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March 8, 2024

Worcester County, MD - In Worcester County, the dialogue of school safety has shifted to a tense standoff between law enforcement, which is Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli and Worcester County States' Attorney Kris Heiser, and the Board of Education.  This battle is casting a spotlight on what should be considered more than a mere difference in strategy but is now a breach in fundamental security protocols and blatant cover-ups.

Principles Rally for School Board Amidst Escalating Crime

In the heat of this dispute, a unique front has emerged as all 14 principles from Worcester County Schools have come out in support of the Board of Education. It's an expected and perhaps necessary mechanism, as they are somewhat part of the administration. Yet, their support raises questions about the internal perception and reporting structures that feed the skeleton of school leadership.

The principles serve as a crucial link between the front lines of education and the institutional decision-makers, the Board of Education.  Their role is viscerally tied to advocacy and representation for the teachers, who in turn serve as sentinels for the students in their care. Yet, this unified front is as much a protective measure for the board's integrity as it is indicative of potential glitches in the system that fail to acknowledge brewing discord and threats.

Eastern Shore Undercover questions the support at this point, and wonders if it is mere smoke and mirrors due to the fact that long before Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli and Worcester County States' Attorney Kris Heiser came out with their concerns, we were receiving emails and private messages, from teachers, which we have addressed multiple times, in posts dating back to 2022. 

There are two posts that we did, one in September 12, 2022 and one on November 10, 2023, both of which were about schools, and incidents involving schools. In both of those posts, the reason was because the Board of Education and School Admins, were complaining about the information being made public. Those two posts, generated over 1,800 comments, with an overwhelming amount being from teachers and parents, expressing their concern for school safety. 

We have heard from teachers who stated that they are now looking for careers outside of the world of education. We have heard from teachers who were scared to go to school on a daily basis. We have heard from teachers spouses who have requested we monitor certain schools due to the level of violence taking place in the school. For several months last year, these messages were a daily interaction between Eastern Shore Undercover and teachers in the educational system. 

Therefore, hearing principles stand united and send letters, truly doesn't really hold much weight in the fact that it is the teachers and the students that are the ones suffereing from the lack of school safety. 

When Crime Escalates Within Classroom Walls

The numbers don't lie. You can have an opinion for or against law enforcement, but numbers don't lie and the fact is, incidents of criminal activity within Worcester County schools are witnessing an alarming upward trajectory. Students are being assaulted, students are being strangled, one person close to the schools said "when the bell rings and these kids hit the halls, every teacher in the school is in fear of what is going to happen".  

Last week, we posted several articles and also posted a YouTube Video, which we are including here in this editorial, that shows the chaos in our schools. Even in the past week, if you look at the numbers and the events that took place, it is eye-opening and very concerning. 

Details of particular events were made available today to include: 


  • Feb 29, 2024 - Group assault on students at Stephen Decatur Middle School. School has refused to show the video to the mother of the victim. The suspect student has been charged with 2nd degree assault. 

  • March 1, 2024 - Violent felony assault by strangulation at Stephen Decatur Middle School. School officials planned to assist juvenile offender in leaving the school prior to being arrested for felony assault. Student charged with felony assault.

  • March 5, 2024 - Major security breach at Stephen Decatur High School. Unknown adult experiencing mental health crisis entered school after staff member allowed her into the gym unattended. Adult located and transported for emergency evaluation.

  • March 5, 2024 - Threat of mass violence made by a student at Pocomoke Middle School. Threat assessment completed and student charged with threat of mass violence.

  • March 6, 2024 - Law enforcement discovered another assault on a student that occurred on March 1st at Stephen Decatur Middle School. This assault was NEVER reported to law enforcement by school officials as required by law. Investigation ongoing.

Instances of severe assaults go beyond mere disciplinary matters; they necessitate a coordinated response that includes law enforcement due to their criminal nature. When incidents of this gravity are handled without the appropriate external intervention, without law enforcement knowledge or are downplayed, it undermines the rights of victims and their families to receive justice and resolution, and places an onus on the educational system that it simply isn't designed to shoulder the burden alone.

The principled stand made by the Board of Education seems, in part, to be a reactionary defensive structure against critiques led by law enforcement. However, the arguments posited by the latter aren't merely accusations but are substantiated by concrete examples and an underlying legal framework mandating the cooperation between schools and public safety officials. The demand for transparency and partnership isn't rooted in a desire to force educational autonomy but rather to synergize efforts that ultimately serve the best interests of the students and staff of the Worcester County School system.

Nothing Trumps the Safety of our Future

The assertion that "nothing is more important than the safety of our children" by Sheriff Matt Crisafulli echoes the universal sentiment that propels this discourse. Parents, educators, and law enforcement share this creed, and as we look toward the horizon, it is imperative to bridge the current impasse. This isn't about 'us' versus 'them'; it's about 'all of us' converging to create a security mosaic that is as robust as it is resilient.

In this contentious backdrop, it is the duty of every stakeholder, from local community members to policymakers, to engage in a dialogue that goes beyond entrenched positions. The community safety trifecta of law enforcement, Educational Staff and Admin, and parents/guardians must redefine the terms of engagement to emerge not as victors in some ideological battle, but as architects of a fail-safe environment for our most valued constituency-our children.