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 am in agreement with the Moratorium and review of suspensions. One of my campaign goals is for Improved FCPS staff diversity to include more African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians to reflect the community make-up and student body. Improved staff diversity will decrease the harsh punitive view directed at African American males and Latino males. I fully agree the moratorium and review of suspensions should be immediate. Every day that fairness and racial equality is not reflected in FCPS, we lose African-American males and other students.

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.

Yes, I whole heartedly support the establishment of a committee to address Equitable TreatmentAdvisory . I think the word "minority" is becoming outdated given that Persons of Color and other ethnic groups will outnumber Caucasians in the near future. It's about equitable treatment of African-Americans, Latinos, special needs, gender-neutral, and other groups with a history and record of discrimination . I think this type of Committee has a better chance to be implemented than a focus solely on race and ethnic discrimination. I totally agree with the objectives of the committee and recognize that it takes at least four FCPS Board members to proposal and change FCPS policy. An Equitable Treatment Advisory Committee could gain more support if my opinion.

Recently the Maryland legislature passed a law allowing two (2) years of tuition free 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 students and their parents are aware of this opportunity?

Yes, I support an information campaign by FCPS for Tuition Free community College and the criteriato participate.


Masai Troutman
Candidate for Board of Education


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