Earle B. Wood Middle School principal Heidi Slatcoff sent out a community letter on Friday information families of an investigation following a teacher’s discovery of a presentation titled “Homophobic Club Hub” on a student Chromebook. The investigation found the the student shared the documents with at least two other students prior to deleting them. There was no evidence of any other students participating in generating the documents, and no evidence that a club was actually formed. According to the investigation, the documents were generated 2 – 4 months ago. The full letter can be seen below:
“Dear Wood Families,
I am writing today to make you aware of the facts of an investigation begun last week but not completed until today, Friday, Feb. 10. We contacted the Montgomery County Police Department and the Office of School Support and Well-Being, as per established process to ensure appropriate action was taken during and as a result of this incident and investigation. Here are the facts, a teacher notified school administration about finding a presentation and google form titled, “Homophobic Club Hub” on a student’s Chromebook. Our investigation found that the student shared the documents with at least two additional students prior to deleting them. We found no evidence that any other students participated in generating the documents, and no evidence that a club was actually formed. Our investigation found that the documents were generated 2 – 4 months ago.
This is clearly a hate/bias incident and I must say that discrimination in any form cannot be tolerated. It impedes MCPS’ and our school’s ability to discharge its responsibilities to all students and staff, and achieve our community’s long-standing efforts to create, foster, and promote equity, inclusion, and acceptance for all. While students who commit this unacceptable act will receive consequences as per MCPS Student Code of Conduct, it is important that we continue our work with our students to help them understand the impact of hateful and hurtful words.
This coming week our counselors will be going into classes to conduct lessons on topics of bias and discrimination. Administrators and counselors will continue to reinforce and reiterate our expectations around bullying and harassment. Again, this work cannot be done alone. I am also asking for families to please take time at home to discuss with your student(s) the importance of civility and the power of how words can affect all of us. Below are some resources that can be used to facilitate this dialogue as well as a reminder of our Montgomery County Public Schools Code of Conduct.
I want to restate that I am committed to ensure that Earle B. Wood Middle School is a safe, welcoming, and positive diverse community. Thank you for continued support and our collective efforts to provide a safe environment for our students.
Heidi L. Slatcoff”