Howard County agencies find 'no evidence of misconduct' after investigation into allegation about school employee

Jess Nocera
Contact ReporterHoward County Times

The Howard County Police Department and Department of Child Protective Services have completed an investigation into an allegation about an employee made on social media, Pointers Run Elementary School’s principal announced Tuesday.

The agencies “found absolutely no evidence of misconduct,” according to an email Principal Julie Schruefer sent to the school community around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Sherry Llewellyn, a police spokeswoman, confirmed the initial allegation Monday afternoon and that police were investigating it after receiving the report in February. She confirmed Tuesday evening the investigation had been concluded.

Officials would not confirm the nature of the allegation.

Schruefer initially sent out an email to the school community Monday afternoon around 3 p.m. addressing a social media post made over the weekend that “generated parent inquiries.”

“Employees are generally placed on administrative leave when there is a police investigation into potential wrongdoing,” Brian Bassett, a schools spokesman, said in an email Tuesday.

With the police investigation, the Pointers Run employee was placed on administrative leave, he said.

“Being placed on administrative leave is not an indictment of the employee, [or] in any way a presumption of guilt or even an indicator to the accuracy of the allegation,” Bassett added.

At the conclusion of all investigations, the Howard County Public School System makes a decision on the employee’s work status, including whether to take action aligned to school board policy or have the employee return to work, Bassett said.

Schruefer ensured that allegations are reported to both the county police and social services “as appropriate,” and that the school provides full support to the investigation process. However, the school had the responsibility to maintain strict confidence if there is an investigation to protect all involved parties.

Bassett said in an email Monday evening that the school system takes any allegation, whether in person or on social media, “seriously.”

“We take it seriously, work quickly to ensure the safety of our students, and collaborate with police to help facilitate a thorough investigation,” Bassett said.

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