- Fellow Editors
Violations of The Wicomico County Board of Education
In accordance with the Wicomico County Board of Education (WCBOE) School Board Governance Policy BOE-GEN-PL-002, it is established that the WCBOE has failed to carry out their sworn duties and responsibilities as elected Board members, as well as granted unauthorized authorities to the Superintendent of Schools, who they are required to oversee and make independent decisions as a board. In addition, the WCBOE have isolated and insulated themselves from the citizens who duly elected them. Instead, they hold their allegiance to the Superintendent, allowed her dictatorship-style of rule in order to protect the establishment instead of the citizens. They have forgotten who they work for, so has Administration. The elected BOE members are supposed to work for the citizens who they represent. They are also supposed to listen to what their constituents need and act upon those needs accordingly. They are not to disregard the citizens and make decisions for them based on their own feelings or what administration tells them to do. That would be an abuse of power, and it is.
A summary of the role of the WCBOE:
The Wicomico County Board of Education is responsible to the county citizens for the education of their children and for the operation and effectiveness of the school system. The WCBOE has the responsibility to define the mission of the school system and to formulate and adopt educational policies that provide opportunities for students to develop personally, academically, and socially in pursuit of WCBOE established goals. The WCBOE is responsible for holding the Superintendent of Schools accountable for the academic achievement of all students and provide a safe and nurturing environment.
The School Board Governance Policy articulates these roles and processes that are critical for effective and efficient operation. The mission of the Wicomico County Public School System is to provide all students an educational foundation and set of skills to enable them to become responsible and productive citizens in our society. Both he WCBOE and Superintendent believe and took an oath to uphold their duties and have failed the citizens of Wicomico with their grossly-negligent conduct.
After years of information gathering, the Code of Conduct of the WCBOE and its Administration has been in opposition and violation of the established School Board Governance Policy (including several other board policies) far beyond any reasonable doubt.
In accordance to COMAR 13A.01.05.12(A)-(K), the citizens have grounds for removal set forth by the statute governing removal of members of a local school board as a result of:
(a) Misconduct in office;
(d) Willful neglect of duty
Failure to enforce, interpret, and regulate existing Board Policies and exempted themselves from the rules and regulation of such.
Modifying Board policies after a complaint/appeal is brought forth, in attempt to insulate themselves from addressing the matter, and to establish protections for the school system rather than for the citizens.
WCBOE not understanding their role as board members as defined by the School Board Governance Policy, and allowing Administration to veer from the school’s stated mission.
Presenting False/Unofficial Board Policies in attempt to tamper/interfere with due process and flee from regulating compliance.
Closed off public comments in meetings to prevent parents from having a voice.
(Unethically encroaches on the First Amendment rights of citizens.)
When allowing public comments, the WCBOE has historically limited public comments to 10 citizens for WCBOE’s convenience (Unethically encroached on the First Amendment rights of citizens). *This has since been addressed after repeatedly calling them out.
Multiple cited violations of the Open Meetings Act by discussing items in closed session, which should have otherwise been in open session.
Falsifying information and not being truthful in response to formal information requests under the Maryland Public Information Act (PIA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Failure to respond to Maryland Public Information Act (PIA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by stating “no such record or document exists” when the record exists.
Failure to respond to Maryland Public Information Act (PIA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in a timely manner as defined by the law. They have used COVID-19 as an excuse to further delay this process.
WCBOE responds to citizen requests, letters, and appeals in 30 business days (an additional 8 days) when citizens get only 30 calendar days to respond (The Maryland courts define response timeline as calendar days).
Failure to disclose a citizen's right and course of action by not listing the MD State Ombudsman at the bottom of public information request responses.
Colluding with the MSDE, organizations, agencies, and other County governments outside of Wicomico in dealing with locally filed complaints and appeals which should be confidential within the local jurisdiction.
Working with external agencies, auditors, and 3rd parties to elude/minimize the findings in official reports and audits.
Failure to record accurate student grades throughout the entire school system after years of notifications, which include grade tampering, grade inflation, and issuing of grades with partiality in attempt to boost school-wide performance.
Partnered with Universities on Student Mentoring for teacher recruitment and experimented on students at their academic expense, without policy or procedures in place, creating an illusion of having a mentoring manual (kept as an infinite draft containing meaningless documents).
Conducted political student surveys and partnered with 3rd party agencies/consultants to analyze student data without parental consent, in violation of the federal Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).
Double-standards and lack of fairness in student discipline. Incidents of minority discipline cases are ignored and prevented from being recorded to reduce/eliminate the fallacy and existence of disproportionate discipline by race.
Implemented racially-biased guidance and teaching materials that discriminates and establishes prejudices toward others based on a person's color.
Allowing instructors to carry out political activism in the school in violation of the Political Solicitation in Schools Policy.
Failure to carry out State Mandated standards and making exemptions for some and not others (sport participation, community service hours, attendance, graduation, etc).
Rendering administrative decisions on hearsay without obtaining absolute evidence.
Repeated failure to respond to parental requests.
The dismissive use of boilerplate responses, smooth talk, and manipulative words to deceive parents into thinking that the WCBOE has addressed the issue. Example: “Thank you for your suggestions. As a parent, we value your input and we’ll consider this moving forward."
Intentionally misinforming parents using a systematic approach, to direct them toward dead ends and infinite loops of confusion so that they give up.
Blaming the MSDE to deflect from responsibilities and roles that are definitively handled at the local county board level.
Failure to be transparent while working to establish an illusion of transparency.
Charging parents hundreds, and some times even thousands of dollars in response to PIA & FOIA requests, in attempt to deter information from reaching parents. This includes information that should already be publicly available in the transparency portal.
Parents have to file a PIA/FOIA information request to get their child’s homework back.
WCBOE and Administration obstructed parents by saying that the school nor a parent can see a teacher’s lesson plan, since a lesson plan is a teacher’s personal property, stating that the school does not know what a teacher is teaching in their class. A parent has the absolute right to see a teacher's lesson plan.
Misappropriation of funds.
Received COVID-19 relief funds in excess of necessity or actual expenses, resulting in an abnormal pattern of consuming funds under the appearance relating to COVID-19 necessities.
Left school building exterior halogen lights on during the day, to artificially maintain operational expenses while schools were closed during the pandemic.
Heated and cooled empty school buildings at unreasonable temperatures to artificially maintain operational expenses while schools were closed during the pandemic.
Implemented an immunization program and immunized children against parental consent.
Non-compliance in the administering of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and lack of adequate accommodations for students with a 504.
Defrauding students under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).
Defrauding students under the Free and Reduced School Meal program.
Violated the Family Engagement Policy on numerous levels.
Tampering and interfering with due process outside of established policy, procedure, and protocol.
Rigging the WCBOE school committees by packing with staff and preventing/obstructing parents from participation.
Failing to identify the identity of respondents in correspondence (no name or signature) to elude accountability and responsibility.
WCBOE and Administration using attorneys outside of litigation to intimidate, bully, obstruct, interfere, deflect, tamper and twist the record of parents/guardians, in attempt for the WCBOE and its Administration to flee from their Roles and Responsibilities (using taxpayer dollars).
WCBOE utilizing attorneys/law firms that lack an understanding of state, federal, and educational law, failed to disclose who they represent, attempted to force mediation and extension of legal timelines without the consent of both parties, and violated the ethical code of conduct defined by the Maryland State Bar Association.
WCBOE has an Ethics Panel on paper, but have failed to meet or record minutes for years. Administration worked effortlessly to shield their identity and existence. Fulton Jeffers serves as a conflict of interest, as he cannot represent and serve both the board, and the WCBOE ethics panel without partiality.
WCBOE and the Superintendent subverted the authority of the Wicomico County Council.
They lobbied/influenced Delegates and Senators to prevent county-approved education transparency and accountability legislation from being submitted.
Violating civil liberties and human rights by the use of force.
Failure to regulate and approve appropriate curriculum and materials that contain subversive, political propaganda that is designed to indoctrinate students, in attempt to undermine morality, family values, and redefining what the school interprets as the new “social norm.”
Uses sexually-explicit materials in English class, and obscene materials remain in the school system as learning materials.
Bypasses the Curriculum Screening Council to use inappropriate and unapproved materials in the classroom.
WCBOE engaged in consultant/partnerships of the school system with militant activist-consultants in the development of curriculum and school programs.
Allowing the abuse and irrational misinterpretation of the term “Appropriate.”
Allowed the NEA/MEA/WCEA to politically influence the decisions, curriculum, and policy of the WCBOE beyond the union’s role of collective bargaining and benefits for their members.
Subjected students to environmental hazards, including undersized classrooms, inadequate ventilation, lack of oxygen, harmful CO2 levels, mold, and lead.
Kept our schools closed for months and switched to hybrid despite the COVID-19 positivity rate being >5 directly after the inauguration (political).
Kept our schools closed for over a year and will not open full time despite the COVID-19 positivity rate being <5 , the green light from the Governor, MSDE, and practical guidelines for safe reopening provided by the CDC and Health Depts.
Contradicted Acceptable Use for Technology Policy & Procedure by mandating the use of school-issued laptops for hybrid when previously allowed students to use their own electronic devices (BYOD) for in-class learning.
Decided to go to semesters amongst a pandemic, when forewarned that this would harm the education of students by reducing the content to condense a year's worth of material into a half year.
Independent assessments reveal that issued grades are not a reflection of the proficiency and understanding in the core subject matter. WCBOE inflated grades to hide this fact.
Virtual learning does not work and is not effective. It has caused mental damages, learning impairments and delays, disconnects, fostered a dislike for school, and created social isolation.
Have shown no mercy on the minimum GPA rule for those who have struggled with their grades by not allowing them to participate in sports during this unprecedented time when they mentally need sports most.
Have allowed students to fall into depression.
Have put students at-risk for suicide.
Refused to open schools even long after it was safe to do so for those who wished to return full time (for both students and teachers).
Failed to assess the students to discover their learning loss in accordance to the recovery plan when they started semester 1 of the 2020-2021 school year.
Due to WCBOE and Administrative negligence, our students are 2 years behind academically and the Superintendent uses COVID-19 as an invalid excuse. They are now working on our students being 3 years behind.
Have forced mask mandates against the rights of students as a requirement to receive an in-person education, while ignoring scientific facts about COVID-19 and the ineffectiveness of masks in a highly politicized environment.
Failed to call for a vote on a mask mandate that was enforced by the Superintendent without the support of the board. Their silence was consent for a mask mandate.
Weaponized their second information officer to surveil citizens and leaked photographs and information to WBOC in a retaliation campaign against citizens.
Violated the Maryland Open Meetings Act by limiting only one parent to enter the Board Meeting on September 14, 2021. Upon parental complaint, they compromised by increasing the allowance to 3,4,5 persons before canceling it. This was obstruction of justice.
Specifically rescheduled the board meeting on school property (instead of Wicomico Civic Center or outdoors) in attempt to force masking orders onto parents after the WCBOE and administration was told that their authority does not apply to citizens outside of a school building (which the original meeting was in office space). This move was an appearance of accommodation, but really obstruction of the citizens and overreach of authority.
Changed the agenda to move public comments to the end of the meeting on the September 20, 2021 (day meeting) knowing that that parents would have to leave to pick up their children from school. This was designed to prevent public comments.
WCBOE members have unanimously voted to keep Dr. Donna Hanlin to remain as Superintendent of Schools despite her negligent and unethical conduct, and the Board has allowed her to delegate their roles and actions, contrary to an elected board up until she announced her retirement (June 30, 2022).
Selection of a Superintendent (instead of waiting for the newly elected schoolboard) by entering the school system into a long-term contract that extends beyond their term, for which a subsequent board desires to change.
After exposing a sexually-explicit book before the board, this was their response. Instead of enforcing existing policies of appropriateness of materials, the board deliberately rebelled against citizens at its May 2022 board meeting by approving a book called "Ban This Book" to be used in 4th grade ELA curriculum, which promotes stealing, lying, subversion, rebellion against parents and authority. Their intent is to indoctrinate minor children into activism to weaponize them for social uprising, designed to protect their extreme-left political agenda to sexually groom children.
All content is presented under the Fair Use Act, including the photograph of Wicomico school board officials elected by the people.