority to move me from one grant to another…the Executive Director or the Coordinating Supervisor of Early Childhood Education. Why was my position moved, after 18 years under the general grant?
• Why did I get the call from Employee & Labor Relation advisor to report to Sasscer, where I was placed on administrative leave on August 16, 2016, for a CONCERN that I brought to this same Employee & Labor Relation advisor on March 18, 2016, via email and telephone conversations? (I have my cell phone records)
• Why on September 21, 2016, did the CEO fire his Chief of Staff for an “inappropriate tone” in an email, yet allowed the principal of H. Winship Wheatley to continue to work, even though he was aware of a letter that this principal sent home to other Head Start parents on February 19, 2016, basically supporting an abuser by stating “she will be missed”? When does PGCPS employee’s and parents miss child abusers?
• Why haven’t the paraprofessionals in the classroom, who witness the teacher make the soiled child mop up his urine, been fired? Why were they able to demonstrate willful blindness and make statements to the principal, the Fed’s and an investigator they didn’t see the teacher make the child mop up the urine, even though the never left the classroom?
Lastly, I have more questions and documents to support my line of questioning, but clearly, a cover-up is an understatement!
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