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September 20, 2012

Insanity or Common Sense: Which Will It Be?

Joan Marie Aquilino

The Frederick County Board of Education is walking a very thin line with the ‘new,’ ‘revised,’ ‘enlightened’ talk of liquor policy off school grounds, the less than open and transparent Social Studies Alive diabolical decision; and, last, but not least, their desire to gag the Board of County Commissioners liaison.


Why in the world does it keep backing itself into a corner with no prayer of a graceful exit? It is most definitely insanity – or utter arrogance. I’ll leave that choice up to you.


I just dare the school board to go for that enlightened liquor policy and watch it blow up in their faces. You want to control children outside the school, then you start walking students all the way to their front doors and you make sure you have a crossing guard at every single crosswalk and every 50 feet along every child’s path home, every single day.


Don’t forget door-to-door bus service, too. Be careful which Pandora’s Box you open because it will surely blow up. You cannot arbitrarily pick and choose which behavior you want to monitor 24/7, and then dismiss others as not your problem. If a student is caught drinking, bust them, expel them, do something. Just stop talking and hold their actions to account.


The appeal of the Social Studies Alive textbook wasn’t even necessary. A simple notice sent to all parents, students and teachers in third grade, bringing everyone up to date on the committee’s recommendation, was all that was needed.


Considering the resources already available, the cry of not being able to afford new books fell flat; new books weren’t necessary. The Board of Education and the superintendent just kept compounding bad choice after bad choice until the final slap in the taxpayers’ face was to close the appeal hearing that would have brought this issue to a head in full view of the public. Those in charge of seeing to the education of our children would be well served by learning to breathe and think it through; they protest way too much, which only made me question what they are hiding once again. Fool me once…


Strike three you’re out: it just keeps getting better and better. All the school board seems capable of doing is making more and more rules which they either don’t follow themselves, have no backbone, or choose to forget when it works best for them.


Now the board wants to put a gag order on their county commissioner liaison. Seriously, there is no way of putting this other than it’s the most idiotic rule you’ve proposed to date. If you didn’t try to do everything behind closed doors and pre-vote it all in secret committee meetings, this wouldn’t be an issue.


Tell your student liaison he/she can’t speak until spoken to, or prior approval of their questions must be granted. You don’t even follow the rules of the Open Meetings Law and have been called out by your own members for abusing it and had the newspapers and state Board of Education call you on it.


You bully each other and now you want to push even further and try and shut others up when you finally do have public meetings. Not a smart move.


This isn’t about any one person being shut out; it’s about the Board of Education’s entire process. It wants no input other than from its chosen few, which centers on the Parents/Teachers Association and unions. I’m not even blaming the PTA or the unions. Heck, I’d take advantage of it, too, if offered. History is all the proof needed.


A sure sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. This school board, and any other elected board, needs 1,000-watt light shone on its every move. If you can’t stand the heat, get out; and get out now because parents and taxpayers are done. They are finished with hidden agendas and false promises.


This didn’t start out to be a political column, but what I can say is that we have an election (one like I’ve not witnessed in my life time) coming up and if you want accountability from your candidates for the Board of Education, you better be looking at anyone who is not Frederick County Teachers Association endorsed, because those candidates are nothing but union and school board puppets.


I will be voting for the two conservative candidates and you can bet I will hold them accountable every step of the way. Just because I vote for you, you shouldn’t expect a bye from me. I expect a lot for my vote.


You are reading that last line and asking: What, she’s buying votes.” I did that on purpose to prove a point, if I’m holding people accountable for my vote, what do you think the unions are expecting?


--------------------exactly …


---------------------now you’re getting it…..


You ask what happens if I’m wrong and it’s better if things are done the way they’ve always been done with very little openness to the public. Well, okay! I’ll bite. What if I am wrong and the light is too bright, then you go back to the shadows and continue as before; but at the very least give the light a chance. We’ve done it in the shadows for decades and it’s only getting worse.


God has given us all free will and a conscience. Please use both with time and thought given to what is in the best interest of your children and their future.


Do you want the same ole, same ole; or do you want an awakening and the bright light of day shone on the world of education? Look into the eyes of your children and tell me if you want them to see the light of day, or stay in the dark?


I'm gambling on light.


. . . . .'til next time . . .


As always, I’d love to hear from you; so, let me know what’s on your mind by emailing, or contacting me directly at


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