Montgomery County Elementary School Teachers Used ‘Smash Space' to Vent Frustrations

The school principal has apologized for her 'lapse in judgement' in creating the smash space on school grounds

An elementary school principal in Montgomery County, Maryland, is apologizing for creating a "smash space" on school grounds where teachers could beat a broken rocking chair with a baseball bat.

Kensington Parkwood Elementary School Principal Barbara Liess said in a letter to parents Wednesday that she set up the smash space after reading news articles about businesses that have a room where their employees can smash things as an outlet for stress.

Liess said she created the smash space on March 8 after a broken rocking chair was taken to the school's loading dock. She said the loading dock was "out of sight and sound of students."

Kensington Parkwood PTA President Jessica Chertow found out about the smash space through a concerned parent, Bethesda Magazine reported.

A spokesperson for Montgomery County Public Schools released a statement saying the school system does not condone the activity and the school system is investigating.

"It is counter to our mission and our values," the spokesperson said. "We take this matter very seriously and continue to investigate this incident. MCPS has a longstanding commitment to providing its employees with wellness support to help staff manage stress."

"I absolutely regret my decision to provide staff with an opportunity to 'smash' the rocking chair. This decision was not in response to any teacher comment or behavior, rather a misguided attempt by me to provide staff with an outlet," Liess said in the letter. "I recognize that while well-intended, this scenario is counter to what we teach students and has no place in a school."

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