Frederick Uncut- James Tucker

James Tucker, superintendent of the Maryland School for the Deaf, addresses students and families at the school’s graduation ceremony in 2018.

Maryland School for the Deaf Superintendent James Tucker announced late Thursday that he would retire from his position on Sept. 4, amid turmoil and calls for his job from alumni and parents.

Tucker announced his retirement through a video posted on the school’s YouTube page.

“There is always a time when one knows it is time to go. I love MSD and I now know it is time for me to go,” Tucker signed. “MSD students, be strong, be brave, be creative, be gentle, be curious and be kind to one another.”

Tucker did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

The announcement comes after a letter penned by alumni and parents of former students of the school was sent to MSD’s Board of Trustees demanding Tucker’s removal, with the inability to collect his pension.

The letter claimed Tucker had spent the last 28 years building a toxic culture in the school predicated on racism and elitism.

Earlier this week, several alumni and parents of former students told The Frederick News-Post that certain students at the school received preferential treatment for educational and extracurricular opportunities based on family connections and race.

They also made claims of incidents of bullying and racism by staff and coaches at the Frederick school.

Maryland School for the Deaf provides free, public education to deaf and hard-of-hearing residents in Maryland from birth until the age of 21. The school operates on two campuses, one in Columbia and one in Frederick. The high school campus is in Frederick, and most students who begin their education at Columbia’s campus eventually transfer to Frederick when they reach a certain age.

Tucker originally announced in July that he would retire in the summer of 2021 and the board planned to spend the year conducting a nationwide search for a new superintendent.

With the sudden change of departure date, Board of Trustees President Robert Davila said in a statement that an interim superintendent would be appointed in the coming days.

Catrina Register, an MSD alumni, said in a text message that many members of the MSD community are upset that Tucker is being allowed to retire.

The open letter called for a transparent process in selecting the next leader of MSD and asked for community input to be included. It is unclear whether the Board of Trustees will oblige with that request.

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(6) comments


Building for 28 years??? And now the complaints come out???

Something smells here. MSD children appear to do very well while at the school and vast majority of alumni are successful upon graduation. Sports teams fare well also.

Can anyone share any FACTS? How many complainers signed letter? What proof of activities/concerns led to this? Was anything illegal being done here?


Just one question. If it is as bad as they say why did it take 27 years to surface?


My thoughts as well. And with their objective achieved of his removal, now they are complaining that the trustees need to appoint someone else in a hurry instead of the planned nationwide search? Maybe don't set the bed on fire before you try to go to sleep in it next time. Hoping for the best over at MSD, but not overly optimistic at the moment.


Good question, DickD. All those years and no complaints that we know of?




Just remember that is difficult for people to speak about these things. There is an incredible amount of shame and self-blame that happens. People sometimes take a lifetime to figure it out.

Even then, people may not talk and may not realize for a good, long while that there was a patter at play.

This country does not treat victims very well.


So, there are many that feel like that? And they waited until he announced his retirement and want to take away his pension? I have a hard time believing that. Sounds like one or two vindictive people.

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