TOWSON, Md. — The sign in front of Baltimore County Schools headquarters says ‘Welcome Back to School! See You on August 30th!’, if not for the letters from the system’s Office of Benefits, Leaves and Retirements erroneously sent out to hundreds of employees claiming they had been terminated.
“They just knew that it was wrong and they were panicking, right?” said Teachers Association of Baltimore County President Cindy Sexton who heard from numerous educators. “Because you see the information about COBRA and how expense that is, and ‘I didn’t resign! I’m supposed to go to work. So what’s really going on here?’ So it was a lot of panic and concern over why they got that letter and what they were supposed to do about it.”
In a written statement, the Baltimore County Schools system said, “It was recently discovered that approximately 350 employees who had a salary change, position change, benefit type changes, etc., were included in a report that incorrectly identified employees as having been terminated.”
While the school system is calling it a glitch of some kind, it represented far more than that to those who received them especially as they prepare to return to the classrooms in the midst of a pandemic.
“It was one more thing that some of our educators had to deal with, but fortunately, the county did respond quickly that it was an error so very quickly those fears were put to rest,” added Sexton.
The system maintains that each of the people who received one of the letters in error has been contacted directly to let them know they still have a job.