- the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.There appears to be a significant chunk of the Howard County population that believes that the civil rights of hcpss students are a matter of opinion. No. They are protected by law. We don’t get to have a great big class discussion and craft a “solution” that prevents people from feeling uncomfortable.Not all that long ago there were plenty of parents and probably even school board members who felt uncomfortable about their white children going to school with black children. Yes, right here in Howard County. History does not look too kindly on the many ways they engineered to deny civil rights on the basis of skin color.This country moved forward on the legal decision that separate will never be equal. And that goes for race, for the disabled and those needing special education services, for pregnant teens, for transgender students. Nowhere in the law does it say that your feelings about this must be protected.It’s a free country, you may say, and it’s true that you are welcome to believe whatever you wish if it does not impinge upon the rights of others. You might want to re read the end of that sentence, though. But once you put yourself in the running for public office, it will be your responsibility to uphold the law as it stands. And what if you are running to serve students and families on the Board of Education?You must make it your business to educate yourself as to the civil rights laws that pertain to our students. All of them. Every argument used against transgender students having appropriate access to bathrooms and locker rooms has been used, in one way or another, against other classes of students. It is no more about bathrooms than it was about water fountains.And, if for one moment, you look at a class of students as ‘problems to be solved’, I strongly suggest that you withdraw from the race. Championing the civil rights of all students should be the foundation of every BOE candidate’s campaign.