Tomorrow is Primary Day. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Willie J. Mahone, President of the the Frederick County Branch of the NAACP, recognizes the important role every voter plays in the election process. "It's important for all of us to understand the impact we can have on local politics if we exercise our right to vote. While we do not endorse one candidate over another, we feel that it's important voters are aware of key issues in this upcoming primary that may influence their choices." 

The Government and Political Affairs Committee of the Frederick Branch recently prepared a list of questions, listed below, for the candidates running for the Board of Education and the County Council.

We are calling for the establishment of a Suspension Review Panel that would review a proposed long-term out-of:school suspension of ethnic minority students, and make an advisory recommendation. The panel would include community members who are not employees of the Frederick County Public Schools, and may also include school staff and employees. The panel would necessarily consider alternatives to suspension and modes of intervention, and would not be precluded from concurring with the suspension recommendation. As such the Panel may indeed end up validating the proposed action. 
Please indicate whether you support the establishment of a Suspension Review Panel, and if not, the basis of your opposition to such a Panel.

I have closely followed the data regarding the suspension rates of minority students versus white students and I completely agree that it is unacceptable for students of different races to receive different punishments for the same infractions.
I have no issue suspending students who break important rules while in school; some actions demand immediate suspension from school, without question. However, if a minority student gets suspended for an offense, while a white student gets a stern warning, then we obviously have a serious problem. We have a moral imperative to ensure that discipline policies are applied equally across all races and types of students. 
That being said, I do not support a moratorium on suspensions for several reasons. I don’t believe we should reduce the disciplinary options and authority that teachers and administrators have in their classrooms and schools. Administrators, teachers, and students need to know that suspension is and will continue to be a disciplinary tool. In this case, I concur with Dr. Alban; the right approach, in my opinion, is to train employees in implicit bias and work to standardize discipline across the county to ensure that students are disciplined according to the severity of their infractions, not according to their race. 
Despite my personal opposition to a moratorium on suspensions, I do believe that FCPS should try to keep students in school as much as possible and, when feasible, use in-school suspension as an alternative to out-of-school suspension. In addition, I will reiterate my commitment to creating a school system with greater standardization in disciplinary practices and where punishments do not vary solely with respect to race. 

The NAACP is calling for the establishment of a Minority Affairs Advisory Committee. That Committee would have jurisdiction to investigate and make recommendations regarding the foregoing issues, as well as other matters relating to minority students staff. The Board of Education currently has several standing committees, as authorized·by Section 4-112 of the Education Article of the Code of Maryland, in the areas of Special Education, Family Life, Career and Technology, etc.
Please indicate whether you support the establishment of a Minority Affairs Advisory Committee, and if not. the basis of your opposition to such a Committee.

I completely support the establishment of a Minority Affairs Advisory Committee. The Committee would be a welcome addition to FCPS and I’m sure it would provide valuable feedback and recommendations regarding Board policies and practices. 

Recently the Maryland legislature passed a law allowing tow (2) years of tuition £tee community college for most Marylanders. There is a means test that most families can meet. and the student must have maintained a 2.3 grade point average. We see that legislation as creating a window of opportunity for many struggling families and students who would not otherwise conceive of advanced education. 
Do you support an informational campaign by the Frederick County School System, or any other actions, top ensure that the $}dents and their parents are aware of this opportunity?

Absolutely. A significant part of FCPS’ job is to ensure that graduates are prepared for life after high school. Tuition-free community college will certainly aid many FCPS students in their search for affordable college options. Speaking as a current college student myself, I am well aware of the challenges facing FCPS students in paying for college. I’m sure FCPS will make students aware of the new opportunities available. 


Camden Raynor
Candidate for Board of Education

Candidates for County Council

Shannon Bohrer
Galen Clagett
Jessica Fitzwater
Justin Kiska
Mark Long
M.C. Keegan-Ayer
​Susan Reeder Jessee

Candidates for the Board of Education

Jonah Eisenberg
Marie Fischer
Edison Hatter
Jay Mason
Bud Otis
Camden Raynor
Cindy Rose
Masai Troutman
Brad Young


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