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Charles County Public Schools response to local release

March 19, 2024 

Dear NAACP Executive Committee Members: 

Thank you for your continued support of Charles County Public Schools and the Board of Education of Charles County. I am reaching out in response to the March 8 NAACP press release outlining concerns related to the Charles County Public Schools Employee Handbook and policies related to the prevention of discrimination.  

While the bulk of the review and revision work related to the staff handbook fell to the Educational Equity Task Force, I do acknowledge that this work is long overdue and inexcusably delayed. I have taken recent action to expedite the revision and review process of the employee handbook. This work includes a revision to language about employee social media use (both for instructional and personal usage), use of derogatory language in the classroom, in lessons, assignments, etc. in which anyone in the community could find offensive, and expectations of employment for any person working for Charles County Public Schools.  

My goal is to have the handbook revisions complete by April 5. Staff from the Offices of Human Resources, Communications, School Administration and Leadership, and our staff attorney are currently reviewing the revisions to ensure the language added about discriminatory activities and social media is strong enough and clearly addresses these concerns. This date provides key staff members with time to review the revisions and determine whether additional updates are needed.  

Plans are underway for advanced training of staff related to not only the handbook revisions, but a review of conduct expectations for any employee hired by CCPS. While some of this work is covered during the onboarding process of any person hired by CCPS, I understand the need for targeted trainings related to professional conduct and racism/bias in the workplace. Our Safe Schools trainings include these topics and employees are required to complete them annually. However, I recognize that more impactful training is necessary. I am hoping to have details about such trainings ready soon and ask that somehow we partner together to make sure the shared concerns are covered.  

I agree with the concerns outlined in the release that this delayed action sends the wrong message about discrimination in schools. It is true that within the past two years, there have been reported racially charged incidents involving staff. The investigations into these incidents have been handled through the appropriate offices and with the support of outside agencies, when necessary. When an investigation results in the confirmation of wrongdoing or of malicious intent by staff, we work with our union leaders to address questions about termination.  

Some of the incidents have been shared through our See Something, Say Something reporting tool, which is accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The tool does provide anonymity and is checked daily, Monday through Sunday. We will continue to encourage the community to use the tool to share any school system concerns that need to be looked into – for the betterment of all students and our staff.  


Maria V. Navarro, Ed.D. 
Superintendent of Schools 


About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,765 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 38 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).