Wednesday, December 30, 2015


I read something yesterday that made me stop and think. Leslie Kornreich, of Voices of Parents and Stakeholders in HCPSS wrote the following:

This page is all about everyone having a chance to make their voice heard as we all have a stake in the decisions made by HCPSS and our Board of Education. Recently one Board member, Ann DeLacy, dismissed the concerns of what she deemed a "vocal minority".
What she fails to realize is that the number of people signing this petition is a drop in the bucket compared to the number who agree with all of the issues brought forth in the petition. Working under a climate of fear and intimidation has kept teachers, staff, paraeducators, and others who work for HCPSS from signing the petition.
It is more important than ever that we share this, even with HCPSS employees, so that even if they are afraid to sign, they can share it with friends and family members who can. Let's show the Board and the superintendent that we are not just a vocal minority. We are a force to be reckoned with.

Here's the deal. Howard County teachers and staff are afraid to sign the petition because they fear retribution. The present environment makes them fear for their jobs.

It's too bad we have no protected way to know how they would vote if they could.

But maybe we do. When hcpss management recruited MD Teacher of the Year Jody Zepp to run for President of HCEA against incumbent Paul Lemle, it was widely seen as a move by Management to interfere with the workings of the Union. Zepp received help from Board Member Ann DeLacy, lawyer Mike Smith (unsuccessful Board candidate) not to mention the enormous sign erected outside of Central Office in her honor, which is still there.

Now, union elections are protected by law. So how the teachers vote cannot put their jobs in jeopardy. When faced with a choice between current President Paul Lemle, and the management candidate Zepp, how did they vote? As I recall it was 83.8% to 16.2%. Not only did over 80 per cent favor Lemle, I am going to hazard a guess that the 80 per cent were expressing firm disapproval of the current management regime.

So, if we want to know how HCEA members feel about the petition, I think this election gives us a bird's eye view.

Certainly something to think about.

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