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President Issues Statement About Recent Arrests

May 6, 2016 02:21 PM
Following the arrest of two former Hopkins House employees on charges of misdemeanor assault of a Hopkins House Preschool Academy Young Scholar, President Hopkins issued the following statement to the Hopkins House community:
As you may have seen in news reports, earlier this week a teacher and assistant teacher at our James L. & Juliette McNeil Preschool Academy were charged with misdemeanor assault and battery by the Fairfax County Police Department.  These individuals are charged with bruising one of our Young Scholars.

After viewing the classroom videotapes, we immediately terminated the employment of these individuals and are cooperating fully with the police department in its ongoing investigation.

As you may be aware, Hopkins House has a strictly enforced "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to any mistreatment of our Young Scholars. While the incidents in this case – finger plucking on the forehead and rough lifting by the arm – may seem minor to some, they are absolutely unacceptable at Hopkins House.  A core principle of this institution is that our students are to be handled at all times with care and affection.

Our staff is aware of and routinely reminded of our "zero tolerance" policy. We conduct a minimum of 16 hours of mandatory training annually to guide them in dealing with oppositional behaviors and positive redirection of children. 

I have ordered mandatory refresher training by the end of this month for all Hopkins House employees dealing with children and began an internal review of our existing procedures, policies and practices to identify areas of necessary and/or desirable improvement.

This is the first such incident of this magnitude in our 76 year history, and we are determined to do all we can to see to it that it is our last.