The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Montgomery County, Maryland:
Schools Protect Sexist Predator

Oct 16, 2023

Teachers, union stewards, and parents in Montgomery County, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C., complained about Joel Beidleman’s sexist harassment for at least 12 years in three middle schools where he was assistant principal or principal. But management did not follow up on these complaints. Managers kept protecting and promoting him.

When managers promoted him to be principal at a high school this past summer, finally the Washington Post published an article exposing the situation. The district hired a law firm to investigate. But management chose the same firm they had paid more than $100,000 in the last year to represent them in other matters. The firm did not pursue many of the complaints and essentially excused management’s cover-up of Beidleman’s abusiveness.

Management disregarded complaints like these: “You should just f--- me,” he told one teacher at a party he crashed in 2020. He texted teachers at 11:30 p.m. and 3 a.m. telling them to meet him in a hotel room. Teachers said he “frequently looks women up and down” and “looks at my chest all the time.” He talked about women’s and girls’ bodies and outfits and criticized a teacher for not wearing makeup. He told an eighth grader, “Don’t be like [your friend]. She’s a whore.” He screamed in teachers’ faces, berated and humiliated them, and warned them not to report his unwanted advances. “He is the most vindictive person I’ve ever met,” one teacher said.

It is not surprising that sexist, macho behavior like this is protected by management. It is protected and encouraged in all kinds of public and private workplaces in this capitalist society—including in liberal Montgomery County. Male dominance is one of the features of capitalism. Until society is free from capitalism, our education system won’t be free of male dominance and sexism.