Status Update – The Non-Profit Organization Respect the Constitution and Super Citizens USA in conjunction with a group of Baltimore County Parents Takes on Baltimore County Public School Board (“Board”) Over Lack of In-Person Learning for Baltimore County Children
Stakeholder Group Extending Lawsuit Filing Deadline and Policing Hybrid Learning Model to Be Implemented by Baltimore County Public Schools to Assure Compliance.
The Stockholder Group agrees to hold in abeyance the threatened lawsuit pending re-opening of Baltimore County Public Schools on 1 March 2021.
Towson, Maryland (February 18, 2021) Citizens Promoting Respect for the Constitution Now, Inc., a national tax-exempt organization, dedicated to holding our elected representatives to their oath of office, in conjunction with Super Citizens of Maryland, a national community issues organization, and certain Baltimore County parents and students organized as the Baltimore County Parents and Students Coalition, Inc. (“BCPSC” or “Stakeholder Group”) representing their school age children, announced today that they have will be policing the hybrid learning model approved by the Baltimore County Public School Board and Superintendent Darryl W. Williams in his official capacity to assure compliance. Last month a Legal Claims Letter was sent on behalf of Stakeholder Group, including Ms. Amy Adams’s 3 children and other parents totaling approximately 2,500 with school age children attending public schools in Baltimore County, claiming that the Baltimore County School District is violating the Maryland and State Constitution and the United States Constitution by not providing in-person learning options. Ms. Adams is the CEO of the Baltimore County Parents and Students Association, Inc. Mary A. Taylor is the COO of the Baltimore County Parents and Students Coalition, Inc.
In response to a threatened lawsuit and the sending of the Legal Claims Letter the Board has agreed to re-open BC schools on 1 March 2021. In the threatened lawsuit the Stakeholder group argues that the Baltimore County School Board have deprived the Baltimore County parents and their children of the fundamental right of education in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, by effectively precluding children from receiving a basic minimum education and their fundamental right to literacy. The Legal Claims Letter asserts the BCPS is not “Meeting the needs of all students, so all students graduate globally competitive.” (BOARD OF EDUCATION OF BALTIMORE COUNTY HANDBOOK (JULY 2015) page 22)
Furthermore, Mary A. Taylor asserts that the Baltimore County School Board had better be honest with full disclosure as the Stakeholder Group will be monitoring the recently announced hybrid learning model for compliance. In addition, should the teacher’s union attempt to backdoor administrative appeal process the Stakeholder Group will move forward with the lawsuit.
The Legal Claims Letter further argues that the Baltimore County School Board and Superintendent Williams have willfully violated the Maryland State Constitution, which requires a system of free public elementary and secondary schools for all children of school age throughout the State and also an educational program of high quality be established and continually maintained.
“It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected everyone across all walks of life. Some of the hardest hit in Maryland, however, are K-12 public school students, many of whom have stayed in virtual/online learning only since the start of the pandemic. As a lawyer who works on a lot of family law matters, I am always sensitive to issues that negatively affect children.,” stated Linda M. Brown, President of Respect the Constitution. She went on to say, “We are taking a wait and see approach before filing the lawsuit. We will be monitoring the activities of the Board to assure compliance with the recently issued decision to have in person teaching with the hybrid learning model”.
In the Legal Claims Letter the parents, RTC and Super Citizens has informed the Baltimore County School Board that unless schools are re-opened for hybrid learning by 1 March 2021, the Baltimore County Parent Group will petition the Federal District Court for legal grievances. The Baltimore County The Stakeholder Group has a draft lawsuit prepared which will argue and declare that the decisions of the Baltimore County School Board and Superintendent Williams have failed to uphold, among other things, Article VIII, Section 1 of the Maryland Constitution requiring that a free “educational program of high quality [be] established and continually maintained” as well as Md. Ed. Code Ann. §§ 3-102, 103 which generally require the local school board to execute the laws, powers, and duties as set forth in Maryland law.
Pat McDonough, former state delegate and now CEO of the Super-Citizen organization explained that the primary objective extending the deadline for lawsuit is to assure compliance with the announced hybrid learning re-opening plan.
Time is of the essence for our 111,000 students and families of Baltimore County.
WC Markey, Chief Legal Officer