Keep Dance, not Miller
Thirty-eight parents of Baltimore County public school students say they support the superintendent’s effort to reach out to minorities after Trump’s election
As parents of Baltimore County Public Schools students we write to express our support for Superintendent Dallas Dance against school board member Ann Miller’s absurd demand for his resignation (“BCPS board member: Dallas Dance must go,” Nov. 15). Ms. Miller wrote that Mr. Dance should step down for retweeting a call for educators to be sensitive to their minority and disenfranchised students following Donald Trump’s victory on election night.
In fact, Mr. Dance should be commended for his empathy. According to guidance from the National Association of School Psychologists, “it is imperative that educators facilitate respectful discussions among students and safeguard the well-being of those who may feel at risk.”
The student population at BCPS schools consists of a growing number of racial, ethnic and religious minorities. While it is Mr. Dance’s job to attend to all of his students’ needs, it is also essential to acknowledge that minority students were disproportionately affected by the tone and potential implications of the election.
Yet Ms. Miller accuses Mr. Dance of playing politics. “Everyone is hyper-sensitive on issues of race, and the week after one of the most contentious election campaigns this nation has ever witnessed is not the time for a social media post laden with both racial and political undertones,” she wrote. On the contrary, conversations about inequality and discrimination are long overdue. This is even more important in light of reports from the Southern Poverty Law Center that there has been an uptick in racially and religiously motivated attacks since the election.
Ms. Miller has written extensively about her opposition to undocumented students receiving state benefits, same-sex marriage and transgender rights. For Ms. Miller to criticize Mr. Dance for excluding particular students is hypocritical at worst and disingenuous at best given her lack of tolerance of a diverse population.
As parents of BCPS students, we applaud Mr. Dance’s commitment to equity. Mr. Dance has stated, “equity is not just about every student having access to the same thing; it’s about every student having what he or she needs to be successful.” (“Schools in Baltimore suburbs address growth in minority enrollment,” Aug. 22, 2015). Mr. Dance’s sentiment expressed through his retweet is important because as educators, school A Baltimore County school board member called for the resignation of Superintendent Dallas Dance after he retweeted a message of support for minority students following Donald Trump’s election as president. leaders, parents and people of conscience, we need to offer our support for our minority and disenfranchised students who may feel targeted and fearful.
Mr. Dance has our full support on this issue and we reject Ms. Miller’s call for his resignation. In her demand that Mr. Dance remove his retweet and her public call for his resignation, Ms. Miller has overstepped her bounds as a school board member. Ms. Miller should reflect on her role on the board and whether she is capable of serving the interests of all BCPS students.
We believe she is not. She’s the one who should resign.