Murphy Hokey Law

February 23, 2024

Investigation Reveals That A Maryland Principal Engaged In Bullying And Sexual Misbehavior

Investigation Reveals That A Maryland Principal Engaged In Bullying And Sexual Misbehavior

A months-long investigation by the Montgomery County Office of the Inspector General revealed that a Maryland principal had participated in sexual misconduct, bullying, and violations of sexual harassment policies.

Joel Beidleman of Montgomery County Public Schools was found to have engaged in improper behaviour while serving as the principal of Olney’s Farquhar Middle School, according to the investigation.

Investigation Reveals That A Maryland Principal Engaged In Bullying And Sexual Misbehavior

Following numerous instructors’ allegations of sexual harassment against Beidleman earlier this year, authorities opened an inquiry. For seven years, he was allegedly reported to the school system eighteen times, with little to no follow-up. In June, Beidleman received a promotion to the position of principal at Burtonsville’s Paint Branch High School.

Beidleman “made repeated comments about the appearance of female subordinates, directed offensive comments and jokes of a sexual nature at subordinates, bullied subordinates, and had a sexual relationship with a subordinate over whom he had supervisory responsibility,” according to the investigation, Fox 5 DC reported.

The investigation also revealed that staff members felt intimidated and degraded by the principal’s actions, were scared to argue with Beidleman, and were concerned about their job security.

Superintendent Monifa B. McKnight received the investigation’s results and will now address the case. A lengthy leave of absence was imposed on Beidleman following claims of sexual assault.

This is one of two investigations into Montgomery County Public Schools; the other examines how the district handles complaints of staff misconduct.

The Montgomery County Board of Education and Beidleman were the targets of a civil discrimination complaint filed last month; further cases may be brought in the future.

“The investigation by the Montgomery County Maryland Office of the Inspector General regarding allegations of misconduct by Dr. Joel Beidleman confirms some of the most troubling aspects of this matter,” McKnight wrote in a statement. “The Board of Education is committed to using the work of the Inspector General, both this investigation and the second pending report reviewing the processes and procedures for handling complaints of misconduct, as a catalyst for thorough systemic reform and enhanced accountability.”

“The Board of Education will put policies and systems in place that nurture and support a culture of respect where employees feel safe and confident that complaints or concerns will be addressed,” the statement continued. “The Board thanks the Inspector General for the work of her and her team.”

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