By Kevin O’Rourke
A substitute teacher at Kingsview Middle School is under investigation by Child Protective Services and the Montgomery County Public Schools Office of Human Resources and Development in connection with an incident at the school which took place on Friday, Dec. 12, according to MCPS sources.
Gboyinde Onijala with the MCPS public information office confirmed that an investigation by Child Protective Services of the substitute was under way on Monday morning.
The substitute teacher, who has not been identified, was reported by multiple students to school administrators on Friday for allegedly looking at inappropriate material on a computer while students were in class, according to a letter sent home to parents on Friday by Kingsview Middle School Principal James D’Andrea.
The substitute teacher was covering classes at Kingsview on Thursday and Friday of last week for regular algebra teacher Karen Pate.
“As a result of this report, we immediately removed the substitute teacher from the classroom, and we are working with the MCPS Office of Technology to investigate the situation,” read the letter. “During the investigation, the substitute teacher will not be returning to Kingsview Middle School.”
In the letter to parents, D’Andrea went on to praise the students who reported this incident to administrators. “I am very proud of the students who reported this information, and it underscores the importance of ensuring that our students know to tell a staff member immediately if they see or hear anything of concern.”
The incident comes two days after the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Association’s health and safety committee hosted a presentation in Rockville for about 40 parents, school counselors, and administrators called “Stewards of Children” by the nonprofit group called Darkness to Light.
“Stewards of Children” is a two-hour, evidence-informed training program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The program is designed for parents, youth serving organizations, and other concerned individuals.
The MCCPTA and Darkness to Light program comes on the heels of a number disturbing incidences of child sexual abuse in MCPS schools in the last three months.