The following is a letter issued to the Board of Education of Carroll County Maryland on behalf of Concerned Parents.
Dear Board Members,
On behalf of the Concerned Parents of Carroll County, we thank the board for heeding our request to remove politics from Carroll County Public Schools. We fully support the motion that was unanimously approved which tasks the board to develop a policy to maintain a politically neutral stance in the classroom and students’ curriculum.
Concerned Parents also asks the board to acknowledge the issue of Critical Race Theory that has permeated our school system through state equity guidelines, teacher’s professional development, libraries, and unapproved curriculum. Though the state of Maryland requires CCPS to have an Equity policy, we understand that how equity is interpreted and implemented within our county is within the scope and control of the board. Therefore, on behalf of Concerned Parents and over a thousand signers of our online petition (https://www.change.org/sayNOtoCRTinCC), we ask the board to revise the Equity policy to ensure equity is not misused as a tool to implement Critical Race Theory in CCPS.
Lastly, Concerned Parents advocates for increased parent involvement and transparency of curriculum and library material decisions, with the goal of ensuring traditional educational topics continue to be taught in our classrooms.
With these objectives in mind, we request the following measures be considered while constructing such policy changes. These measures have been discussed and agreed upon by the Committee of Concerned Parents of Carroll County and align with The Board of Education’s stated core values “Reflecting the Priorities, Beliefs and Mores of our Local Community”.
- In light of comments made in various forums by several members of CCPS administration and reflected in numerous CCPS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training Programs, never again will any employee of CCPS, including the Superintendent and the BOE, in their capacities as employees or representatives of CCPS, nor any contracted individual or agency providing education to staff or students, reference the community of Carroll County or the school system at large as racist or implicitly / unconsciously racist.
All of this is associated with the “political ideology” of Critical Race Theory and is how it presents in the workplace and school environment. Furthermore, stereotyping an entire community as racists, in any form, is destructive to the harmony of the community, and we need to ensure CCPS policies protect our community from such hate. Whereas it is acknowledged everyone has Constitutional First Amendment Rights of Freedom of Speech, there are legitimate lawful consequences when such willful speech violates the ‘Priorities, Beliefs, and Mores of our Community”, who is the employer.
- All children, regardless of race or gender will be treated identically under grading and discipline policies, with the exception of special needs students as maybe dictated and clarified by 504’s and IEP’s. No children will be placed into disadvantaged categories based on race and economic status for purported purposes of altering the standards of the grading system employed as an accommodation.
- Educational Equity so that equity is not used to highlight “racial educational inequities”, as Critical Race Theory demands. Instead, Equity will call attention to any student who is not being effectively served in the education process no matter their racial or socioeconomic background.
- Equity will never be used to alter the prerequisite curriculum standards and may only be used to assist the classroom educator to identify the unique needs of individual students in the education process. Equity will be utilized to highlight educational shortcomings of any student requiring attention and necessitating educators, as may be appropriate, to alter the teaching techniques employed to more effectively address the learning style / needs of individual students.
Educators will be encouraged to employ various approaches to teaching including “strategies for differentiated instruction” in lieu of merely altering standards to achieve any desired outcome. The stated objective of a CCPS provided education, that in part, is to prepare all students for a competitive world cannot be achieved by utilizing Education Equity to reduce standards along racial lines, for to do so would be a tremendous disservice to the individuals Educational Equity declares to be helping.
- No curriculum shall directly and / or indirectly make a stereotypical reference to the United States of America as a “Racist” nation. The term “systematically racist”, is a highly toxic political term and therefore will not be utilized in reference to the United States of America, nor will it be utilized in reference to any at large community within the United States of America, fore to do so would be flagrant stereotyping of the worst kind. Though it is understood that a school system can’t legally demand allegiance to the USA nor the Flag, we believe the school system has a responsibility to engender respect as opposed to creating or promoting blatant disrespect as the advocates of CRT promote.
- In that it is historically flawed and clearly politically biased, the “1619 Project” reference to the United States of America as being founded on racism, nor any other aspect of the “1619 Project” or any of the referenced supportive curriculum guides will not be utilized as source material in any CCPS curriculum directly or indirectly. (https://pulitzercenter.org/lesson-plan-grouping/1619-project-curriculum)
- In that political activism is not education, it is instead the promotion of political ideology; political activism, by anyone including educators, students, and administration, should never be permitted in the classroom and will be deemed a “disruption to the education process”, rendering it unlawful. Therefore, CCPS staff cannot advocate, or coerce students into supporting, political activism or political organizations. A list of political organizations to be banned should be maintained and reviewed on a regular basis by the board to ensure policies remain aligned with the ever-evolving political landscape. Organizations to be included, but not limited to, are:
* Black Lives Matter (BLM) – A self-proclaimed political Marxist organization that advocates for the destruction of the nuclear family.
* Antifa – A political protest movement that advocates change through violence.
* Others to be named as identified
It can be reasonably asserted that allowing “politics” into the classroom converts the “education process” into an “indoctrination process”, no matter the political persuasion being promoted. Additionally, it can be argued that such political influences violate the constitutionally required “free public education” void of political influences.
- Eliminating all coercion of staff or students to use gender “pronouns” enforced through threat of discipline and / or termination. There is no law that requires such a policy and therefore, quite likely, violates the lawful rights of other individuals. An appeals court in California has deemed it a violation of “Freedom of Speech” rights. Additionally, a case involving a Virginia Physical Education teacher, “Freedom of Religion” rights were cited as being violated where the teacher refused to use such “pronouns” because it violated his system of religious beliefs. Whoever may wish to use “gender pronouns’ should be allowed; however, no one should be made to do so under threat of recrimination or dismissal.
- In the spirit of parent involvement and transparency, much like the Board of Education meetings, we request that curriculum and family life council meetings be documented and all meeting minutes, and recordings, be made public. This is crucial for parental awareness of council decisions, preventing such decisions being unilaterally made by CCPS, and ensuring alignment with Carroll community values. We also request additional parent delegates to all committees, with more transparency and BOE involvement in the selection process.
- A new council be formed, or duties be assigned to existing councils, that provides parent involvement and oversight of library and media material decisions. Currently, there is no visibility to the parents and the public in general with respect to the additions and removals of books and materials. For this reason, we ask the board to create this new council.
In conclusion, Concerned Parents finds that our organization’s objective is aligned with the BOE’s stated objective to remove all political influences, whether it be direct or indirect, from the classroom and CCPS policies and practices. We have concluded, through personal experience and / or awareness that the politicization of the classroom unwarrantedly encumbers the education process of children; and as it is identified be systematically removed through policy change or directive by the BOE.
We kindly ask the Board to respond by August 27, 2021, to acknowledge you have received our requests and indicate your plan for actions moving forward on these specific concerns/matters.
Thank you for your continued work as our Board of Education Members, serving the community, and placing the parents’ thoughts and concerns into consideration.
Committee of Concerned Parents of Carroll County