Tag Archives: USA

Conservatives: On the Wrong Side of History Again

Leonard Pitts Jr., a columnist for the Miami Herald, opines that conservatives have always been on the wrong side of history. They fought the civil rights movement. They fought women’s rights. Now they’re fighting gay rights.

He writes:

They have never once been right.

Did you ever notice that? Do you ever think about it? Never once.

Oh, in matters of, say, foreign affairs or military strategy, one might contend that conservatives have had their moments, made arguments that, arguably, made sense. But on matters of social evolution, they’ve compiled a remarkable record: They’ve never been vindicated by history. Rather, they’ve always been repudiated by it, always been wrong…

Barry Goldwater once saying that he had nothing against a woman running for vice president, “just so she can cook and get home on time…”

Nor are the right’s wrongs limited to matters of human freedom. Every art form that ever dared deviate from status quo — music, film, books, comic books — has had to run a gauntlet of conservative opprobrium. As far back as the 1920s, they were up in arms over a new music called jazz.

It’s a history that provides a jaundiced context for the latest right wing crusade. Meaning the one against LGBTQ kids. Florida’s Legislature passed its obnoxious “Don’t Say Gay” bill last week. Gov. Ron DeSantis, evidently determined to leave no principle untrampled in his hoped-for march to the White House, is expected to sign it….

Which brings them into conflict with conservatism’s reflexive terror of anything that does not fit inside the white picket fence of its imagination. That tendency to look ever backward toward an imagined better past, that timorous inability to face the future — heck, to face the present — and the challenges of change, is what had conservatives at odds with everyone from Louis Armstrong to Martin Luther King to Gloria Steinem.

Now it has them standing between children and their teachers and doctors. It is cold comfort to know that these acts of invasive cruelty will one day stand condemned by history, but they will. We’ve seen this movie too many times to doubt it. You’d think that would matter to conservatives; you’d think they’d think about it. Then you remember that fear and thought are incompatible; it’s almost impossible for them to exist in the same space.

So LGBTQ kids and their allies can only put their heads down, work for change and take such satisfaction as they may find in the fact that, where social evolution is concerned, conservatives lost the 20th century.

Now they’re about to lose the 21st.

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Top Maryland Democratic Party official resigns after questioning electability of Black candidates

Barbara Goldberg Goldman, a prolific donor who was the Maryland Democratic party’s deputy treasurer, resigned on Monday.

By Ovetta Wiggins – A top Maryland Democratic Party official who questioned whether voters would elect a Black candidate for governor stepped down on Monday as calls for her departure escalated.

Barbara Goldberg Goldman, a prolific donor who was the party’s deputy treasurer, resigned on Monday. She also publicly apologized for the comments.

“We do not condone or support the comments in her email,” Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis said in a statement announcing Goldberg Goldman’s departure. “They do not represent the values of the Maryland Democratic Party.”

The resignation came shortly after John B. King Jr., a former U.S. education secretary, and Rushern L. Baker III, a former county executive in Prince George’s, called for her to step down.

Her remarks, which surfaced Sunday in a report from Axios, were made in a December email to party insiders about endorsing former Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez in the state’s gubernatorial primary. Goldberg Goldman wrote: “Consider this: Three African American males have run statewide for Governor and have lost. Maryland is not a Blue state. It’s a purple one. This is a fact we must not ignore.”

The state, which according to 2020 U.S. Census data is home to the most diverse population on the East Coast, has yet to elect a Black governor. That could change this year, with three Black candidates vying to replace Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who is term-limited.

Baker, who is making his second straight bid for governor, initially said that he didn’t agree but that Democratic leaders’ skepticism of Black Democratic candidates’ ability to be elected statewide was “fair criticism, understanding we haven’t seen it happen yet.” But on Monday, after he became aware of the email, he lambasted Goldberg Goldman’s comments, saying “such comments merely serve to excuse and legitimize acts of institutional racism, whether at the voting booth, in our corridors of government or our institutions of business and civic life.”

Former gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous late Sunday described her comments as racist in a tweet comparing her words to those of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the author of the 1857 Supreme Court decision stating that Black people were “regarded as beings of an inferior order” with “no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

Read more >>> Top Maryland Democratic Party official resigns after questioning electability of Black candidates

OPINION

The Democratic Party is farther gone tarnished and selective in many ways than we thought. If a private email to 20 politicos can’t ask an uncomfortable question. Evidently no recipient made a fuss when they received the email in December. It became a problem only when it became public. Just more hypocrisy and virtue-signaling. Baker in particular is racist and discriminatory after he interfered with court order and discriminatory practices within the Prince George’s county circuit court in 2012-2013 years. He should resign as a candidate for Maryland governor.

Marylanders overwhelmingly voted for Obama, so the idea that they wouldn’t vote for a black person for governor doesn’t really make sense. Baker, Brown and Jealous just weren’t good candidates. It’s coincidental that they were all black. Baker engaged in public corruption and interfered with the court system and lawyers hired by employees which continues to this day. He cannot win governorship this way. Funny thing about skin color, is that when it is cut, all skin colors bleed the same color.

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Parental choices on junk food, healthy eating influence children

It’s no surprise that young children like sugar and salt in their food and develop their preferences based on what their parents feed them, but new research suggests that how parents view their own self-regulation also is a contributing factor.

Food systems heavy in calories and light on recommended nutrition are a major factor contributing to global obesity and are a major challenge to parents of young children, says T. Bettina Cornwell, Phillip H. Knight Chair and head of the Department of Marketing in the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business.

She’s lead author on a paper in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. The research explored the underlying dynamics of parental food preferences and how they are passed along to children by parental food choices for meals.

“A parent’s preference for sugar, fat and salt in their diet influences the amount of junk food they provide children in a typical week and in turn, this influences the child’s preference for sugar, fat and salt,” Cornwell said. “We show that regularly providing 3- to 5-year-old children with junk food influences their preferences for the same tastes. It also makes them less willing to eat vegetables.”

The four-member team developed two studies to explore how rigid parents are toward strategies of growth, learning and self-control. These mindsets, or lay theories, underlie everyday ideas about behavior, she said. At play is how limited or unlimited self-control is seen and whether it is fixed or malleable.

The fried chicken is piled high at Country’s Barbecue in Columbus, Georgia. Southern cooking reigns here with specialties such as barbecue, ribs, and Brunswick Stew. (Mary Ann Anderson/MCT via Getty Images)

In the first study, researchers used self-report surveys from the parents of 81 preschool children to assess whether the frequency of exposure to junk food helps transmit parental tastes to the children. A solid connection was found, Cornwell said.

The second study dug deeper to see if parents’ mindsets influenced how often they exposed their children to junk food and what their children ate at school. Researchers drew from survey responses from 122 parent-children pairs and direct observations of preschoolers choosing vegetables during lunchtime.

Again, the researchers identified strong results. Children who were often exposed to fast and highly processed food at home were less likely to eat vegetables at preschool.

“A parent’s preference for sugar, fat and salt in their diet as well as their views of self-control come together to influence their choice to regularly give a child junk food,” Cornwell said. “Parents with a lower preference for sugar, fat and salt and with a growth mindset regarding developing self-control tend to limit the amount of junk food they provide to their children.”

The overall findings, Cornwell said, are clear: What parents do at home when it comes to meal selection influences the food choices their children make away from home.

Parents, she said, should explore their own beliefs about self-control to understand how they influence their children’s developing food preferences. Doing so, she said, may help parents improve their own diets in a way that benefits how their children eat.

There also are implications for the food industry.

Food manufacturers and brand managers, meanwhile, need to recognize that their heavy reliance on hyperpalatable products — those high in fat, salt and sugars that combine to override the ability to control consumption — often make it hard for children meet guidelines for healthy daily diets.

“Eating even a single fast food or processed meal as currently found in the marketplace makes it hard, if not impossible, for children to fall within the U.S. dietary guidelines for the entire day,” Cornwell said. “Products should be reformulated to be less hyperpalatable and new, healthier products should be developed.

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Maryland’s highest court overturns controversial Prince George’s map

When six members of the Prince George’s County Council surprised their colleagues and the public with an 11th hour redistricting plan in November, residents voiced immediate objection.

They held rallies, flooded the council with calls and emails, turned out en masse at a public hearing, and they vowed to pursue every available remedy. They also hired an attorney.

On Monday, their efforts to kill the controversial map prevailed.

In a two-page order, the Maryland Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision striking down the council’s map and ordering Prince George’s to use boundaries drawn by an independent three-member commission instead.

Although residents accused the six-member block of gerrymandering — using their power to draw lines to protect incumbents and disadvantage potential challengers — their Prince George’s-based attorney, Matthew G. Sawyer, fought the county on procedural grounds.

He argued that the council flouted the law by passing its alternative map as a resolution. To be valid, Sawyer said, lawmakers needed to approve a bill. The Court of Appeals agreed.

“I think this is the right decision,” Sawyer said. “The system eventually worked.”

While the resolution-versus-bill distinction may seem small, approving a redistricting plan the way the council did had a significant impact on the ability of citizens to press elected officials for a course correction, plaintiffs’ attorneys insisted.

“By using a resolution, it removed the county executive’s ability to veto (the map), and it removed the people’s opportunity to lobby the county executive to veto it,” Sawyer said.

The Court of Appeals held a hearing on the case, Prince George’s County vs. Robert E. Thurston et al, on Friday. Plaintiffs were represented by former state delegate Timothy F. Maloney, a politically well-connected attorney hired by former Councilmember Eric Olson’s campaign.

Olson (D) was one of several potential 2022 candidates impacted by the council alternative, as he was drawn in with an incumbent who intends to seek re-election. He has been running since last summer for a seat that is coming open due to term limits.

He called the ruling “terrific news.”

“The council acted improperly in gerrymandering and rigging the districts, and they acted improperly in the manner in which they attempted to pass it,” Olson said.

“The public has been following this and the public does not like the nonsense, the political games being played,” he added. “This sends a message.”

On top of their gerrymandering accusations, residents said they didn’t like the way lawmakers divided communities that had worked together.

Councilmember Jolene Ivey (D), one of three members to vote against the map offered by colleague Derrick Leon Davis (D), said she was pleased that “current” districts, including her own, will remain largely intact.

“The voters let us know what map they wanted, and the courts’ rulings have the effect of giving them the Commission’s map,” she said. “That’s a big win for the voters.”

The Court of Appeals ruling did not lay out the legal rationale for upholding the lower court’s order. Those reasons will be “stated later” in a written opinion, Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty wrote.

The map rejected by the courts was supported by Davis, Council President Calvin S. Hawkins II (D), Deni Taveras (D), Mel Franklin (D), Sydney J. Harrison (D) and Todd Turner (D).

Ivey, Thomas E. Dernoga (D) and Dannielle M. Glaros (D) opposed it.

The council was in an all-day retreat on Monday and Hawkins and Davis could not immediately be reached for comment.

In its ruling, the Court of Appeals said that costs for the appeal are to be paid by the county.

Via Maryland Matters

Read more >>> There is No Honor Among Thieves: Prince George’s Co. executive Alsobrooks endorses Wes Moore – As Baker campaign to Nowhere cries wolf wolf.

>>>PGCPS Board of Education member resigns, citing flawed governance system and corruption.

>>>PG County Executive violating the law willfully after thousands of dollars in excess contributions review shows

>>> Police in DC, Prince George’s Co. team up against repeat carjacking PGCPS teens and others.

>>>Prince George’s County father speaks out after PGCPS teenage son shoots, kills mother, brother

>>> PGCPS Student charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of 16-year-old in Oxon Hill area, police say

>>> PGCPS Teenager killed in Greenbelt shooting identified

>>> PGCPS Students Say They Were Threatened Not to Testify About Proposed Closure of Alternative Schools

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Controversial map advanced by 6 members of the Prince George’s county council.

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Armed Prince George’s County teen arrested at Joint Base Andrews; another intruder escaped

Two intruders drove through a security checkpoint at the main gate to Joint Base Andrews around 9 p.m. Sunday, as Vice President Kamala Harris and four cabinet members had arrived at the base. Harris is pictured at the base as she arrives to board Air Force Two as she departs for a day trip to Jacksonville, Florida, in March 2021. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | Licensed Photo

March 7; Andrews Airforce Base, Maryland: – A 17-year-old boy was arrested while another intruder got away after reports of an armed individual at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland put the base on lockdown Sunday night.

The teen had a gun and is in police custody. A second person got away on foot and wasn’t found, according to a statement from the base.

After searching for hours Sunday night, investigators said the second individual is thought to be somewhere off the base, and the main gate for the base opened around 3 a.m.

Officials told WTOP that there was no active shooter or any shots fired. The breach occurred at 9 p.m. after a vehicle failed to obey security commands at the main gate, according to a statement.

Units from Prince George’s County, Maryland State Police, D.C. police and the Office of Special Investigation assisted Joint Base Andrew Defenders in searching the base.

Colonel Tyler Schaff, the 316th Wing and Joint Base Andrews installation commander, thanked local law enforcement for their help in mitigating the breach.

“I am incredibly proud of the quick actions of our Defenders to immediately deploy the barriers to stop last night’s stolen vehicle and then apprehend one of the individuals that had a weapon. The Defenders handled the intense situation with discipline and calm professionalism,” Schaff said.

WTOP has reached out to Prince George’s County police for comment — they had no information on the local response.

The incident happened around the same time as Marine Two landed at the base with the Vice President on board.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff left the base on Marine Two, according to the White House pool reporters. The four cabinet secretaries who were traveling with the vice president — Secretaries Marsha Fudge, Miguel Cardona, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Regan — are also safely off base.

The investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story. 

At least 10 juveniles were killed last year in Prince George’s County, Maryland which was the worst year for teen violence in the county since 2008.

County Executive Alsobrooks engaged in crimes herself has recently implored the community to come together to “disrupt the cycle of violence that is growing again.”

According to Alsobrooks, for example, there have been 162 carjackings in Prince George’s County. She acknowledged on or around January 11th that, juveniles are responsible for 96 of them.

“And so this tells us a lot about where we’re headed. And we must do something right now to disrupt it,” Alsobrooks said.

Dr. Monica Goldson a CEO for PGCPS who was selected through public corruption has never spoken publicly about the out of control fights and public corruption sweeping quietly through the school system. These willful violations include closing down schools ready for real estate option, paying off lawyers, siphoning money off to friends and family etc. Prince George’s county citizens must raise up and demand answers without delay. These out of control fights and other purposeful disregard are not fair to county residents, their families and United States.

More and more violent behavior from students these days, the students need help and they are NOT getting it! More needs to be done to safe lives. To be effective, violence prevention programs require community-wide collaborative efforts led by school system leader that include students, families, teachers, administrators, staff, social and mental health professionals, law enforcement, emergency response personnel, security professionals, school board members, parents and the businesses. The school system leader takes an active role to effect change and not hide in the closet and wish these problems away. Dr. Monica Goldson “Goldson” has failed to provide proper leadership style for sometime! It’s time to advance changes without fear.

Read more >>>Major Drama as Fights Break Out at Suitland High School and others.

>>>PGCPS Board of Education member resigns, citing flawed governance system and corruption.

>>>PG County Executive violating the law willfully after thousands of dollars in excess contributions review shows

>>> Police in DC, Prince George’s Co. team up against repeat carjacking PGCPS teens and others.

>>>Prince George’s County father speaks out after PGCPS teenage son shoots, kills mother, brother

>>> PGCPS Student charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of 16-year-old in Oxon Hill area, police say

>>> PGCPS Teenager killed in Greenbelt shooting identified

>>> PGCPS Students Say They Were Threatened Not to Testify About Proposed Closure of Alternative Schools

***

A Secret Service agent walks alongside a line of vehicles at Joint Base Andrews on Sunday night after two intruders caused the base to go into lockdown.
 AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

***

Maryland governor candidate Robin Ficker seeking GOP nomination disbarred

Robin Ficker of Poolesville was disbarred Thursday by the Maryland Court of Appeals for what Judge Robert McDonald called a failure to comply with elementary standards of the legal profession.

A former Maryland state delegate seeking the Republican nomination for governor has been disbarred from practicing law by a state court following a complaint by the Attorney Grievance Commission.

The Maryland Court of Appeals said in its ruling Thursday that Robin Ficker has been the subject of a long history of complaints of professional misconduct that expand over three generations of the bar counsel, The Washington Post reported.

In an email, Ficker said the ruling was “a political decision by recent political appointees. … My clients love me. It is judges and lawyers complaining.”

According to the court ruling, the disbarment stems from a case in which Ficker failed to appear for trial and made other mistakes. Ficker said the case, which occurred three years ago, involved a person accused of driving without a license who he represented for free but didn’t show up for a court date, and “They are blaming the attorney, come on.”

The disbarment was “a political decision. They are political appointees,” he said, adding, “Most judges don’t like defense attorneys as it is.” He speculated that the court was annoyed that he recently won a case in Calvert County that changed the rules for political signage.

Ficker said he could apply for reinstatement but won’t in the near future. He is a licensed real estate agent in Maryland, and “There is a hot market now,” he said. Also, running for governor is taking up time, he said.

“All you can do is light a candle. I am not going to curse the darkness.”

The 39-page ruling also said Ficker has been disciplined for professional misconduct eight times dating back to 1990.

Ficker is competing against former Maryland commerce secretary Kelly Schulz and Del. Daniel Cox, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.

The Maryland primary is June 28.

Read more >>> Questions about Powerful Peter Shapiro as “Eminently Qualified” To Be PG County Next Planning Board Chair raised.

>>> After dysfunction, Insults, attacks, threats. And a 3rd resignation on this beleaguered PGCPS System Board

>>> PGCPS Schools grapple with trend – Since schools reopened.

>>>PG County Executive violating the law willfully after thousands of dollars in excess contributions review shows

>>>PGCPS Board of Education member resigns, citing flawed governance system and corruption.

>>>Alsobrooks files to run for reelection as Prince George’s County Executive

>>> Police in DC, Prince George’s Co. team up against repeat carjacking PGCPS teens and others.

>>>Prince George’s County father speaks out after PGCPS teenage son shoots, kills mother, brother

***

Leadership in a crisis: ‘We have got to get into our children’s business’: Prince George’s Co. leaders react on rise in youth crime

Upper Marboro: (Reform Sasscer) – Following our exposé of local government corruption and a rundown of rise in youth violent crime in Prince George’s county School system (PGCPS), leaders led by the county Executive Angela Alsobrooks are reacting to the news and showing their support to help eradicate the youth crime syndicate.

Prince George’s county is experiencing a rise in homicides and gun violence incidents that began last year when the pandemic tightened its grip on the United States. With violent crime on the rise again, and more kids committing those crimes, leaders in Prince George’s County admit the solution isn’t just more government.

Tom Marvin, a member of the Reform Sasscer Movement coalition, a regional community-led organization addressing criminal justice /education reform as well as economic and social justice, said most of the violent incidents that occur in the county involve people “who know each other.”

“If it’s two people who know each other, clearly there is some contact that has risen to a point now that is being resolved violently instead of being resolved peacefully,” Marvin said.

But a new program that county leaders announced Monday following our article on grapple with trend published on Saturday February 26th, hopes to harness the ability of government — along with local community groups already in action — to help turn things around.

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks admitted she is frustrated by what’s going on, and she acknowledged that the solution goes beyond policing and government programs.

Instead, an initiative called “The Hope Collective” will coordinate with nonprofit groups to diffuse violence and provide “hope” to kids who just stopped caring about life and their communities — and show them a different way.

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“A lot of kids don’t see that adults care enough,” said Euniesha Davis, the director of Prince George’s County’s Office of Community Relations.

“Being able to position them in a place where they’re able to take advantage of the opportunity, and by showcasing and modeling positive behavior, we believe that we can bring back kids to what I’d say is the good side, right?”

“The program uses four strategies to reduce gun violence,” said Alsobrooks. That includes “peacekeepers” she said, to go with diversionary programs for offenders and non-offenders.

More funding also will go toward afterschool enrichment programs, as well as programs that target food insecurity, she said.

The last prong is the county’s violence prevention task force, which includes 20 different people from varying backgrounds who will “meet and identify areas of critical need where we need more resources and will work on a plan to ensure that we get resources in the areas that need them the most.”

Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz praised the diversified approach to the problem that ensures “we do everything we can not only to combat crime but to uplift and empower our children and to unify our community.”

But at the beginning of the news conference, Alsobrooks made clear that the most effective way to stem the tide involves parents doing more. The county executive is also the mother of a 16-year-old daughter, and she recounted how important it is for her to drive her daughter to school every day to talk to her. She begged the county’s other parents to do the same thing.

“Please, ma’am, please, sir, do me a favor,” she pleaded.

“Sit these kids down and ask them what’s going on. Don’t miss the chance to connect with your child and ask them what they’re seeing, what they feel, what their hopes are, what their concerns are, what their fears are.”

It’s also important, she said, to ask kids why they feel what’s happening is occurring.

“Do me a favor and listen. Listen. Please let’s listen to our children,” she added. “We have got to get into our children’s business. It is critical.”

Alsobrooks said that having those conversations with her own daughter has taught her lots, and that she hopes more of those discussions will help county leaders find the right answers.

The rise in violent crime is an epidemic that is happening “all across the region” with Prince George’s county being an epicenter to major crimes.  There are three major factors driving the episodes: the impact of Covid-19 on communities and first responders, the fallout of the social unrest after the murder of George Floyd, and the surge in gun sales since the start of the pandemic fueled by easy access to drugs. Marijuana is the most popular drug, Wise High senior Tom said, but more students are also using LSD.

Read more>>>PGCPS Board of Education member resigns, citing flawed governance system and corruption.

Read more >>>PG County Executive violating the law willfully after thousands of dollars in excess contributions review shows

>>> Police in DC, Prince George’s Co. team up against repeat carjacking PGCPS teens and others.

Read more >>>Prince George’s County father speaks out after PGCPS teenage son shoots, kills mother, brother

>>> PGCPS Student charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of 16-year-old in Oxon Hill area, police say

>>> PGCPS Teenager killed in Greenbelt shooting identified

>>> PGCPS Students Say They Were Threatened Not to Testify About Proposed Closure of Alternative Schools

>>> PGCPS Teenagers rob a man who shoots one of them, Bowie police say

Prince George’s County police cars are seen at the scene of a crime. (Courtesy Twitter/Prince George’s County Police Department)

***

PGCPS to move forward with alternative school consolidation despite community concern.

Upper Marlboro: (Reform Sasscer) – Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) will move forward with a plan to consolidate the district’s five alternative schools, despite outcry and pleas to keep the schools in place. Tall Oaks High School and others will be consolidated following a meeting held Thursday night by the PGCPS Board of Education at Sasscer.

The vote to consolidate district’s five alternative schools passed 5 to 4 – 2 during the PGCPS Board meeting Thursday. Shayla Adams-Stafford, David Murray, Joshua Thomas, Belinda Queen, and Kenny Harris, all elected board members, voted in favor of the amendment. Sonya Williams, Pamela Boozer-Strother, Judy Mickens-Murray, and Paul Monteiro voted no. Curtis Valentine and Board Chair Dr. Juanita Miller abstained.

Current and former students and staff at Community Based Classroom, or CBC, in Lanham, have fought throughout the budget process to save their school from consolidation. There has been many protests from the community, with many begging the board to keep the schools open for at-risk students who struggle with traditional schools.

Over the past few weeks, the board received community feedback during listening sessions, during which a number of parents and students asked the board to keep Community Based Classrooms, or CBC open.

But CEO Dr. Monica Goldson has said, this is what the school Board needs at this time. She has assured staff they won’t be impacted with their jobs despite pressure to force some staff members to retire starting with Tall Oaks High School principal forced to retire abruptly and others. There seems to be no sympathy for the families and staff.

“If somebody was closing my school in my community, I would be down there advocating for more information,” Angela Simon said. “Tell me this, tell me this, why are we doing that. And that’s exactly how they were responding. They were trying to save that school. So, I’m very very much appreciative of their efforts.”

Consolidation plans were first presented to the PGCPS school board in last few weeks as part of Budget process. Tall Oaks, currently the smallest school in PGCPS with roughly 200 students, is also one of the area’s oldest. School officials said the closing is being done to reduce spending because of declining enrollment across the county schools and to save money.

However, many parents are still upset with the board’s decision from last night to follow the administration’s recommendation.

Under the new plan, Tall Oaks High School would combine with another alternative school, Annapolis Road Academy. Green Valley Academy and Croom High School — the remaining alternative schools — would also consolidate to offer a ninth to 12th grade program. Green Valley would be redesigned as a sixth to eighth grade program..

According to PGCPS, under the consolidation plan, classroom sizes will remain small, with a maximum number of 15 students per class.

But Gibson and other CBC students at a Thursday rally outside the Sasser Administration Building in Upper Marlboro said it wasn’t about class size, it was about future students not having the opportunity to experience what they call “a loving community.” They also sense something sinister going on based on the way these schools are being hurriedly consolidated and others closed.

“Pretty frustrated. You know it feels like except for four board members, the rest of the board came in with their minds made up and they were going to rubber-stamp the administration recommendation without question,” parent Angela Michael said. “It seems like their priorities are really skewed.”

One of the rally organizers, Rachel Sherman, is a product of the alternative school system. She dropped out of high school when she was 16. She’s now working on her second doctorate.

“When you see them try to defund and shut down programs like this you are saying to these at-risk and disadvantaged students that they don’t matter and we do,” Sherman said.

CEO Dr. Monica Goldson said her plan for the alternative schools has been misconstrued, and that it provides more opportunities for students, not fewer. A district spokeswoman said Goldson was not available for an interview prior to the meeting Thursday and provided a FAQ sheet about the alternative school redesign.

During the meeting, board member Shayla Adams-Stafford pointed out that the closures would save the school system $2.4 million, which is less than .1% of the total school system budget.

She asked why there wasn’t an effort to expand CBC, which has a 95% graduation rate.

On the social media, board member Shayla Adams-Stafford later on wrote:

The appointed board members and the two elected board members who consistently vote with them voted against:

Increasing our Latinx teaching staff. Currently at 4%

Keeping our Alternative Schools open (they voted to consolidate them)

Providing Restorative Program Training

Paid time to reduce teacher paperwork and overload

I’m so tired yall. This is why we need an ALL ELECTED BOARD.

Child, democracy is under attack every day in every way.”

The budget will go to the Prince George’s County Council next for approval where Councilman Edward Burroughs III is expected to lobby fellow councilmen to reverse the situation and or educate them.

In addition, activists on social media are calling upon the public to Call Sentator Paul Pinsky and others shown here let them know the fiasco shown during the Board meeting on Thursday night, is why you want an all elected board. (410) 841-3155, (301) 858-3155 paul.pinsky@senate.state.md.us; Senator Malcolm Augustine (410) 841-3745, (301) 858-3745; malcolm.augustine@senate.state.md.us; Senator Jim Rosapepe (410) 841-3141, (301) 858-3141 jim.rosapepe@senate.state.md.us; Senator Melanie Griffith (301) 858-3127, (410) 841-3127 melony.griffith@senate.state.md.us; Joanne Claybon Benson (410) 841-3148, (301) 858-3148
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3148 (toll free) e-mail: joanne.benson@senate.state.md.us.

This is a developing story. Follow https://pgcpsmess.com/ or https://sasscer.wordpress.com/ for updates.

Read more >>> Police in DC, Prince George’s Co. team up against repeat carjacking PGCPS teens and others.

Read more >>>Prince George’s County father speaks out after PGCPS teenage son shoots, kills mother, brother

>>> PGCPS Student charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of 16-year-old in Oxon Hill area, police say

>>> PGCPS Teenager killed in Greenbelt shooting identified

>>> PGCPS Students Say They Were Threatened Not to Testify About Proposed Closure of Alternative Schools

>>>PGCPS New board member is Madeline LaSalle

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‘They Took My Baby Away’: Mother Mourns 18-Year-Old Killed in Prince George’s County

Caron Simpkins. 

By Shomari Stone, News4 Reporter – A mother is in mourning after her 18-year-old son was shot and killed in Prince George’s County on Monday.

Jeanine Jackson hides her tear-filled eyes behind sunglasses while talking about her youngest son, Caron Simpkins. 

“I can’t touch him or nothing because he’s gone now,” she said. “I just don’t understand. I want some answers. I want some answers now.”

Homicide detectives said Simpkins was near a playground at about 5:15 p.m. Monday in the 1400 block of Nalley Terrace in Landover, Maryland, when shots rang out. 

A woman who did not want to be identified said there was a group of men at the playground before the shooting started. 

“It was very close and clear. It’s like literally 20 steps away from my house. It was like eight to 10 shots at one time,” the woman said. 

Police drove to the scene and found Simpkins on the ground suffering from several gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The victim’s mother said she wasn’t aware of him being at the playground before, or having any enemies. Now, she and the rest of Simpkins’ family leave behind balloons, teddy bears and flowers at a memorial to honor his memory.

“They took my baby away for nothing, for nothing. Whatever it was, it couldn’t have been that serious,” Jackson said. 

She’s left with a hole in her heart – and the belief that tougher gun laws are needed to save lives.

“Put stricter laws out here because they’re not strict enough. It’s too [lenient] for what’s going on out here,” Jackson said. 

Homicide detectives are asking for the public’s help with leads and tips. If you have any information, you’re urged to call Prince George’s County police at 1-866-411-TIPS.

Via NBC4

Read more >>> Police in DC, Prince George’s Co. team up against repeat carjacking PGCPS teens and others.

Read more >>>Prince George’s County father speaks out after PGCPS teenage son shoots, kills mother, brother

>>> PGCPS Student charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of 16-year-old in Oxon Hill area, police say

>>> PGCPS Teenager killed in Greenbelt shooting identified

>>> PGCPS Students Say They Were Threatened Not to Testify About Proposed Closure of Alternative Schools

>>>PGCPS New board member is Madeline LaSalle

***

Hogan restores blueprint funding for Baltimore and Prince George’s in budget after pressure

FILE – In this Oct. 20, 2014 file photo, Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press in Baltimore. Following our exposure earlier this morning in our expose, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) submitted a supplemental budget to the legislature on Tuesday that directs $139.9 million for programs outlined in the state’s multi-year education reform plan that advocates and lawmakers had argued was missing from the governor’s initial budget. There has been bickering which has led Governor Larry Hogan withholding the money for Prince George’s and Baltimore city jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Following our exposure earlier this morning in our expose, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) submitted a supplemental budget to the legislature on Tuesday that directs $139.9 million for programs outlined in the state’s multi-year education reform plan that advocates and lawmakers had argued was missing from the governor’s initial budget. There has been bickering which has led Governor Larry Hogan withholding the money for Prince George’s and Baltimore city jurisdiction.

The allocation is part of a larger supplemental appropriation of $480 million announced Tuesday. That proposal also includes $230.7 million for Medicaid programs, $1.2 million for retention and recruiting bonuses for the beleaguered Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and $50 million for a Rural Maryland Economic Development Program that Hogan announced last week.

“With this supplemental budget, we are providing critical resources to support Marylanders’ top priorities,” Hogan said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the General Assembly in the coming weeks to secure a final budget that delivers record investments in education, major tax relief for families and retirees, and more support for police and first responders.”

After Hogan unveiled his spending plan for fiscal year 2023 last month, the Department of Legislative Services analysts concluded that the spending plan did not include $139.7 million for specific programs stipulated in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future education reform plan. The largest chunk of disputed funding was $125.5 million specifically intended for the Baltimore City and Prince George’s County school systems.

The funding, called the “education effort adjustment,” is meant to provide extra money to local jurisdictions unable to raise enough taxes to fund their local shares of education reform costs. Legislative analysts say that the adjustment should amount to $99 million for the city of Baltimore and $26.5 million for Prince George’s County in the next fiscal year.

The governor’s office previously said that the state was not provided with the necessary data to calculate the education effort adjustment for the upcoming fiscal year.

The other unfunded Blueprint programs included training for teachers, curriculum support and expert review teams, which will visit schools and analyze the extent to which the Blueprint is being implemented.

In a letter to the governor, Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore) and House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County) last week, Isiah Leggett, the chair of the Blueprint’s Accountability and Implementation Board, wrote that the board believes the legislative intent was to fund the education effort adjustment starting in fiscal year 2023. There has been concerns Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Accountability and Implementation Board members were not chosen in a transparent manner, several senators contending that the board does not reflect the diversity of the state of Maryland.https://www.scribd.com/embeds/560686025/content?start_page=1&view_mode&access_key=key-Dlngpu1b3uTsoJ9cQb11

View this document on Scribd

Soon after Hogan’s announcement, Sen. Cory McCray (D-Baltimore City), chair of Baltimore’s Senate delegation, called the move “a profoundly restorative step in the right direction” and thanked advocates who pushed for Blueprint programs to be fully funded.

“The onus was on the Governor to put the money where it would count — into the districts that need it most. By taking measures to correct prior missteps, Governor Hogan has chosen to contribute to the triumph of Baltimore City and its pupils,” McCray said in a statement.

Strong Schools Maryland, an advocacy group that was a part of the coalition that pushed Hogan to fully fund education reform programs, underscored that the goal of the reform effort is to create a world-class public education system in Maryland. “Fully funding the law is the first step to creating that system, and it seems the Governor has finally agreed to allow that to happen,” the organization’s executive director, Shamoyia Gardiner, said in a statement.

Cheryl Bost, the president of the Maryland State Education Association, said she was glad to see Hogan “restoring the funding.” “We need a governor who is not going to do cuts first and then restoration — we’d like to see a governor who adds on to that budget.”

Other programs included in the supplemental budget introduced Tuesday include:

  • $21 million to support emergency medical service workers;
  • $176.5 million in new federal funding to support housing initiatives such as the Homeowner Assistance Fund;
  • $800,000 for midge spraying in Baltimore County; and
  • $303,000 to support recruitment and retention of veterans’ cemetery workers.

Read more >>> Maryland Governor Accused of Shortchanging Efforts to Fund Education in Communities of Color

Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Prince George’s), sat on the committee that nominated AIB members and is partisan, inconsistent. It does not have the aggressive representation of all Maryland senators
democrat Rashad D. Lloyd is challenging Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Prince George’s) in the Maryland Democratic primary this June.

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