Frederick County Public Schools whistleblowers are coming forward with explosive allegations of abuse occurring inside the school system.
This article explores the whistleblowers’ allegations and the subsequent responses from multiple Frederick County officials.
The whistleblowers who contacted A Miner Detail with abuse allegations have requested to remain anonymous.
According to the Frederick County Public Schools whistleblower reports, Frederick County Child Protective Services and Carroll Manor Elementary School administrators have received at least four separate abuse and mistreatment reports over the last few years.
Frederick County Public Schools Whistleblowers reported abuse in April 2017
A Miner Detail previously published a letter written by a former instructional assistant.
(This letter circulated throughout the Carroll Manor Elementary School community.)
A Miner Detail met Nancy Hawker on May 16th, 2020, the release of its first article detailing abuse within Frederick County Public Schools.
Hawker is a retired Frederick County Public Schools instructional assistant who maintained a written log.
She translated her hand-written notes onto a computer for ease of reading.
A Miner Detail inquired why Hawker reported the abuse in April 2017 to Carroll Manor Elementary School Principal Kim Robertson instead of Child Protective Services.
Hawker said that all child abuse reports made to CPS must first be directed to the school principal, who is responsible for following up on all reports of abuse.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is standard practice in most organizations.
Hawker’s notes (whistleblower names are omitted to protect the whistleblowers’ identities) will be published later, including subsequent incidents observed by additional FCPS employees.
Whistleblowers report abuse to Kim Robertson
An FCPS employee with knowledge of Steiner’s classroom behavior (“Colossus” will be used as an alias to protect the employee’s identity) spoke to A Miner Detail on the condition of anonymity.
Colossus informed A Miner Detail that Maureen Mazzie was reported to Robertson by Chad Connors, a physical education teacher.
The report occurred in the spring of 2017.
Mazzie has been placed on administrative leave, though a source confirmed that Mazzie is still employed as Frederick County Public Schools instructional assistant.
Colossus received a call from the Frederick County Department of Social Services
In May 2018, Colossus received a call from the Frederick County Department of Social Services.
During the call, the organization asked open-ended questions (e.g., “So tell us about Carroll Manor”).
Without any specific incident to speak on, Colossus did not elaborate or discuss the classroom behavior they observed.
Colossus verified the same sort of classroom behavior documented by Hawker and Domino during the conversation.
Colossus elaborated that it was not only Steiner but also Mazzie who was responsible for mistreating students.
April 2018 – Child Abuse reported to Amanda Keilholtz
An FCPS employee with knowledge of Carroll Manor’s Challenges program (“Domino” will be used as an alias to protect the employee’s identity) spoke to A Miner Detail on the condition of anonymity.
Domino informed A Miner Detail that in the classroom, Lisa Stickley, a special education program assistant, picked children up by the ear when they fell to the ground (this is typical behavior among special needs children).
Stickley, the whistleblower claimed, also slapped children on the back of their heads.
Domino said the behavior was reported to Amanda Keilholtz, a special education coordinator.
“No action was taken,” Domino said.
According to Colossus, Keilholtz was well aware of Chad Steiner’s classroom behavior.
Colossus said Keilholtz scheduled classroom visits and communicated using a walkie-talkie to warn Steiner and avoid witnessing Steiner’s behavior.
Abuse Reported in the Summer of 2018
According to Domino, multiple FCPS employees familiar with Steiner’s classroom behavior relayed similar reports to Robertson.
The Lucas investigation: July 2019
According to Colossus, no one from FCPS contacted them about an investigation.
Colossus said the school system has essential information related to Carroll Manor Elementary School, perpetuated by Robertson, Steiner, and Mazzie.
Domino sent the email below to Dr. Jamie Aliveto, the executive director of the System Accountability & School Administration office at Frederick County Public Schools.
DPS receives abuse complaints
The Frederick County Department of Social Services received Hawker’s complaint in August 2019.
Child Protective Services employee Shelley Sexton
A concerned parent (She-Hulk is an alias) received a call on Jan. 23, 2020, from Child Protective Services Intake Case Supervisor Shelley Sexton.
Shelley Sexton, She-Hulk said, told She-Hulk that Child Protective Services interviewed every student in Chad Steiner’s classroom between January and June 2017.
(The Challenges program is comprised of non-verbal children with autism and other developmental delays.)
Each source – three individuals with direct classroom experience – claimed that none of the children were capable of verbal communication.
She-Hulk said they confronted Sexton.
Sexton, they said, did nothing.
Frederick County Public Schools students drew pictures depicting abuse
She-Hulk claimed that Chad Steiner’s former student drew pictures that directly correlated to notes written by Hawker.
The child, She-Hulk claimed, drew pictures of their head inside of a refrigerator and exclaimed: “Mr. Chad.”
The child’s hand-drawn art was not obtained or reviewed by CPS, nor was the student interviewed, She-Hulk said.
A Miner Detail is aware of at least one additional instance in which CPS received photographic evidence of child abuse.
According to the whistleblower, the evidence – a picture drawn by an abuse victim – and similar statements were provided to a mandated reporter.
Sexton, the whistleblower said, failed to investigate abuse allegations.
Frederick County Public Schools employees must report abuse, as required by state law.
A Miner Detail reached out to the Frederick County Department of Social Services with questions about its procedures and protocol for “interviewing” non-verbal individuals.
According to Hawker, Domino and She-Hulk, the two caregivers assigned to “Student Y” were not contacted to discuss abuse allegations.
DSS claims that this is the first step to performing an interview in their statement.
Cheryl Grau is unaware of previous Frederick County Public Schools child abuse complaints
She-Hulk forwarded A Miner Detail a separate email (seen below).
Cheryl Grau is the Frederick County Department of Social Services assistant director for Child, Family, and Adult Services.
Former DSS employees spoke out in February 2020
A former Frederick County Department of Social Services employee contacted A Miner Detail with information about the department’s business processes related to Child Protective Services.
The former DPS employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claimed that Frederick’s Child Protective Services “intentionally ignored reports of child abuse, even those received by other business units in DPS.”
Requests for Comment
Frederick County Public Schools declined to comment, citing personnel matters.
Kim Robertson and the Frederick County Department of Social Services did not respond to a request for comment.