Lia Russel and Lilly Price
January 17, 2024
Baltimore County Public Schools said it launched an internal investigation Wednesday after an audio recording claiming to capture the principal of Pikesville High School making offensive comments circulated online.
BCPS Superintendent Myriam Rogers said in a statement that the district has not confirmed the authenticity of the recording “allegedly of the principal of Pikesville High School.” In the recording, a man is having a conversation in which he makes “highly offensive and inappropriate statements about African American students, Pikesville High School staff, and Pikesville’s Jewish community,” Rogers said.
Gboyinde Onijala, a school spokesperson, said the district is “aware of a recording” and conducting a personnel investigation. She declined to say whether Principal Eric Eiswert is suspended.
The Pikesville community in northwestern Baltimore County has sizable Black and Jewish communities.
County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., a Dundalk Democrat, said hate, discrimination and prejudice have “no place” in the community or schools.
“The statements being circulated are abhorrent and my administration is providing our full support to BCPS as they conduct a thorough investigation,” he said in a statement. “Following the conclusion of this investigation, I know swift action will be taken to hold those involved accountable.”
Baltimore County Council Chair Izzy Patoka, a Pikesville Democrat, said he has listened to the recordings and called them “extremely disturbing.”
Patoka said he coaches recreational basketball at Pikesville High multiple times a week and called it a “very diverse school” that had a history of “everyone respecting each other.”
“Because it’s so serious, I want to be sure of its authenticity,” he said.
In a post on X, state Sen. Shelley Hettleman called the situation “very, very concerning” and said she was also in touch with BCPS.