- In her most recent article, Ann Costantino describes the racous meeting of the Baltimore County Board of Education held April 3, 2018. Costantino quotes a letter I wrote to one of the Board members. I was appalled by the behavior of BOE member Stephen Verch and have called on him to apologize. If a teacher behaved in the manner Verch displayed, she would probably be restrained by security and asked to leave – or even arrested. Worse than that, as reported in Costantino’s article, Verch is unapologetic and states so with pride.
PAlso reported from people who attended the meeting was the rude behavior of teachers who spoke in favor of the STAT program. It is one thing to state your opinion, but quite another to heckle those speaking in opposition. Costantino shares a letter to the board from a parent: ‘I found it absolutely unacceptable to hear BCPS staff in the lime green shirts counting down out loud as time was running out on one of the citizen’s advisory council speakers. It was completely unprofessional, and I believe BCPSONE owes her a public apology on behalf of your staff.”
Jayne Lee, the president of the Batimore County Council PTA has this to say: “Thing is that his (Verch) behavior was not only directed at his fellow board members but also at those of us with differing opinions. Just as bad as Mr Verch was the behavior of the STAT teachers who jeered at the people with opposing views, counted down the time left while someone was speaking and sat in the atrium making rude nasty personal statements about speakers. My children would have been punished for that kind of rudeness. Perhaps last night the STAT teachers showed us the biggest problem with too much screen time. You end up with spoiled rude little children who have so much time on a device that they have no social skills and lack the ability to have interpersonal relationship skills that are generally acceptable.”
I will repeat what I have said from the beginning: when classroom teachers – not STAT teachers, NOT central office personnel, NOT resource teachers – turn out in great numbers at board meetings willing to speak, then I will believe that the majority of classroom teachers are in complete support of the digital transformation. Until then, the only real transformation I can see, is that of polite discourse disintegrating into brash bullying of stakeholders by BCPS personnel in public meetings.