We’re in agreement with state senators who have called for an independent review of the Maryland School for the Deaf. The senators’ comments came following testimony from alumni, parents, former employees, members of the school’s leadership, and leaders of local NAACP branches during a joint session of the state senate’s Budget and Taxation and the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs committees.
Beginning in August, several people began speaking out against the school, sharing stories of racism, bullying, and elitism by staff and coaches at the school, which has campuses in Frederick and Columbia. They also blamed former Superintendent James Tucker, who led the school for almost three decades, for building a toxic culture at the school.
After the hearing, Sen. Guy Guzzone, chair of Budget and Taxation, said they need to know more and further discussions need to happen. “We want to make sure we know what is going on at this school, and any school, to ensure that kids get that [equal] opportunity. And if they’re not in some way, shape or form, we’ve got to figure it out,” said Guzzone.
At the moment, we’re in no position to know exactly what happened. But we agree and encourage Guzzone and others to apply pressure on Maryland State Department of Education officials, who declined to attend the hearing, to get to the bottom of this. It should be a priority.
We are glad that the critically important Advanced Technical Rescue Team created nearly 30 years ago at Independent Hose Company will continue its mission of responding to tricky and dangerous emergency calls in the county. However, starting Nov. 1, the team of first responders from around the county will move locations and now be overseen by the county Division of Fire and Rescue Services.
All in all, county residents won’t see a difference. But what’s disheartening for us is how this all went down. The two sides declined to go into great detail, but the chief at Independent told our reporter that a “political climate” over the last three years helped lead to the decision by the Independent Hose Company’s Board of Directors.
We’re confident the two sides can come together to make sure the transition is in fact smooth. People’s lives depend on it. But why it happened is something we don’t know, and we should.
We’d typically agree with those who think that holiday decorations seemingly go up too early each year. And we mean way too early, like way before Halloween. Like right about now.
But this year, we’re having second thoughts. Starting in mid-September, the Downtown Frederick Partnership began stringing holiday lights throughout downtown Frederick. The process is going to take until early November when all the lights will be turned on.
But as crews started installing the lights, we got little glimpses here and there of the pretty illuminations as they checked their work. And we have to admit, early or not, there was a peaceful glow that will undoubtedly make downtown feel extra special this holiday season.
We also know that once the holidays are here, the end of 2020 won’t be far behind. If that’s not a reason to get excited about the holidays, we’re not sure what would be.
We know there were a lot of you excited to learn that Mission BBQ is opening a location here in Frederick early next year. And if you haven’t visited one of their restaurants in the region yet, we think you’ll be in for a treat.
But it’s not just the tasty brisket and ribs or even its dining room decorations that support our troops and first responders that has us anticipating the opening of its 93rd location just off of Buckeystown Pike in early 2021.
We’re pleased to see that, despite the pandemic and the financial slowdown that has followed, yet another example of an investor who still believes in our local economy. Mission BBQ is just one of the latest examples of this; we see similar investments every day from the local shops, restaurants and other businesses throughout the county.
We’re optimistic that we’ll continue to grow that local economy, especially if we continue to take the necessary pandemic precautions as we await a vaccine.
Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.