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To: Washington County Public Schools Superintendent David Sovine & Board of Education Members

5 year old sustained a concussion at Ruth Ann Monroe Primary. What happened to her?

Dear Superintendent Sovine & WCPS Board Members,

My 5 year old daughter, Milan Odeyemi, sustained a concussion at Ruth Ann Monroe Primary in Hagerstown, Maryland. Since December of 2021, we have been working to view unedited school video to find out what happened to our child, while protecting the privacy of all other children by blurring their faces. Washington County Public Schools had already blurred all other children's faces on the heavily edited clips that we were shown previously, so why were the videos edited when all other children's privacy was protected? Washington County Public Schools and the Board of Education are ignoring a federal statute (FERPA) request which gives parents the right to access and view their child's educational records, including videos. Under FERPA, educational institutions have 45 days to respond to this request. I submitted my FERPA request to the Principal of Ruth Ann Monroe Primary (Dana Peake), the former Superintendent (Boyd Michael), and all WCPS Board Members, in January 2021 and no one has responded to my written request.

On October 4, 2022, I sent a follow-up email in regards to my FERPA request to view my child's educational records to all of the above individuals including the current Superintendent (David Sovine) reminding them of my FERPA rights and that they are violating a Federal law by not responding to my request within a reasonable period of time.

WCPS Superintendent and Board Members are all aware of the situation but have not intervened and provided their guidance and support which would allow my daughter an equal educational opportunity.

How does a 5 year old child come home from school with a concussion and no one cares?

Sincerely,
Dominique Warner-Odeyemi

Why is this important?

Washington County Public Schools are ignoring a FEDERAL STATUTE (FERPA) request to view full-length video of what happened to my daughter. All parents should feel that their childs school cares about their well-being while at school. Please sign this petition to urge WCPS to release unedited video and find out how a 5-year-old sustains a concussion on school grounds and NO ONE CARES!!!

My daughter came home severely injured and no one cared enough to contact me or help her medically, and then made extreme efforts to prevent me from viewing video of what happened to her.

On December 22, 2021, my daughter got off her school bus with an injured and bloody face. No one contacted us or provided her with medical treatment. The bus driver said that he did not see what happened and that she got on his bus with her injuries. I contacted her teacher and sent her a picture of my daughter's face. Her teacher stated that my daughter did not look like that when she left her classroom that evening and she would contact the principal to see if she knows what happened. No one reached out to us so we called the Washington County Sheriff's Office because we do not know what happened to our baby. The responding officer transferred the case to the School Resource Officer because he would be able to view school videos to find out what happened to her. The responding Officer documented his police report as a possible assault of a minor. Later that night, the Principal sent me an email apologizing and stated that she received a picture of my daughter's face and would investigate what happened in the morning.

The next day, I received a phone call from the school Principal (Dana Peake) and School Resource Officer (Corey McCarthy). They both stated that they watched the video and were not able to see my daughter fall but were able to see an Asst Principal go over and help her after she fell. The Officer said that he was closing the case because after watching the video, she was not assaulted.

Wanting a copy of the Officer's police report, I called his police station a few hours later and he happened to be there. He came to the phone and I asked him about getting a copy of his police report from the video that he viewed at my daughter's school this morning. He stated that he DID NOT watch a video and did not give a reason for changing his reason for closing the case. The officer's police report does not mention him viewing a video or that a video existed. The officer closed the case after a simple conversation with the Principal.

During an initial meeting at the school to view school and bus videos on January 19, 2022, I learned that the school had edited all videos into short clips, preventing me from gaining any knowledge of what happened to my daughter, even though they had already protected the privacy of all children by blurring their faces.
I have filed complaints against the principal as well as the officer and after an internal investigation of both, no wrongdoing was found although I have raised concerns of:
· the school’s negligence to provide medical treatment after my daughter hit her head on the cement while on school grounds.
· the school’s negligence to notify us that our child was injured.
· the principal conspiring with the SRO to lie about the results of his investigation at the school.
· the officer closing his case of a possible assault of a minor under false pretenses, although he was assigned by his police department to investigate a possible assault of a minor.
· the school editing my daughter’s education records, preventing me from gaining any knowledge of what happened to her, even though all other children’s faces were blurred, protecting their privacy.
· the principal falsifying her original incident report and later amending the report after she learned that there was evidence to prove that she was aware of the incident and my daughter’s initial injuries.

The principal canceled our scheduled meeting at the school for February 2, 2022, stating that the videos needed to be sent back to their legal department to blur the faces of all other children and she will let me know when they are available. I have not heard from them again and the Superintendent and Board of Education have not intervened although they are aware that my daughter is not able to return to school until we see video of what happened to her.

1311 Yale Dr, Hagerstown, MD 21742, USA

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Updates

2022-11-16 05:37:04 -0800

25 signatures reached

2022-10-29 20:40:35 -0700

10 signatures reached