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. 

WAMU 88.5

Your Turn: Sexual Assault, Nate Parker And More

Director Nate Parker's college rape case is resurfacing and putting off would-be fans of his highly anticipated film "The Birth of a Nation." What do Washingtonians think?

NPR

Minnesota Cracks Down On Neonic Pesticides, Promising Aid To Bees

Minnesota's governor has ordered new restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been blamed for killing bees. Many details of the plan, however, remain to be worked out.
WAMU 88.5

Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan And His Visit To Mexico

Donald Trump lays out a plan for immigration after a meeting with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto. An update on the Republican presidential nominee’s proposals on immigration, illegal drugs and trade.

WAMU 88.5

Results From Congressional Primary Races And New Concerns About Hacks Into State Voting Systems

Join us to discuss results from primary challenges to Republican Senator John McCain, Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others and new concerns possible Russian hackers breaking into U.S. state voting systems.

Leave a Comment

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