Respected Educator and Union-Backed School Board Member Dr. Patricia Dorsey: “It is not a book ban”

This article brought to you by Informed Carroll County.

Over the past week, it was hard to go far in the county without encountering news from either legacy outlets or social media pages, highlighting the Carroll County Board of Education’s decision to “ban” sexually explicit materials in public schools.

Last Wednesday, CCPS voted for a policy change to safeguard students from such materials—a response to parents across the county who reported over 60 book titles containing graphic sexual content. The move positions CCPS as the sole school system in the state taking action to protect students from the graphic and sexually inappropriate materials found in school media centers.

Beyond the skewed representation of the issue in the news, key details were also omitted. Whether due to ignorance or strategy, we can’t be sure. Notably, the policy was passed unanimously with a 5-0 vote, including the Democratic-supported and union-backed board member, Dr. Patricia Dorsey.

Unless you were among the 50 or so CCPS employees, union reps and active parents who were in attendance at the January 10th Board of Education meeting, you might not be aware that as Dr. Dorsey cast her vote in unison with her board colleagues, she pushed back against those who had historically been her allies and uttered 6 simple words.

“It is not a book ban.”

These words would refute a months-long crusade led by the Maryland State Education Association and the Maryland State Library Association, along with local Democratic groups, against what they called book banning and censorship. Calls to action, such as ‘How to Beat Book Bans,’ and public comments by Democratic Board of Education Candidate Muri Dueppen, would be utterly discredited. Dr. Dorsey displayed a calm, unwavering leadership style that has become rare among elected public officials at any level of government.

Dorsey, who is serving out her second term on the Carroll County Board of Education, hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with her colleagues.  

In June 2022, she voted against the political neutrality policy that activists and unions had also inaccurately painted as a ban targeted at the LGBTQIA+ flag. During COVID, she consistently stood as the lone vote against removing masks and reopening schools, siding with Democratic activist groups.

This time, Dr. Dorsey distanced herself from her alliances with the MSEA and the MSLA, indicating that Democratic activists may have finally crossed a line from her perspective.

Dorsey’s vote perhaps signals a new, bipartisan era in Carroll County politics, where the small but loud minority is set aside for the reasonable majority, paving the way for common-sense policies that will refocus our education system on improving academic scores.

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

J. K. Rowling

Muri Dueppen is seen seated next to Dr. Patricia Dorsey during a campaign planning session at union headquarters in 2022.

Several calls to action were made by teacher unions and advocacy groups to oppose the book “ban”.

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