By Mark F. Gray, Staff Writer, email@example.com
Charles H. Flowers High School Principal Gorman Brown remains on administrative leave as Prince George’s County Police Continue their investigation into an incident that was caught on cellphone video involving he and a disruptive student on February 6.
According to County Police around 1:20 p.m. Principal Brown was summoned to locate a 17 year-old student who had just left a classroom after reportedly being disruptive in class. Brown is believed to have encountered the student in a hallway while a Prince George’s County Police School Resource Officer (SRO) was present. The resource officer apparently witnessed the entire incident between the principal and student, which had begun prior to the start of the cellphone video recording.
Charles H. Flowers High School Principal Gorman Brown was involved in a scuffle with a 17-year-old student last week, which was caught on cellphone video and broadcast on social media and WJLA TV. This photo is a screenshot of “Wake Up Flowers” featured on YouTube. (Courtesy Photo)
“We are aware of the incident at Charles Herbert Flowers High School,” Prince George’s County Public Schools Communications Officer Raven Hill said in a statement. “The matter is under investigation. The principal is on leave.”
The entire interaction between Brown and the student remains at the center of the Police Department’s investigation. According to a statement from the Department’s communications office, the SRO witnessed the student assault the principal several times before intervening by using a foam pepper spray on the student. The officer was then able to take the student into custody and was then immediately taken to the nurse’s office where his face was washed. He was later released. Foam pepper spray is used because it does not disperse in the air and affect others in its vicinity.
The cell phone video shows the moment when Brown is accused of scuffling with a student. During the video a man is seen appearing to swing at a student while the resource officer tries to separate them.
Since the student has been charged as a juvenile, no further information regarding charges can be shared. However, the Department’s investigation is continuing as they hope to secure any other amateur video that may have other angles or more of the entire incident.
However, the video, which is the core of the investigation, was posted on social media before it was broadcast by WJLA-TV in D.C. last week. While the Prince George’s County Public School System hasn’t condoned Brown’s alleged behavior, they haven’t admonished it yet either pending the ultimate findings of the investigation.
Area 3 Associate Superintendent Dr. Carletta T. Marrow authored a letter to parents of Flowers students following the incident.
“The safety of our students and staff is our top priority,” Marrow wrote. “Today’s incident is not in line with our school mission and values. Please discuss with your child acceptable behaviors that support a positive school climate.”
This incident is the latest in a series of events that has left Flowers in an embattled state of affairs. Last September a group of school employees sued the PGCPS after a secret camera was found in the principal’s office. Several employees, including the principal, may have been videotaped during private meetings or while changing clothes before late evening afterschool events.
The lawsuit that was filed in Maryland federal court sought damages against the school system and its security division, claiming the hidden video camera placed in the office without a warrant violated their constitutional rights “to be free from government intrusion and invasion” into their “private and personal space.” Brown and school secretary Donna Bussey were two of of three plaintiffs named in the lawsuit after a hidden surveillance camera was found, which had been running in the principal’s suite for almost two years. They sought monetary damages in the case, saying the discovery of the camera left them paranoid and emotionally distraught.