Lee Middle School Parents Voice Concern About New Assistant Principal

Lee Middle School Parents Voice Concern About New Assistant Principal

Former Damascus High administrator sentenced to probation Monday for DUI

| Published:

Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School

Photo via MCPS

Some parents at Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School in Silver Spring are questioning the hiring of a new administrator who started at the school Monday, the same day she was sentenced for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Maniya Jules, 51, of Potomac pled guilty on Monday and was sentenced to 60 days in jail with all but two days suspended by a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge, according to court records. Jules was placed on three years of probation with conditions that she abstain from alcohol and receive professional treatment, according to court records. Jules was also fined $250 and the judge ordered an interlock device be installed on her car that requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece before starting the vehicle.

Jules, who was assistant principal at Damascus High School at the time of her arrest, was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2017, according to court records.

In late June, Lee Middle School Principal Kimberly Hayden Williams sent a letter to community members announcing Jules was reassigned to the school and will serve as an assistant principal.

“She is bringing a wealth of knowledge and experiences to Lee Middle school and we are looking forward to welcoming her to our community,” the principal wrote.

On Facebook, about a dozen members of the Lee school community have voiced frustration and dismay with Jules’ reassignment to their school, saying the 22-year veteran of the Montgomery school system does not set a good example for students.

Many say they are seeking information from the school system about why she was reassigned to Lee and have not received answers.

A school system spokeswoman said staff is aware of community concerns, but declined to comment on the reassignment decision, citing personnel matters. She said Jules has a history of work in the Montgomery system promoting and advancing equity.

“We believe she will be a valuable asset to the Lee community,” Gboyinde Onijala, the spokeswoman said. “She’s brought a lot to these communities and is excited to get to work.”

Jules’ reassignment adds to a list of administrative changes at the school in the past four months.

Damascus High School received national media attention over the past year after a group of junior varsity football players allegedly used a broomstick to rape their teammates in a school locker room hazing on the afternoon of Halloween 2018.

The assault occurred while the locker room was unsupervised, and staff did not notify police until the next day, despite learning about the attacks the evening they happened, according to school system officials who say the Damascus staff acted according to “the information they had at the time.”

In May, Damascus Principal Casey Crouse was reassigned to a job in the school system’s central office in Rockville and the junior varsity football team’s coaching staff was replaced. Crouse’s replacement has not been announced.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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