The Baltimore Post is keeping a watchful eye on the violence crisis within BCPS.
You may remember one particular incident that occurred at the Holabird Middle School.
The Post followed that column with this article regarding Councilman Crandell’s statement.
After publishing that article and the statement councilman made, the Post decided to file a PIA in order to clarify the truth.
Below is a copy of the PIA that we filed:
Dear Custodian of Records:
Pursuant to the Maryland Public Records Act, State Government Article §§10-611 to 628, I request access to and copies of documents showing the information noted below.
I request that all fees be waived is this information is vital to constituents the seventh district. In addition, this request is from a media corporation operating under a LLC.
If my request is denied in whole or part, I ask that you justify all deletions in writing with reference to specific exemptions of the act.
I look forward to receiving the records promptly. Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any questions regarding this request, please email me at the above address.
The following information is requested based on the following comment posted on Facebook:
“I am shocked and outraged by the bullying incident at Holabird Middle School, where I went many years ago. I have asked BCPS for a full investigation and appropriate action be taken. My heart goes out to the Selby family. I have repeatedly asked BCPS and the School Board to bring their discipline policies into line with the current state of our schools, and this incident is further proof, as if we needed any more, that some of our classrooms are out of control and stronger oversight and disciplinary action is ncessary. [SIC]
In addition to the Councilman’s statement on Facebook and this comment by Mr. Doug Anderson which reads as follows:
Immediately after sending the above email, we contacted the Councilman’s office and spoke to Mr. Doug Anderson. We asked the following: “Based on the Councilman’s posting on Facebook, can you provide any documentation of a formal written request concerning the incident at Holabird Middle School?”
Mr. Anderson’s reply was, “Yes, it’s around here some place,”…
I am requesting the following documents pertaining to the above statements:
- Any written documentation to include emails, letters, notes, or any other form of communication between the Councilman’s office and the BCPS.
- A copy of the document that Mr. Doug Anderson referenced to as per his quote of, ““Yes, it’s around here some place,”…
- A copy of the written request that contains the date and time stamped on the request to be confirmed that said request was completed before interaction with The Baltimore Post.
- If there are no copies of any written documentation concerning the incident that occurred at the Holabird Middle School, then the following documentation is requested.
- If any request was done verbally, then please provide the name of the person that anyone in the Councilman’s office spoke to regarding this issue.
- Information concerning verbal conversations should include the name and title of the person the Councilman’s office or anyone representing the Councilman’s office, be listed who spoke on behalf of the Councilman’s office regarding the aforementioned issue.
The Baltimore Post received the following reply from the county attorney representing Councilman Todd Crandell:
Re: PIA Request to Councilman Crandell Dated January 14, 2018
Dear Mr. Beeler:
Councilman Crandell asked me to respond to your request of January 14, 2018 regarding an incident at Holabird Middle School in which you request certain documents.
The State Public Information Act, in Section 4-101(j)(1) of the General Provisions Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, defines a “public record” as follows:
“(j) Public record” means the original or any copy of any documentary material that:
(i) is made by a unit or an instrumentality of the State or of a political subdivision or received by the unit or instrumentality in connection with the transaction of public business; and
(ii) is in any form, including:
- a card;
- a computerized record;
- a drawing;
- film or microfilm;
- a form;
- a map;
- a photograph or photostat;
- a recording; or
- a tape.” (emphasis added)
There is no public record that is responsive to your request.
Very truly yours,
Thomas J. Peddicord, Jr. Legislative Counsel/Secretary
The one glaring issue here is this quote from Mr. Peddicord’s response:
“There is no public record that is responsive to your request.”
So, should we surmise that the reply from the Councilman was walking with a limp, crutches, or something more apparent?
As always, our policy is: “You read; you decide.”