Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The System Breaks Down--Guest Post

Mold in our schools and how the school system is handling it is a continuing problem being covered now by the Howard County Times, Amy Aubert of ABC2 News, and a parent advocacy group on Facebook. Named, "Mold at Glenwood Middle School - Information for Parents", the parent page published some information yesterday which combines both the continuing story of how parents have been treated and concerns about changes in leadership at PTACHC.

I asked permission to run their piece as a guest post here today.


One thing that has surprised... actually shocked me is the amount of politics at play within the BOE, PTACHC and HCPSS central office. Without getting into too much detail, it is obvious that political and career aspirations and alignments within the BOE, PTACHC, Central Office and the Superintendent have slowed down our progress immensely.

Dr. Foose is supposed to work for the BOE. The BOE is supposed to work for us. Right now, we only have 2 out of 8 BOE members working on our behalf (Dr. Altwerger and Ms. Vaillancourt). Progress is difficult when the system breaks down because of politics. Parents are left with no representation and must rely on news media and social media platforms and in some cases, hiring legal representation.

Alicia Buxton, former PTACHC delegate, has been part of our parent group and the efforts to ensure the air quality is safe at Glenwood MS since the 2nd week of June when a staff member asked her and me for help.

Despite no longer having a student at GMS, Alicia continues to work tirelessly on student and staff behalf...one thing she has done is continue to attend PTACHC meetings, even though she is no longer a delegate. At both meetings she has struggled to discuss the mold issue. Is there no more important of a topic right now? Shouldn't this be priority? It is in the news, it is spreading to other schools. When Alicia tried to bring it up again at last Monday's meeting, New PTACHC president Reg Avery exclaimed, "This is my meeting!" He also referred to Alicia as a hysterical mom... um, what?

This is video of the BOE meeting last Thursday. Mr. Avery's presentation to the BOE starts at 2:32:25. He states that at the last meeting some individuals were trying to takeover the meeting so he put a stop to it. He states his goal is for parents to be able to come away from the meetings with an understanding of what is happening in our schools. How is that going to happen when concerned parents aren't given the opportunity to express those concerns because Mr. Avery believes it's "his" meeting and he stops the discussion. Thank you Bess Altwerger who shares her concern about the opportunity for democracy to take place in the PTACHC meetings over Mr. Avery's concern to end the meeting at 9 pm.


(The video link referred to above can be found here.)


I'll talk about this more tomorrow. Do you have any first-hand knowledge to share?




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