Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Our Board of Education has invented a new way to smear a colleague. It is called "passing a resolution expressing disappointment."

Yes, there were (more) shenanigans at the Board of Ed. last night. Thank heavens Blair Ames of the Sun is back on the Education beat. He was at last night's Board meeting, and he will be covering this story. Look for an article later today. I know he'll cover the facts. I'll review that here tomorrow.

What I want to focus on today is that this Board has chosen: once during the Primary cycle, and now again leading up to the General Election, to go to the extreme lengths of "passing a resolution of disappointment" against board member Cynthia Vaillancourt.

If Mrs. Vaillancourt were actually guilty of anything, or even if the evidence looked strong, the Board would be able--no, they would be required--to take specific legal action. There would have to be open hearings, witnesses called, lawyers would be involved. The press would be there, the public as well.

The light of truth would be shining on everybody.

But this is the Board of secret meetings, of private alliances, and of whisper campaigns behind people's backs. And so this is the action they have chose to take: to again try to discredit Mrs. Vaillancourt in the public eye in the time leading directly to an election. There's a secret meeting they can't tell us about,but it explains everything. (Just like last time...)

I wasn't going to write about the Board race again until tomorrow, but now I really have no choice. Because this is not appropriate functioning of a school board. This is bullying. And we know how important bystanders are when bullying is going on, don't we?

We all need to take a stand against this kind of bullying at the Board of Education. Ms. Vaillancourt has been an independent voice. She asks questions, she listens to parents and she pushes for more responsiveness and transparency. The best way to support her is to show up at the polls on Election Day and vote for her and the other candidates who are most committed to responsiveness and transparency: Altwerger, Beams, Furman.

This has gone beyond the point of writing letters of protest. Howard County needs to show clearly show our disappointment. We need to stand with Ms. Vaillancourt against the bullies. And we need to give her some folks to play with on the playground.

Because it's mighty rough out there, and those kids don't always play nicely.


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