Board of Education Candidate, Sue Johnson – Part II

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Left to right: Family friend, Tom Mills; Sue, her husband Ed and her son Matt.
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On April 2, The Tentacle sent a Questionnaire to each Board of Education candidate containing 19 questions. Below are Question and Answers 6-11. Ms. Johnson’s campaign website can be found here.

6.  What is the purpose of Title IX protections in academic settings?

The purpose of Title IX protections in academic settings is to protect students, teachers and staff from discrimination based on gender. It ranges from funding educational offerings and athletics to defining a structure for handling sexual harassment cases.

7.  What power over local education do you believe a Board of Education has? 

A County Board of Education has the responsibility to establish appropriate policies and approve procedures on matters related to local public education not covered by Federal, State, and local law. Ultimately, the Board of Education only has one employee, the Superintendent of Schools. The Board of Education functions as a group, with members elected by the public. The Board has oversight of and holds the Superintendent accountable. The Board of Education has a significant say over local education including, for example, Frederick County offering agricultural education curriculum and programs to educate students on this important economic driver in Frederick County.

8.  Why is it necessary for each county to have a Board separate from the State?

A local Board of Education is better poised to promote and lobby for the needs of local jurisdictions. Our needs in Frederick County are going to be different from say, Baltimore City, or Garret County; therefore, it makes sense to have a local Board for Frederick County so our public education system and its priorities are a direct reflection of our community. Further, all Counties in Maryland all have some form of County government with their own budgets. Having local Boards helps County governments determine funding priorities.

9.  Please list in order your priorities in education.

  1. Ensure all students have access to the best possible education whether face to face or in alternate formats
  2. Offer full day Pre-K
  3. Expand space and programs at the Career and Technology Center
  4. Expand dual enrollment program with FCC
  5. Expand business partnerships
  6. Accelerate efforts to help students understand the value of civic engagement

My dream wish list project would be to launch a dedicated school for the arts in downtown Frederick.

10.  Do you believe political ideology belongs in elementary classrooms?

I believe in teaching critical thinking skills so students can inform their own opinions. Political ideologies should be incorporated in later grades of elementary school to help students form and develop their own views. In early elementary grades, students should learn about basic governmental structures. Further, I believe that students should have access to resources to help them evolve their own political views. I coach elementary school aged children involved in youth sports who have already adopted their own political ideology and identify with various political parties. I think it is appropriate for the later grades of elementary school classrooms.

11.  Do you believe 13 & 14 year olds should be instructed on how to use condoms, dental dams and taught about anal sex?

Yes. I know individuals who have parented children at ages 13 and 14. Having said that, parents should have the ability to opt their children out of specific sexual health topics due to religious or moral beliefs. Again, it boils back to critical thinking. Teachers can help students build self-esteem, self-respect and respect of others while presenting information on the topics related to sex. This may be a clinical view but our educational system should cover sexual and health topics including ways to reduce or prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, un or ill planned pregnancy, and promote personal and public health.

April 27, 2020 Part I (question and answers 1-5) here. April 24, 2020, Campaigning In the Age of COVID-19 Lockdown.

Editors Note: This column originally published on April 28, 2020.

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Cindy A. Rose began writing for the Tentacle in 2011 trying to raise awareness over things happening within Frederick County Public Schools. She began keeping a close watch on FCPS when she learned there were not enough air conditioned buses for special needs children during the hot Maryland summers. The Tentacle offered her a place to share her concerns with her community when local newspapers didn’t always. Cindy had the opportunity to buy the Tentacle from creator/owner John W. Ashbury in 2019, so she did. She believed then, as she believes now, our communities, friends and neighbors have important things to say that needs to be shared with those living around them. Large corporate news companies don’t always share in those passions and concerns. The Tentacle is a local news, commentary and community website run by citizens, for citizens. Its success depends on your participation.