The Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Investigation Update webpage is dedicated to providing the most accurate and up-to-date information about recent and on-going investigations that involve school system employees linked to crimes occurring in CCPS buildings, on its grounds and/or with CCPS students. This site is part of the system’s efforts to be transparent with parents and the community, while providing counseling and related resources to those who need them.

Parent Letter from Dr. Hill about Social Media Threats Investigation

November 14, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians:


The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Snapchat posts that made threats of violence against two high schools. Police have identified the students they believe are responsible for the posts, and they do not believe the threats are credible. It was determined that both schools were safe to open and operate on a normal schedule. We would not open any school if we did not believe it was safe.

What we know at this time is that late last night Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) received information about a Snapchat post making a threat involving Henry E. Lackey High School. CCPS immediately began working with the Sheriff’s Office to investigate. Early this morning the Sheriff’s Office identified a suspect and assured us that there was no information that the threat was credible.

This morning we learned there was also a Snapchat post about Maurice J. McDonough High School spreading a rumor of a threat to students at McDonough. Police also verified this threat was not credible.

We provided information on our social media outlets as soon as we received verified and corroborated information from police. We cooperate fully with our law enforcement partners and we do not post unsubstantiated information or interfere with investigations. We thank everyone who shared information and reported it to the school system and police instead of reposting it.

We want to assure parents that we are aware of the posts and that our principals and staff at all CCPS schools remain diligent in maintaining a safe school atmosphere. CCPS takes all threats seriously and we investigate them thoroughly with police.

I know rumors and social media posts threatening violence worry us about the safety of our children. I want to reassure the community that safety is our first priority, and we do all that we can to maintain security in our buildings.

We continue to ask that parents or students contact the Sheriff’s Office or a school administrator immediately if you believe there is a threat to safety. CCPS also has an online reporting tool, See Something, Say Something, at https://www.ccboe.com/index.php/see-something-say-something.

Sincerely,

Kimberly A. Hill, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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As a parent or staff member, you may have questions regarding how you can support your children and students. Children may have questions that are difficult for you to answer. The information and resources below can assist you in talking about this recent event.


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Any one sign does not mean a child was sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you should begin asking questions and consider seeking help. We encourage parents to talk with your children about the investigation, and if they report anything inappropriate whatsoever, call 1-800-225-5324. Parents can also call Child Protective Services at 301-392-6731 or call 911 to report possible child abuse.

All Charles County public schools have staff available during the school day to assist with questions or concerns parents may have regarding their child. This includes school counselors, school psychologists, pupil personnel workers and school administrators. Over the summer, concerned parents can contact the Department of Student Services at 301-934-7326.

Charles County Child Advocacy Center provides free therapy for victims of sexual abuse during and post-investigation through a federal Victims of Crime Act grant.  Please call 301-609-9887 and ask for Sara Ortiz, Victim Services Coordinator to make an appointment

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Mental Health/ Counseling Resources


Charles County Department of Health
4545 Crain Hwy, White Plains, MD 20695
301-609-6900
www.charlescountyhealth.org/health-services/mental-health

Center for Children
6100 Radio Station Rd, La Plata, MD 20646
301-392-6400
center-for-children.org

Tri-County Youth Services
Bureau 75 Industrial Park Drive, Waldorf, MD 20602
301-645-1837
www.tcysb.org

National Child Abuse Hotline
24 hours a day, seven days a week
1-800-4-A-CHILD

Charles County Department of Social Services
200 Kent Avenue, La Plata, MD 20646
301-392-6400
www.charlescountydss.com