March 3, 2016 1:23 pm ET
Councilman says school issue is not his department; Dr. Dance refuses to respond
Source: Furthering the “Great Divide”
It amazes me how pols find ways to avoid controversy … unless it benefits them and their agendas.
Case in point: Councilman Todd Crandell of the 7th District, when confronted with information on the racial divide in our public schools, stated, “The Patapsco High issue is a BCPS issue and, through my contacts at Dr. Dance’s office, they are ‘on it.’”
The Councilman basically said this was not in his purview and referred any further questions to BCPS. My response was simple, yet poignant: I did contact BCPS, and I got this response after my first inquiry:
I am going to answer your question around Patapsco High School. Events at
individual schools are planned and vetted at the school level unless they
are school system-wide events simply being held at the school. Schools all
over the county celebrated Black History Month activities in a variety of
ways. We hold all types of events, including multi-cultural events,
throughout the year. We support the principal of Patapsco in the way he
handled this event. What you might not be aware of is that in addition to
receiving some calls of concern, in which the Principal explained the
reason for the event, he also received dozens of calls of support and
cards from students, both black and white, who thanked him for the event.
I can tell by your email that you have lumped a number of concerns you
have heard into one request but I am answering the question about the
event at Patapsco.
Chief Communications Officer
Baltimore County Public Schools
Then, doing my due diligence, I sent a second group of hardcore videos. That garnered this response from Mr. Dickerson:
We do not respond to personnel matters. Given your posts, which in my estimation are not news articles, I think the more appropriate way for you to receive information is through a PIA request. Here is a link to make those requests.
Chief Communications Officer
If you are keeping score, that is the second time the buck was passed.
This all reminds me of that famous movie line from A Few Good Men: “You can’t handle the truth!”
The public and parents have a right to know what their children are being taught.
At the very least, the Councilman can pay a visit to the school to diffuse some of the tension that has resulted.
A police source confirmed that authorities were aware of a situation that included groups of young teen on bikes blocking traffic on Wise Ave. doing wheelies and such. My sources also said that problem has been cleared up with increased enforcement and patrols.
With that said, I’m going to show you how serious this racial divide issue is by posting videos of the person that appears to be behind the situation.
I must post the following warning.
Warning: Some of these videos may be considered inappropriate, and parental discretion is advised.
Again, to provide easy access to the videos and maintain continuity, the videos are available on one link. Remember, these are graphic in nature and may be considered offensive to some.
To watch the video portions you may have to click on the play button which takes you to the video and click on it again. It will depend on what type of media program you are running.
I would like to add the following comment.
This year’s Best Film winner was Spotlight. It featured a four-member team of journalists investigating the Catholic Church sex scandal. In one particular scene, a victim attempts to sanitize his account of be victimized. This is a scene right from the original screenplay as to why it is important to show these pictures and videos as they are.
What happened specifically?
Specifically, he molested me.
Joe, I think the language here is going to be very important. We can’t sanitize this, just saying molest isn’t enough. People need to know what actually happened.
And with that in mind, here are the photos and video clips regarding the incident at Patapsco High. To view the dialogue click on the magnifying glass:
After viewing this information, do you believe, like Dr. Dance does, that this is a non-story? Do you believe that parents should not be aware of the contrast between these two scenes?
This is team BCPS, which varies greatly from what you have just viewed:
Two very diverse scenes, right?
The sad part to this is the Councilman’s response, as heard in this audio clip:
You will notice the arrogance in the Councilman’s voice when he tells me that it’s not his job to examine what happens in the schools, then defers to BCPS and tells me that is where my inquiry should be directed.
I told the Councilman that I did write to BCPS numeroustimes and received the silent treatment after revealing the second group of videos, which adds more light on this situation.
It is Mr. Crandell’s district, and he should take an active role in looking into any possible situation that could be an issue, especially as one as divisive as this.
You will notice how quickly Councilman Crandell deflected my first question and moved right past it.
What is even sadder is that many people are trying to sweep this under the rug.
I am offering the young man at the center of this issue a chance to respond in his own words (1,000 maximum), which I will run unedited in a future blog.
That is if he chooses to respond.
This is his chance to tell his side of a very controversial story. He can contact me through the comments section and I will make arrangements to publish his response.
The spotlight is warmed up and aimed at center stage. Let’s see who steps into it.
“This is for all the journalists that hold the powerful accountable.” (Source, from the writers of Spotlight.)