Categories
accountability

Book Celebrating Masturbation Required Reading for 9th Grade English Class; Endorsed by Scanlan

Tom Scanlan and Amanda Jozkowski, candidates for Board of Education, encourage books like “The Absolutely True-Diary of a Part-Time Indian” to be taught in Carroll County schools.

A book that contains masturbation, inappropriate language, and mocks religion, is required reading in a freshman English class at Century High School.

“The Absolutely True-Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, is described by Wikipedia as “written from the perspective of a 14-year-old Native American teenager and who leaves the Spokane Indian Reservation for a nearly all-white public high school”.  The novel gushes over the pleasures of masturbation for nearly two pages and is littered with sexually explicit content and vulgar language.  

Under a page with the heading “Naked woman + right hand = happy happy joy joy”, masturbation is overtly celebrated. “Yep, that’s right, I admit that I masturbate.  I’m proud of it.  I’m good at it.  I’m ambidextrous.  If there were a Professional Masturbators League, I’d get drafted number one and make millions of dollars.”  In a jab towards religious views of masturbation, the author continues, “And if God hadn’t wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs.  So I thank God for my thumbs.”

“I never thought I would have to deal with any of this” said the mother of the freshman student.  Her daughter described that “she was very uncomfortable with reading about the masturbating stuff” and claimed that the teacher has been playing the audio version of the book for the entire class to listen.  The 9th grader was also asked to read a passage in class that contained profanity.

 “I was very much disturbed after she told me that,” said the concerned mom.

The book is yet another example of inappropriate content in CCPS, but the decision by the English teacher to include the reading in course curriculum for children as young as 14 years old is shocking.  Like “Lawn Boy”, the inappropriate content in “The Absolutely True-Diary of a Part-Time Indian” was overlooked for the number of awards it received and having met intersectional criteria for marginalized communities.

The CCPS media acceptance criteria also overlooked the sexual harassment allegations against the author.  In 2018, ten women came forward to accuse Sherman Alexie of using his “literary celebrity to lure them into uncomfortable sexual situations.”   Alexie apologized and later returned the Carnegie Medal award he had received for the book. 

Tom Scanlan, candidate for Carroll County Board of Education, recently attacked the Concerned Parents group on Facebook for “working to undermine the academic freedom and integrity of our school Media Specialist.”  His social media post displayed an image of a stack of books that have been recently challenged/banned, one of which included “The Absolutely True-Diary of a Part-Time Indian.”  Scanlon’s post was also liked by Amanda Jozkowski, another candidate for Board of Education.

Concerned Parents disagrees with Scanlan’s assertion that challenging books of any kind is undermining academic freedom. Specific books, such as “The Absolutely True-Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, clearly violate community standards and certainly should not be required reading for 14-year-olds.

Scanlan believes, in the name of academic freedom, that parents should stay silent while their 14-year-old children are sexualized and taught the joys of masturbation by an author who is a serial sexual predator. He has demonstrated that he’s part of the problem and is not fit for the Board of Education.

We ask all Carroll County parents to become more involved in your children’s public-school education, and don’t be afraid to question things that in your gut doesn’t feel right. Explore your child’s school library on the Destiny online search tool and review their course curriculum.  Report questionable content to your child’s teacher via email, copying your principal, superintendent, board of education, and info@concernedparentsofccmd.com.  

Categories
announcement

A Quick Guide to CRT/DEI 

For those not familiar with CRT, here’s a quick rundown of what CRT is and how to spot it inside your children’s classwork, homework, and assignments.

A Quick Guide to CRT/DEI 

Diversity – Breaking society up into groups based on race, stereotyping races based on past history and assuming it’s present today. Examples of some of it’s false premises:

  • Example #1: Black People are oppressed because of slavery and racist policies of the past.  The constitution of the United States of America, because it’s colorblind, should not be considered equal because of our flawed history.  As such, we now have to be grouped and treated differently to correct past wrongs.
  • Example #2: Courageous Conversations or Honest Conversations in the classroom where teachers will seperate classes into 2 groups (Oppressed, black and minority children) and (Oppressors, white). In some cases children are asked to apologize and say why they are oppressors.

Equity – Children are taught differently, not on performance levels, but solely on race, to achieve equal outcomes across racial groups.

  • Example #1: It is assumed that a black or minority child is not smart enough to learn how to solve the equation correctly therefore it is now OK to have the incorrect answer.
  • Example #2: Black or Minority children are not given homework because of “oppression” and it is assumed they do not have the same resources as white children to be able to complete homework.
  • Example #3: There are programs and opportunities at the school ONLY for black and minority children that are NOT available to ALL children.  It is assumed that black or minority kids do not have access to these resources.
  • Example #4: Black/Minority Children are disciplined and graded differently.

Inclusion – Introduces kids to LGBTQ+ and Sexual Conversations at inappropriate age levels.  It includes videos, presentations, handouts and other materials that focuses on including everyone of all backgrounds, and is primarily focused on sexual preference.

  • Example #1: Teaching children to use gender pronouns that are different and separate from biological gender.  Giving children the opportunity to choose different identities other than male or female.  Female bathrooms and locker rooms are now “inclusive” meaning there is no private space for young girls in most schools (not all, it depends on the school.
  • Example #2: Punishment for children who tolerate but do not openly celebrate LGBTQ values.

Visit this resource for an additional quick reference guide to CRT and Social Justice Warrior rhetoric. 

Categories
accountability

Analysis: Bias in CCPS Media Centers

The following analysis was provided by Carroll County Public School teachers and parents.

CCPS must revisit the process in which books and media are selected for the media center shelves. In a cursory comparison of most challenged and banned books and books on the shelf at CCPS media centers, it appears there is either no thought given to the selection of student reading material or the controversial books and media are purposely sought out to stock the shelves at our local middle and high schools. The following are just some of the dreadful findings present on our CCPS media centers for our children to sign out and read. Out of the American Library Association’s (ALA) top 10 most challenged or banned books from public schools in 2020, CCPS has 9 of the 10 in their media centers. 

Name of bookChallenged or banned by:Reason for challenge or banNumber of copies in CCPS media centers
George by Alex Gino #1 on the top 10 most challenged books of 2020Inappropriate sexual content, LGBTQ, conflicting religious content  2
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Kendi and Reynolds#2 on the top 10 most challenged books of 2020
* Challenged in Somerset Co, MD
* Challenged in Austin, TX
Racism, CRT 33

13 copies at MVHS
Middle and HS’s
All American Boys by Reynolds and Kiely#3 on the top 10 most challenged books of 2020
* Challenged in Somerset Co, MD
Profanity, drug use, alcoholism, anti-police views, divisive CRT topics.  15

6 copies at WMHS
Copies also at NCM
“Speak” by Laurie Halse#4 on the top 10 most challenged books of 2020Political viewpoints, rape and profanity  15
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie #5 on the top 10 most challenged books of 2020
* Removed from WA, MO, OR schools
Profanity, sexual references, sexual misconduct 10 copies
All in HS’s
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee#7 on the top 10 most challenged books of 2020
* Banned or removed from 8 different schools
Racial slurs 5 book copies 
Plus video 
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck#8 on the top 10 most challenged books of 2020

Banned in:
* Syracuse,
* Tell City, Indiana,
* Continental, Ohio
* Oil City, Pennsylvania 
* Grand Blanc, Michigan 
* Scottsboro, Alabama
* Banned in GA
Racial slurs, racial stereotypes 6 book copies
Plus video
Plus audio
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison#9 on the top 10 most challenged books of 2020

Banned in
* Fairbanks Alaska
* Challenged in West Chester HS PA
* Banned in Morrisville HS PA
* Challenged in Florida and Massachusetts HS’s
* Challenged in Montgomery CO. MD
* Challenged or removed from 11 other schools
Sexually explicit, child sexual abuse 3 copies
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas#10 on the top 10 most challenged books of 2020
* Banned from TX schools
* Challenged in SC, Missouri, 
Anti-police, CRT message 18 copies
HS’s and MS’s

Why is CCPS choosing books and media that is on the challenged and banned list? 

Not only are these books present in CCPS media centers, but several schools have multiple copies of these titles, suggesting they were purchased for a student book club or class reading.  If so, who ran the book club?  Who funded these purchases?  Were the books approved as material for curriculum and instruction?  Was a book with an opposing viewpoint provided as part of the discussion?  Are book clubs on differing viewpoints offered?  

Other books banned from other schools in previous years, BUT still on the media shelves at CCPS:

Name of bookChallenged or banned by:Reason for challenge or banNumber of copies in CCPS media centers
A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley* Challenged and Censored in MD
* Banned in Missouri 
* Challenged in CA
* Banned in GA
Anti-family, anti-religion, language, promiscuous sex, 2
At WMHS
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow RowellChallenged in MNBanned in ORBanned in VAChallenged in MNVile profanity, offensive language, sexually explicit,  13 copies
The Color Purple by Alice WalkerChallenged in numerous schools – numerous times. 
* CA – banned
* VA – banned
* MI – banned
* PA – banned
* WY – challenged
* CT – banned
* NC – banned
* Etc.
Racism, inappropriate language, violence, physical abuse, rape,  9 copies
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo White privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the “N” word 9 books
2 audios
White Fragility by Robin DiAngeloBanned in FL schoolsAdult content, Racism, BLM and CRT affiliation 6 copies 
Black Lives Matter by Martin Gitlin BLM, CRT affiliation2 copies
WMHS, CHS

The media centers are full of controversial books about sex, racism, violence and more. Many books have been challenged or banned in other school districts which should have raised a red flag and inspired further investigation prior to ordering the book for the CCPS media center. Many of the titles not only include adult level content, but also are suggested for adult readers, yet have been hand-selected by media specialists for kids as young as K thru 5.  Not only is this content inappropriate for the age level, but it shows the media specialist lacks professional judgement in the selection of materials for the school because the media specialist knowingly chose these adult level books for elementary-aged students.

Many books depict CRT tenets and promote the BLM organization. The CCPS BOE contends there is no CRT taught or promoted in the CCPS system. If this is true, the media centers need a thorough cleansing of many books depicting racism, anti-policing, white supremacy, and other CRT topics. Winters Mill High School seems to be the worse violator of these issues, having the highest number of controversial books and other media in their possession. One has to wonder if this was a directive given to expand the media in this direction. 

Name of bookReason for challenge or banNumber of copies in CCPS media centers
Ghost Boys by Jewell ParkerBLM, CRT affiliation13 at West Middle School
This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany JewellBLM, CRT affiliation2 Taneytown and Freedom Elementary
The New Jim Crow by Michelle AlexanderAdult content, CRT affiliation1 Taneytown Elementary
Just Mercy by Bryan StevensonAdult content, CRT affiliation1 Taneytown Elementary

A deeper analysis of the books that are present and notably missing shows a political bias.  CCPS media specialists should be the very ones upholding the promotion of intellectual freedom by selecting a variety of materials from a variety of viewpoints, not just books that reflect their own viewpoints or those of the selection sources they are using.  The following are examples of bias in the selection of materials by CCPS media specialists:

43% of all CCPS schools do not have a biography of President Donald Trump * Missing from 4 of 8 high schools: Century, Gateway, Liberty, Winters Mill
* Present in 6 out of 8 CCPS middle schools.  Missing from: East, West & Sykesville
* Missing from 11 of 23 CCPS elementary schools: Carroll Springs, Eldersburg, Freedom, Friendship Valley (not an individual book), Hampstead, Piney Ridge, Robert Moton, Runnymede, Sandymount, William Winchester (not an individual book), Winfield) 
100% of all CCPS schools have at least one biography of President Barack Obama and/or family members Almost all schools have more than 1 President Obama related biography or story, some schools have multiple including: ranging from 2-21 different titles
Multiple titles are politically bias or critical of a political side yet lack literature providing countering viewpoints.* Why Irrational Politics Appeals: understanding the allure of Trump
* Impeachment: Donald Trump and the history of presidents in peril
* We were 8 Years in Power: An American Tragedy
* Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump
* Nearly all titles mentioned in the earlier charts.

Websites and Resources

Categories
accountability announcement

CCPS Removes Minors From Book Committee Tasked To Review “Lawn Boy”

We thank Carroll County Public Schools for leaving student minors out of the review committee for “Lawn Boy”, the novel written by Jonathan Evison. The book is grotesque, sexually explicit, and littered with derogatory language towards the LGBTQ and minority communities. Including children in this committee was clearly not appropriate, and we’re appreciative that central office will be leaving this decision to adults.

We also thank the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office – Maryland for their response and guidance on the matter, which we will heed.

As terrible as “Lawn Boy” is, the issue goes well beyond just this book – it’s representative of deeper, more systemic issues that have pervaded our school system. There are dozens of other inappropriate books just like “Lawn Boy” that were deemed to have met CCPS “acceptance criteria”, and at the same time, less controversial books yanked from bookshelves that weren’t afforded the same review process, and other books notably absent (see https://bit.ly/300g8KF).

The end-result must be removal of all inappropriate materials, improved acceptance criteria with a renewed focus on educational value, and an UNBIASED application of this criteria so students have access to a balance of viewpoints. These changes are necessary and must be part of the larger discussion between the BOE and superintendent to achieve politically neutral classrooms.

We appreciate the attention and focus that CCPS is giving this matter. Concerned Parents will not rest until we’re assured our children are receiving an education free of indoctrination.

Categories
accountability

A Letter From a Concerned Parent to the Sheriff

Sheriff Jim DeWees,

My name is __________, a mother and resident of Carroll County Maryland. I am writing to you as a member of the Concerned Parents of Carroll County.  We are a coalition of parents who want to protect our children from political indoctrination and, as you will see, the sexualization of our children in Carroll County Public Schools.

As you may be aware, there have been reports across the country of books containing sexually explicit material, such as child pornographic scenes, pedophilia & obscene language.  All within public school libraries.  We are afraid to report that this issue has arrived here in our county.

Many parents have come forward to share several books made available in K-12 school libraries that contain highly inappropriate sexual content.  Unfortunately, I’ve personally been affected by this issue.  My daughter, a Winter’s Mill High School student discovered one of these books in her school library.  The book is titled “Lawn Boy” written by Jonathan Evison.  This book contains graphic details of two 4th grade boys sexually pleasuring each other.  It’s extremely disturbing, unacceptable and completely inappropriate for my daughter along with other students of Winters Mill High School.  Clearly, if this scene were made into a film, it would be considered child pornography.

I raised my concerns with the school media specialist and the Supervisor of Media and Instructional Technology for Carroll County Public Schools.  Sadly, they not only defended the book choice, they are now planning to bring the book to a review committee.  This committee is handpicking 3 students by school administration to be included in the review.  Our school system has now become a willing participant in this child abuse by forcibly exposing more students to the child pornographic content.

I, along with the Concerned Parents of Carroll County seek Sheriff Jim DeWee’s office guidance in this matter.  It is our opinion that the child pornographic scenes in this book are unnecessary in conveying the author’s message.  It graphically depicts and appeals to prurient interests, violates contemporary community standards and is therefore not protected speech under the First Amendment.  The scenes depicted in this book potentially fall under the category of child pornography.  At the very least, it violates state and federal obscenity laws.

We ask you for your urgent assistance in this matter.  Our children’s education and emotional well being are at stake.

Sincerely,

_____________ and the Concerned Parents of Carroll County

Screenshot of the email sent to Sheriff DeWees.

Categories
accountability

BLM Taught In Standardized Writing Test At Winters Mill, Principal Claims CCPS Mandated Curriculum

A screenshot of the writing assessment containing BLM content.

A Winters Mill High School student provided evidence of a standardized writing assessment requiring students to read a passage about Black Lives Matter.  

In the evidence provided, the multi-choice question appears to follow a reading that describes the Black Lives Matter organization in a positive light, but leaves out key details such as its Marxist underpinnings, “Defund the Police” efforts, and “disrupting” the nuclear family.

Based on the structure and delivery of the assessment, it’s suspected that this was a standardized test issued to all Honors English students in the county.  

When the student’s mother sent an email inquiring about the passage, the principal replied, “The curriculum is formulated at the district office level, so I have forwarded your email to…my High School Director.”

However, the Equity and Inclusion office continues to maintain that BLM, and other elements of anti-racism, are not included in CCPS curriculum.

“Nobody in the school system wants to take responsibility. I don’t have any confidence that CCPS will address it, especially with the finger pointing”, said the concerned mom.  “Whoever it is, they continue to push these ideas indirectly.  Even though BLM is not listed on a class syllabus, they hide it in materials like this writing assessment.”

Regardless of where it’s rooted, Concerned Parents continues to receive evidence from parents across Carroll County of anti-racist, systemic racism and other divisive content in student coursework and library materials.  

Opponents claim anti-racism teaches students to only see people for their color and blames the system for racial disparities. Parents across Carroll County continue to demand policy reform that explicitly bans the politically divisive subject in CCPS.

Categories
accountability announcement

Carroll County Mom Calls Out Book Containing Child Porn, School Media Specialist: “Book fulfills acceptance criteria”

A Concerned Carroll County mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, was disturbed when her daughter, a Winters Mill High School student, encountered a book containing child sex scenes in the school media center.  The mother had read the news and heard rumors of books containing inappropriate language and sexual content being made available in school libraries across the nation, but was shocked to find that the issue had arrived here in Carroll County Public Schools.

Her daughter had picked up “Lawn Boy”, a title written by Jonathan Evison.  Amazon describes it as a story about “a young man determined to achieve the American dream of happiness and prosperity”, but nowhere does the listing mention the child pornography contained throughout book, such as on page 19: “Not thаt it mаtters, but in fourth grаde, аt а church youth group meeting out in the bushes, I touched Doug Goebbels d**k, аnd he touched mine. There were even a couple of mouths involved.”

“Obviously I was upset that this book was even made available to my daughter”, the mom said. Wanting to make sure other children wouldn’t be exposed to the content, the concerned mom sent an email reporting the book to the school media specialist:  “As her mother, I said no to this book!  This book has extremely inappropriate content along with very inappropriate language! There is absolutely no reason for this book to be on the shelves of a public-school library.  Therefore, I am recommending removing it from the library!”

However, what would be more disturbing than the book’s content would be the media specialist’s response.  After outlining the criteria that CCPS uses to evaluate books such as “having at least two positive reviews from professional journals”, “appropriate for recommended levels” and “reflective of the pluralistic nature of American society”, the media specialist shockingly defended the decision to keep the title on school book shelves, replying “’Lawn Boy’…does fulfill those criteria, including multiple positive professional reviews.”  The email concluded with the media specialist suggesting the mom fill out a book reconsideration request form

“I was shocked.  I felt completely dismissed.”, said the concerned mom.  “If this book met CCPS’s criteria, what other inappropriate content could be in our school libraries?”.

Her suspicions would unfortunately be confirmed.  

Using Destiny, the online library catalog search tool available to parents and students, Concerned Parents identified other troubling books in CCPS school libraries.  “Out of Darkness”, described as a riveting novel about segregation, love, family, and the forces that destroy people, leads to a disturbing childhood account of anal rape: “Take her out back, we boys figured, then hand on the titties, put it in her cornbox, put it in her cornhole, grab a hold of that braid, rub that calico.”  If this scene were made into a movie it would be rightly labeled child pornography, but for CCPS, it’s kid-friendly content made available at Francis Scott Key, Liberty, South Carroll and Westminster High Schools.  

Another find, “Lolita”, tells a love story of a middle-aged man and his prepubescent 12-year old step daughter.  Erotic as it is unsettling, it’s available to any student at Winters Mill High School.

In another incident, a mother of a West Middle School student recently complained about her daughter’s teacher choosing “Between Shades of Gray” for class reading last year.  The story is of a girl in the World War II area and contains adult sexual content and graphic violence.  “Please keep in mind at the time my child was 13 years old and this book was a requirement for her ELS class. I am shocked that the school allowed impressionable youth to read such trash for an English class.” the mom had written to the school’s principal, to which he apologized and responded that “It is not uncommon for staff to assume materials that are in the building are approved for use.”

It’s hard to believe that such books exist in the Carroll County school libraries, but they do, and are being promoted by media specialists under standards defined by the state of Maryland and the county.  Proponents of these books may accuse parents of attempting to ban books and infringing upon free speech rights, but parents argue that media specialists place too much emphasis on checking “intersectional boxes” over quality of content.  Parents have also expressed that they want their children to be well-rounded academically, but with age-appropriate materials that do not cross clear legal boundaries.

Beyond the sexually inappropriate content, a clear bias would also be revealed.  Several books would be found that tell stories drawing connections to hotly contested political issues.  “Ghost Boys”, a sad story about a black boy killed by a white police officer, feeds into the false narrative of the “Defund the Police” movement, which claims law enforcement are systemically racist and results in an epidemic of white officers killing minorities.  13 copies of this title are available at West Middle, suggesting this book may have been used in a school sponsored group activity. 

Dozens of anti-racism and minority victimization books are available across nearly all school libraries from authors such as Ibram X. Kendi and Robin Diangelo, but virtually no titles that promote stories of successful minorities such as Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, or Condoleezza Rice.

Concerned Parents also searched biographies of former Presidents. Libraries are intended to present all points of view to allow students to become independent thinkers, yet one has to question if some media specialists are selecting materials with their own personal bias when almost half of CCPS schools do not have a single biography of President Trump, but have multiple books available about President Obama.  Parents are encouraged to search former presidents to see what their school libraries are offering their students.  This is a frightening trend, regardless of your political preferences.  Segments of our history, whether one agrees with it or not, should not and cannot be ignored.

You may recall last year’s controversy over select Dr. Suess titles such as “On Beyond Zebra” and “If I Ran A Zoo” that were claimed to have racially insensitive content.  Though these books would appear to pale in comparison to the earlier titles we’ve mentioned, it would be interesting to know whether CCPS media specialists made any changes to the Dr. Suess books without public input, and if so, what other decisions could be made without curriculum council oversight.  Such a move would appear highly hypocritical in the face of other book titles that have been accepted into Carroll County school media centers.

“We need immediate action from our superintendent and board,” said the concerned mom.  “How can they honestly say that our schools are a ‘safe space’ for our children when there’s a constant effort to sexualize and politicize them?”   

In America, there’s been a conscious effort among many groups to erase our past through book banning, replacing factual history with historical narratives, tearing down statues, and silencing those who disagree with the political narrative.   It’s important to not conflate the “rewriting of history” movement with the concerns parents have with school libraries.  These parents want their children to excel academically by exposing them to different ideas and ways of thinking, and to become independent thinkers, but in a way that’s balanced, and free of sexual and political exploitation.  In a world that’s become so politically divided, we, as parents, ask that our children be off limits.

The story comes just days before the Carroll County Board of Education is set to have a working session to develop policy to provide a politically neutral environment to students.


Call To Action

The findings revealed by Concerned Parents make it abundantly clear: the CCPS school library system, and many classrooms across the county, have a far-left bias, overtly promotes leftist political agendas, and over emphasizes checking “intersectional boxes” over providing quality, age-appropriate content.

We ask all Carroll County parents to become more involved in your children’s public-school education.  Explore your child’s school library on the Destiny online search tool and review the available materials.  Report questionable content by communicating with your school’s media specialist via email or phone, completing the book reconsideration form and sending to your local media specialist copying your principal, superintendent, board of education, and info@concernedparentsofccmd.com.  

Categories
accountability announcement

MD State Reports Zero Outbreaks During 1st Week of School at Carroll County

As of September 15th, the State of Maryland’s website reported Carroll County Public Schools having zero outbreaks during the first week of school.  

Graphical user interface

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/school-resources

This was despite the optional mask policy that was in place during the first week of school.  

Carroll County’s outbreak statistics are a stark comparison to other counties that had mandatory masking policies, where dozens of outbreaks have occurred across several schools.  

Table

Description automatically generated
Frederick County’s numbers for comparison.

The news follows the recent Northwest Middle School outbreak that was just announced today, September 20, with the mask mandate in place for nearly a week.

According to the MD State website, an outbreak is declared when at least one of the following occurs:

  1. Classroom outbreak: At least two confirmed COVID-19 cases among students/teachers/staff within a 14-day period and who are epidemiologically linked, but not household contacts or
  2. School-wide outbreak: 
    1. Three or more classrooms or cohorts with cases from separate households that meet the classroom/cohort outbreak definition that occurs within 14 days; or
    2. Five percent or more unrelated students/teachers/staff have confirmed COVID-19 within a 14 day period (minimum of 10 unrelated students/teachers/staff). 
Categories
accountability announcement

CCPS Outperforms Other Counties With Mask Mandates

Carroll County, one of two counties in Maryland that opened schools with a mask choice policy, reported approximately 45 net new COVID cases during the first week of school, or 0.17% of the total school/staff population. 

CCPS outperformed other counties that instituted mask mandates, such as Frederick who reported 0.23%, and came within reaching distance of Baltimore County who reported 0.14%.

Carroll County Times, owned by the left leaning Baltimore Sun, was one of the first to report on CCPS’s 136 positive cases and over 800 quarantine cases in CCPS, but left those that subscribe to the Sun with improper context.  

The 136 number reported on September 15th is a total of active cases after the first week schools were opened but is skewed by the 91 cases reported on September 8th that were reported before school started. The difference of these figures, while not exact, provides an approximation of net new active cases for the 1st week of school.

https://ext.carrollk12.org/ExternalDashboard/Covid-positive

“You’d expect a much wider gap in positive cases if the mask mandate was truly effective”, said Bryan Thompson from Concerned Parents of Carroll County.  “In addition to showing that mask mandates are negligible, the stats also show that the positive cases are extremely low across all counties even with Delta. It raises questions on whether the perceived benefits of mask wearing in schools outweigh the risks to students’ learning and emotional health.”

Thompson continued, “While 800 quarantine cases is an interesting figure, this is more a result of arbitrary quarantine policy, not the science behind COVID.  Really what this shows is that, factoring the positive cases, roughly 700 otherwise healthy students were unnecessarily kept home. And based on the comparable numbers with other counties, this would have likely occurred regardless of masking.”

On September 14th the AELR committee voted 10-7 along party lines to mandate masks across schools statewide.  Carroll County instituted the mandate the following day.

Concerned Parents continues to analyze the COVID data reported by Maryland counties to measure COVID policy effectiveness.

Categories
accountability

Students Claim Suspensions for Not Wearing Masks; Goes Against State Disciplinary Guidance

Mohammed Choudhury speaks against student suspensions during the Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Joint Committee hearing on September 14th.

Reports of students being suspended for violating the new statewide mask mandate surfaced across several Carroll County Public Schools, going against state superintendent Mohammed Choudhury’s guidance to not suspend students for mask violations.

The suspensions were reported from students at Westminster and Manchester Valley High Schools and occurred during statewide protests organized by parents and students who are against the mandate that went into effect on September 15th.  

Other reports were received from parents that confirmed students were threatened with suspension for repeat violations. An email received from the principal at North Carroll Middle School confirmed suspensions were part of the disciplinary plan.

The events followed a state committee hearing the day prior, where delegates voted for the statewide mask mandate 10-7 along party lines.   When asked by Delegate Stephen Hershey whether students could be suspended for not wearing masks, the superintendent replied “No, as a state superintendent of schools, I would think that’s a backwards practice to suspend students to resolve that.” 

Disciplinary actions varied from sending students to “support rooms” to 5-day suspensions.  Many parents complained that the enforcement measures were inconsistent across schools.

There were no reports of violence or confrontation on school campuses from the protest.  Some students protested in school by not complying with the mandate, while most protested by reporting absent.