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| Jennifer Baker | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |

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December 19, 2019

Failure of Accountability - Part II

Cindy A. Rose

Last week we left you wondering, why?  Why would a school administrator not want to appropriately discipline a student?

Many of us are familiar with the Maryland Report Card which grades our public schools.   Schools are awarded points for certain accomplishments, not all are academic.  Each school can earn up to 5 stars and every school wants them because they are tied to grants and funding streams.  Bottom line, suspensions drop a school’s score.   I’ve been told it only takes 2 suspensions to drastically lower a score.

When money is tied to suspension rates, students will not get suspended unless absolutely unavoidable.  When bad behavior goes unpunished, young people will take advantage.  Bad behaviors escalate.

Frederick County Public Schools likes to say their hands are tied regarding suspension by the state so they aren’t held responsible.  Maryland law gives a school Superintendent the power to suspend anyone she believes is a threat to the safety of the school.  Maryland courts rarely disagree with those decisions.

I urge parents to encourage their children who witness fights in school or on school property to dial 911 and not rely on FCPS.  They have a right to be safe and for justice to be served.

The County Executive requested an audit of the 287g program to quell concerns in the community.  I request the County Executive request an outside audit of the suspension and discipline policies and practices at FCPS and withhold any non-mandated funding until the audit is contracted with a start date.

Instead of ending the school to prison pipelines, these practices just may be fast tracking them.

It’s quite possible Restorative Justice practices at Frederick County Public Schools contributed to the death at the Great Frederick Fair.

The two teen boys responsible for taking the life of John Weed in September at the Great Frederick Fair are going to be tried as adults.  They are still in custody awaiting trial.



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