We are in a unique moment as a society. We are reflecting on the many ways our institutions have, in the past and present, favored those with power —traditionally white men.

I applaud Congressman David Trone for sponsoring legislation to remove a memorial of Roger Taney (author of the Dred Scott decision) from the Capitol. I am encouraged by Councilman Kai Hagen’s announcement of upcoming racial equality and social justice legislation. And I am in full support of the resolution authored by Alderman Derek Shackelford to declare racism a public health crisis.

Similar antiracism policy is also needed in Frederick County Public Schools. We must reflect on the ways that our school system, like many throughout the country, favors the white experience. Teachers of color are underrepresented in Frederick County classrooms. Students of color are underrepresented in the AP and (International Baccalaureate) advanced classes. Black students are suspended from FCPS schools at disproportionate rates.

FCPS alumni are calling for changes to be made. An antiracism petition written by two 2016 graduates has generated thousands of signatures and hundreds of testimonials. I am proud to have signed the petition. I stand with my neighbors in calling for more Black voices in the curriculum, more teachers of color in the classroom and an independent third-party review of our hiring practices. It is time to systematically address racial inequities in our schools.

David Bass

Frederick

David Bass is a candidate for the Frederick County Board of Education

(19) comments

mrnatural1

Mr. Bass is well intentioned, and I'm sure we'd agree on a lot of issues, but some of the solutions offered here are misguided.

Hiring someone based -- at least in part -- on their skin color is wrong.

So is having lower behavioral standards for people of certain races.

As is, making sure people of color are well represented in AP classes, even if they aren't qualified.

All of the above only treat the symptoms of repression and racism.

The situation many black people find themselves in is due in large part to 400 years of slavery; Jim Crow; segregation; KKK terrorism; redlining, etc, etc. If the roles were reversed, it would be white people who would be disproportionately poor; un/under-educated; along with all of the associated problems.

The solution isn't 'affirmative action'; or different academic and behavioral standards for different races. No one should be hired for a position they are not qualified for, for any reason -- whether it's because they're a good ol' (white) boy; black or Latino; incredibly good looking; the owner's nephew, etc. The most qualified person should get the job, period. If it's truly a toss-up and the school; agency; or company needs more women or people of color, then sure, use race and/or gender as a deciding factor.

People need to be properly cared for from the time they are infants -- good nutrition and health care. Truly EQUAL education. It is criminal that the Zip Code or county a person is born in determines -- in large part -- the course their life will take, The variation in the quality of public education in America is scandalous.

Races, genders, nationalities, etc are all essentially equal in their innate abilities, but there are basic needs that must be met from early on. If they go to school in Appalachia or rural Mississippi, it will be incredibly hard for them to succeed. Doing nothing about their nutrition, health care, and education and then offering them a job they aren't qualified for (regardless of race or gender) really isn't doing anyone much good, and it sure isn't addressing the root causes of the problem.

phydeaux994

The Black race in America has NEVER been given the chance to evolve from the norms of slavery, no education, no social code, to the norms of “White” Society. Left in poverty and hopelessness in rural America or captivated in poverty and hopelessness in overcrowded inner cities to fend for themselves as best they could, which wasn’t any good. Not officially allowed to receive equal education until 1954, only 66 years ago. I was a Junior in High School when I met the first Black people I ever interacted with. And that chance of an equal education and assimilating socially has been a dismal failure since. When will they ever be given the chance by the White Power Structure to overcome the 400 year handicap imposed on them to assimilate into “White” Society????

Comment deleted.
DickD

Sometimes children act up to get attention and to draw attention - perhaps because they are not being treated equally.

Comment deleted.
bosco

Surely not KR999. Having volunteered in school in the past, I can tell you as well as any retired teacher not afraid of speaking up, the disciplinary actions start with some "you ain't telling me what to do" idiot that didn't fall too far from the tree.

If they start meting out disciplinary actions by quota, some of these knuckleheads will slide and the first thing you know they are in the Future Convicts of America Club.

Been there and seen it on the streets and in the schools.

[ninja]

DickD

Don't we want the best teachers that we can find, regardless of their skin color? Don't we want suspensions based on behavior? If we go overboard on this aren't we guilty of reverse discrimination?

gabrielshorn2013

Agreed, Dick. There should be (and is) a written procedure in the FCPS documents that state the penalty for a given offense. Many of these penalties are increased if the bad behavior persists. There should be no additional penalty or relaxation of that penalty based on race, religion, social status, etc. We all have the capacity to know right from wrong, and to keep our poor behaviors in check. Doing anything else is discriminatory.

postalblues

Stop making sense.

jerseygrl42

right you are and once upon a time before the advent of the R word we did follow those practices you mention and but now we are heading for "head counts" rather than quality...shameful

yogib

good Dickd

Rick Blatchford

David Bass sounds pretty much like the average leftist pushing FredCo farther in that direction - right up until he wrote "...racism [is] a public health crisis. Really? Sounds like a similar attempt a few years back when some far leftists wanted to have gun violence studied by the Center for Disease Control. Anyone wanting to help push FredCo schools/educators farther left than they currently are will support David Bass in his run for the school board. If only racism COULD be cured w/ a pill.

DickD

Rick, this is one time I agree with you. You cannot fix racism with a pill. You also cannot bludgeon a racist into someone who will believe in equal opportunity for all. It's a culture issue. Instead of seeing what makes us different look at how we are alike. And go out of your way to learn about differences. The more you learn about others the greaterthe possibility you might like them, although the reverse is possible too.

Blueline

Mr. Bass - while there may be issues in the school system, have you ever considered that there may be different underlying causes to what you mentioned? Are teachers of color precluded from applying to the school system? Is representation in AP classes based upon some other parameter than grades? Is it possible that suspensions are related to behavior rather than color? As a candidate for BOE, it appears you are barking up the wrong tree with your approach. I think your intentions may be good, but I would ask that you be open to sustainable solutions to solve problems and not simply be a parrot for certain talking points.

phydeaux994

Black people don’t want to live and raise their children in Frederick County where they are not wanted. There are a lot friendlier places to live and the pay is higher.

bosco

And you know this how, Fido, or is your projector running again?[ninja]

BunnyLou

A couple of thoughts, of the eleven racist statues Nancy Pelosi wants remove ten were democrats and one had no political leaning. Of the four racist portraits removed all were democrats. If you want schools to be schools again vote democrats off of school boards and bust up the teachers unions. They are the cause for the current idiocy that is running rampant in our nation’s streets.

bosco

Don't forget the socialist professors in the nation's colleges either.[ninja]

DickD

Bunny, you must know that a party name for Southerners isn't relevant, because it has changed. Democrats prior to 1963 are now Republicans. KKK members were Democrats, today they are Republicans.

In regards to schools reopening, do you want to catch the pandemic from your children or grandchildren and risk dying?

Dwasserba

Ohhhhh and what if any of those kids have compromised immune systems, asthma, undiagnosed frailty....

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