Office of the State's Attorney

Worcester County, Maryland


October 25, 2023

State’s Attorney Heiser and Sheriff Crisafulli are disappointed with the Board of Education’s response to law enforcement’s serious concerns about school and student safety. After waiting for over a month to receive any response, it is now abundantly clear that school officials plan to take no meaningful action to resolve the specific concerns law enforcement detailed for them during their presentation on October 4th. The Sheriff and State’s Attorney now urge the Board to immediately reconsider.

The Board’s response does not outline any specific corrective actions the Board or school officials will take to comply with state law, it does not address the specific questions posed about school safety-related protocols, nor has the Board decided to accept law enforcement’s offer to provide regular updates to ensure they have full and accurate information about crime occurring in the schools. As a result, the Sheriff and State’s Attorney remain concerned that the pattern and practice of minimizing safety concerns, excusing student misconduct without disciplinary action, failing to take precautionary measures to prevent further victimization, and failing to notify school resource deputies and parents about crime in our schools will continue unabated.

Unfortunately for the community, but perhaps unsurprisingly, school officials are once again outright denying that school safety issues exist, even after having been confronted with direct evidence and concrete examples. It appears that school officials are choosing to prioritize the appearance of school safety over actual school safety. As it stands, the often-repeated conclusion of school officials that “schools are safe” doesn’t make it so, and a so-called “task force” comprised of all the same individuals with whom law enforcement has continuously discussed these safety issues for the past 4 years is not likely to suddenly become an effective solution. Law enforcement would, however, be willing to consider participation in a task force with a membership having the demonstrated ability to effect positive changes within the schools.

At this juncture, Sheriff Crisafulli and State’s Attorney Heiser remain dissatisfied with the safety situation in our schools and are actively discussing law enforcement’s options. The Sheriff and the State’s Attorney want to assure the community that school safety remains their utmost priority, and that their efforts in this area will continue undeterred until Worcester County attains the highest standard of safety within the schools. Community updates will be provided by both the Office of the State’s Attorney and Worcester County Sheriff’s Office as they continue to work together to bring transparency and accountability in matters of school safety.