- Fellow Editors
More Obscenity Found in Wicomico County Public Schools: All Boys Aren't Blue
At the March 8, 2022 Wicomico County Board of Education meeting, a full-house audience of parents, teachers, and citizens were present. Many expressed their concerns over the inappropriate and sexually-explicit pornographic materials, including All Boys Aren't Blue, a book currently used in the Wicomico County Public School system and available to children as young as 6th grade. As parents expressed their concern with teaching materials before their elected schoolboard members, parents were met with a cold, callous stare of those who even bothered to look up.
In between comments, board Chair Gene Malone intervened and tried to interfere with the public comments process. Public comments do not allow for interaction between the board members and the public, which requires one-way communication of a citizen to redress their grievances before a governing body. To make matters worse, the Chair gave the floor to Superintendent Hanlin to further interfere. You can hear a parent yell out: "You stop right now! You do not interact with us. It's time for the next person." With a hand gesture from their legal council, the board chair quickly realigned to the agenda and proceeded to allow comments to proceed.
With the last comment, the Director of Communications spitefully cut the recording on the parent, which was no technical glitch. Thankfully, another parent recorded the remainder of the comment, so the video has been spliced to add the missing piece. Watch the video below.
*WARNING - YOU MIGHT WANT TO HAVE YOUR KIDS LEAVE THE ROOM*
To make clear, a school library is not a public library. Materials in the school are materials in the school. A school library that houses educational resources cannot be used as a fortress to insulate the fact, which the board and its administration try so desperately to sow a separation between curriculum vs. school learning materials, and to portray the school library as an independent "public library."
Available to children as young as 11 years old (Mardela Middle & High School).
The Wicomico County Board of Education is using such books for "Young Adults" not only as an educational resource, but in the classroom and for independent read assignments as well.
The problem is, a student is not a Young Adult until they reach the age of 18. With filed complaints going back several years, obscene teaching materials have been brought to the attention of the Superintendent as well as the board. In defense of their highly-inappropriate and sexually-explicit materials, they have devised ways to sneak in, bypass, approve, and keep these materials after the fact, even though these materials contradict their very own Mission Statement, Selection of Textbooks & Media Policy, and Sexual Harassment Policy:
Did they remove "All boys Aren't Blue?" Maybe for now, as they had heads up from our exposure of this book in Worcester and Somerset County schools as the board shares the same attorney. However, it does demonstrate that they CAN remove all indecent materials that violate the school's existing policies WITHOUT a process by using their Legislative, Executive, and Judicial powers. The process for requesting removal of materials can be used AFTER the baseline of indecent materials have been purged in order to maintain and regulate appropriate learning materials in the school system from that point forward.
The board fails to establish that baseline, and they hide behind their rigged progressive Curriculum Screening Council that supposedly exists to screen and determine appropriate materials used in the school system. However, this council is "packed" with faculty and excludes parents that aren't employed by the school system. The board cannot hide behind a council or review process for failure to carry out their roles and the sworn duties, under the Constitution which they took an oath to uphold when the took office.
Our school officials have obstructed and made excuses to keep other sexually explicit materials, including Donna Hanlin, Rick Briggs, Allen Brown, Ann Suthowski, and Tonya Laird-Lewis who all sit on the Curriculum Screening Council and Michael Murray (who sat up to 2021) and approved these books before the entire board approved them.
If you read this past article titled: "Wicomico County Public Schools Superintendent Supports Vulgar Teaching Materials," it will show their refusal to remove such books, who approved these books, who's responsible, and their attempt to justify these books with majority board support, using the excuse that these materials are "Tamer than what students encounter on popular social media and hear in their daily lives."
In addition to cutting the parent's comment at the end of Public Comments on the agenda, the WCBOE decided to completely remove the original meeting link and make it PRIVATE so the public could no longer view the meeting. This is yet another violation of the Maryland Open Meetings Act to obstruct the citizens from having "reasonable accommodation" for those who were not able to attend the meeting.
All of the incumbent board members recently registered to run for reelection. They want to make it look as though they're "doing the right thing" in the last hour to protect their seats. Their misconduct in office is unacceptable. They have failed our children. You can sign this petition to help put an end to this. Also, the incumbent board members are listed below. Take note on what they have done to our schools during their terms so that you can make an informed decision when you go to the ballot box. Until the, let them know what you think of their performance and oversight of our schools. When they use the excuse that they have no control over the books in the library, you can let them know that's exactly why they need to go - because they don't even know their roles and that they have absolute control over every book that enters the school system.
WCBOE Board Members
Gene Malone - email@example.com (443) 783-5530
Donald Fitzgerald - firstname.lastname@example.org (410) 742-0734
Allen Brown - email@example.com (410) 742-9668
John Palmer - firstname.lastname@example.org (410) 896-3670
Tonya Lewis - email@example.com (410) 430-5265
Michael Murray - firstname.lastname@example.org (410) 726-3553
Ann Suthowski - email@example.com (410) 742-8310
Fellows & Editors
March 9, 2022 Copyright DelmarvaPTC.org
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1. "All Boys Aren't Blue" - George M. Johnson 2020
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