Friday, November 6, 2015

Lesson Learned?

Remember this? From Tuesday, October 20th:

  • Bill proposes to elect Howard school board members by district (Amanda Yeager and Lisa Philip)
  • Howard delegate proposes legislative remedy to school system transparency complaints (Amanda Yeager)
  • I have been wondering if there would be any response to these two initiatives from the school system. From what I hear, I think last night we may have had one. Board of Education member Cindy Vaillancourt shared this information on Facebook this morning:

    IN SEARCH OF PUBLIC FEEDBACK----So... at the Thursday night BOE meeting, there was a proposal to prohibit individual board of education members from testifying, as individual citizens, on any proposed legislation unless it is testimony in support of the Board's stated position. BTW, the "Board Handbook" talks about Board Members retaining their rights to testify, or speak, in opposition to the position of the majority as long as they are clear that they are speaking as individuals.

    In a week when Frank Eastham spoke to PTACHC members about "lesson learned" when it comes to transparency, this strikes me as evidence that the lesson is far from learned. Whether on issues of mold, implementation of new software, rollout of the Model School initiative, the response to those who wish to question or disagree has been remarkably similar: silence the dissent

    Ms. Vaillancourt closes by asking:


    How does this community feel about the current majority on the Board of Education trying to prohibit the right of individual Board Members to speak publicly, as individual citizens, to their elected representatives about pending legislation on which they disagree with the official position of a majority of other Board Members?

    In my opinion, since the Board's own handbook allows individual members to retain their rights to express individual opinions, there must be a reason for that. A person or persons thought that through. That statement is not there by accident. Are we living in such dangerous times that this right must be rescinded? Would this change serve the people of Howard County?

    What do you think?





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