Dance’s retweet draws attention at meeting
Parents and students show support for superintendent
Some parents and students fought back against criticism of Baltimore County schools Superintendent Dallas Dance at the school board meeting Tuesday night, saying that he was right to show concern for students who might be fearful the day after the election.
Dance came under criticism for a retweet he made on election night that asked educators to reach out to students who may have felt maligned during the U.S. presidential campaign.
The tweet from Josh Starr, a former Montgomery County superintendent, said: “Educators: tomorrow pls show your muslim, black, latino, jewish, disabled, or just non-white St’s, that you love them and will protect them!”
June Keating, a 10th-grade student at Towson High School, said she was not a fan of Dance’s but that she felt compelled to speak up on his behalf. “The post he retweeted called for love and support, not for hatred, discrimination or divisiveness,” she said. She said as a white student, she did not feel it was racist against white students, as some of Dance’s critics have contended.
Brooks Morales, a Baltimore County parent and Baltimore City teacher, said there is a need to show compassion to children who are fearful.
“In the days after the election, I have dried tears of kindergarten students who are afraid that their families won’t be safe, and my response to them is the same that any of yours would be: You are safe at school,” she said.
Signs in the back of the school board meeting room said “Love for All Students” and “We Stand With Dallas Dance.” On the other side were signs that read “Done with Dance” and “Remove Dance.”
None of those who spoke at the meeting criticized Dance. The board did not comment.
The tweet was posted on a Baltimore County parent’s Facebook page and drew fire from some Baltimore County politicians. The debate continued with parents, legislators and school board members contending on Facebook.
Some parents have suggested that Dance should resign over the incident or be fired. The majority of the board, however, appears unconcerned by his tweet.