Saturday, February 19, 2022

More Choices, Please


It is February 19, 2022 and so far we have three candidates for two open seats on the Howard County Education. Have you by any chance considered:

Now, I read recently that the deadline to file has been moved forward to Tuesday, March 22nd. Does that apply to the Board of Education, or just statewide races where boundaries of certain districts may have been altered due to redistricting?

Three candidates for two seats is not much to choose from. I know that some people like to wait until the very last moment to file, so perhaps I shouldn’t give up hope just yet. But, deep down, I have a bad feeling about this.

There’s been a lot of talk over the last several years about how the loud angry voices have chosen to focus their dissatisfaction on individual board members who don’t hold the “right” point of view. Board members have received threats of harm to themselves and their families. One member had to contend with an angry mob assembled at their home. Even the Student Member of the Board has not escaped personal attack. 

So, who wants to run for Board of Ed? Come on now, don’t be shy! There’s tons of work for hardly any pay and the likelihood that you’ll be maligned and your good name smeared is quite good. 

Who could pass up that offer?

There are some huge issues at stake right now in our school system. I suspect that some folks have worked very hard to make the job of a BOE member so unpleasant because they want to see only members that espouse their points of view making the decisions.

What issues, you ask? Well, for starters:

  • Whether librarians will continue to exercise autonomy in choosing and maintaining school library collections.
  • What kind of public health protocols will be chosen for protecting students and their families.
  • Will we follow through for healthier start times recently approved by the current BOE?
  • Support for LGBTQ+ students
  • Addressing the negative impact of school policing.
  • Supporting programs for restorative justice and conflict resolution. 
  • Taking a stand to teach the truth about American History.
  • Teacher burnout and the decline of students entering the teaching field.

Oh. I didn’t even mention the upcoming redistricting. How silly of me. 

These are at-large seats, so you’ll need to be ready for a County wide campaign. It certainly looks like you’ll need to have plenty of spare time and disposable income.

If my intent was to encourage people to run for these seats, I don’t think I’ve done a very good job here. I do hope that there are more people out there who are willing and able to accept this challenge and who aren’t scared away by the Loud and Angry Bunch. 

We need you. Our schools need you.

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