FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — It’s been just over a week since the U.S. Department of Justice investigation revealed Frederick County Public Schools pervasively misused seclusion and restraint practices against students with disabilities.
Following the release of this report, Superintendent Terry Alban has been placed on administrative leave. Newly elected Board President Brad Young says Dr. Alban’s leave will be discussed in the closed session, but the board is working to ensure those incidents don’t happen again moving forward. Young also shares that most of the board members found out about the settlement with the rest of the community.
“We’re getting ready to start building our budget for next year, and obviously we’re going to have to make some major changes in that budget based on these findings and the plans for improvement,” said Young.
According to Young, the board was “dismayed” about some of the findings, but FCPS was already in the process of ending seclusions and restraints prior to the investigation
“What the report really points out is that we need significantly more resources in our school system to handle these children that have special needs,” said Young.
In a statement, the Frederick County Teacher’s Association President Missy Dirks wrote, “The DOJ report, which was released without any notification to staff, has created some confusion for educators on how to keep all students safe in cases where students are trying to elope from the building or harming themselves or others. We are eager for clear communication and guidance so we can keep our students and schools safe.”
Currently, there is a Special Education Community Advisory Committee, but the board is looking into setting up a committee dedicated to just looking at the investigation’s findings.