WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland Principal Accused Of Bullying Students, Teachers

Play associated audio
Instead of a student, it's the principal who has been accused of bullying.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcjohn/74907741/
Instead of a student, it's the principal who has been accused of bullying.

Six former and current teachers at Kemp Mill Elementary School in Montgomery County are suing over allegations of bullying by the school's principal.

The suit claims Principal Floyd Starnes bullied and harassed teachers who sought to improve classroom conditions. The teachers also allege that the county board of education was aware of Starnes' behavior and did nothing to stop it.

"Teachers who have spoken up to him regarding what we think was unethical behavior, or behavior not in the best interest of the children, were retaliated against," says Carmel Mansour, one of the plaintiffs in the suit.

 Starnes would also intimidate children, according to the plaintiffs. Once, Starnes took a student into a closet for 30 minutes, Mansour says.

"And then after that, the teacher was asked to sign a particular MCPS form saying nothing happened, but really that teacher had no idea what went on inside that closet," Mansour says.

The plaintiffs' attorney says they could just be the tip of a larger iceberg. The six teachers who have come forward might reflect a much larger group of complainants, according to attorney Robert Welcheck.

"For every plaintiff in this case, there's probably 20 teachers or staff members who would love to talk about the situation, but they're fearful cause they're in the Montgomery county Schools system," Welcheck says, adding he's received anonymous calls from teachers who want to discuss their situations, but are afraid. 

Montgomery County Public Schools has said the teachers' statements are "overwhelmingly false and erroneous," in a statement from MCPS spokesperson Dana Tofig. 

NPR

Costume Designer Colleen Atwood Took Unlikely Path To Hollywood Royalty

Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood knows tough times. A single mom at 17 who once worked at a French fry factory to make ends meet is Hollywood royalty today. A favorite of director Tim Burton, Atwood is now costume designer for his adaptation of the darkly comic, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children and the upcoming Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
NPR

Carnegie Deli Says It Is Closing Down Its Landmark NYC Restaurant

As news of the closing rippled far beyond the deli's home turf in Manhattan Friday, hundreds of people responded with sadness and disbelief.
NPR

Gary Johnson Is Probably The Healthiest Candidate For President

The 63-year-old Libertarian presidential nominee has run 17 marathons and four Ironman Triathlons. He doesn't drink or smoke cigarettes, though his doctor doesn't address his past marijuana use.
NPR

The United Nations Is Launching A Space Mission

The U.N. is planning to send its first spacecraft into orbit, packed with scientific experiments from countries that can't afford their own space programs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.