I saw this idea from Jack Thompson over at Howard Public Ed and it is just so brilliant that I have to share it with you.
Mr. Thompson brought the Friends of Education Award to the attention of the group.
The Friends of Education Award was established by the Board of Education to recognize individuals, businesses, or organizations making innovative or unique contributions that directly support the school system’s mission of excellence in teaching and learning. Any Howard County resident or group, organization, or business located in or serving Howard County may be nominated for the award.
Then he states:
What a great idea. This idea for an award is so good I would like to nominate all the good folks over at Mold in Howard County Schools - Information for Parents and all the parents, staff and students they tirelessly represent. Yes of course I will be filling out a nomination form and I would like everyone in the community to join me in nominating all these fine citizens.
Oh my word. This is brilliant. It is poetic justice at its finest. Who could be more of a friend to education than the parents who have doggedly pursued the truth about mold in our schools in order to defend and protect students and staff? Their only goals have been to get the whole truth out and get the unhealthy school environments fixed as thoroughly and quickly as possible.
I will admit that I have been squeamish in the past about Howard Public Ed because it has felt like a hotbed of conspiracy theories and angry ranting. But, in light of current events, I'm put in mind of the old Joseph Heller quote,
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.
Remember when we thought our only problem with the Board of Education was that they didn't get along? Ah, those were the days. The culture of secrecy which has been revealed in (MPIA-procured) documents is a far more dangerous thing than a failure to play nicely with others. It is, simply put, the tenacity of this parents' group which has brought this lack of transparency into the light.
Here is the nomination form. Print in out, fill it out, mail it to the Board. If you want more information about the Mold in Howard County Schools - Information for Parents group, click here and start reading. The page, coordinated by Vicky Cutroneo, documents her work with Howard County parents Heidi Gaasch, Katie Wolven, Christina Delmont-Small, Tonya Tiffany and Alicia Buxton.
So perhaps you are thinking, "Hey, there's no mold at my child's school. What does this have to do with me?" Yes, but what if there were? Or what if there is, and you just don't know? After reading the exchanges between school administrators and their supervisors at Central Office, I have become less confident that I would be adequately informed if this were going on at my daughter's school. And that is a bad feeling.
More than that--don't we have a responsibility to care for all of our children? To protect the well being of all our teachers and staff?
I think a community-wide recognition of the work this group has done on behalf of all of us would be just what the doctor ordered.