I am dismayed to see that Cindy Stickline-Rose has made it to the general election for Frederick County Board of Education. While I applaud her courage to accept the challenge of public service, it scares me to think of someone like her serving in a critical position of leadership. Her social media presence and habits reveal a character and leadership style that makes her unfit to serve. I base this assessment on two firsthand experiences, which are shared by many of my friends.
She routinely deletes posts and blocks people whom she deems offensive from engaging with her on her campaign Facebook page “Frederick for Local Control.” She deleted my posts. As concerned friends and parents of FCPS kids, we want to know her positions on our topics of concern. If the social media “cold shoulder” is her response to hard conversations as a candidate, how will she engage with us if elected to the board? This style of leadership has a name: It’s called toxic. It is certainly not the leadership style I want to see in a school board member.
Her platform of “local control” for FCPS sounds appealing. Unfortunately, there is a significant portion of her agenda she has not discussed — her animus toward transgender and gender non-binary students. She desperately wants to repeal Policy 443 — the policy that supports transgender students. In social media posts, she has stated her beliefs: Transgender people are mentally ill; they are a danger to bathroom safety; they have an unfair advantage in sports; and that we should not be allowed to exist because we are an affront to God’s plan or her false belief in an artificial and socially constructed gender binary. She is an angry transphobe.
Yes, I said “we.” I am a transgender American. I have served 24 years on active duty as a commissioned officer and held three commands at sea. I swore to support and defend the Constitution, which protects her right to say hateful things and attack my community. I’ve served under inspiring leaders, and I’ve been subjected to toxic leaders. Cindy Rose’s behaviors on social media represents toxic leadership. Vote wisely.