June 9, 2022
President Kiler, Vice President Battaglia, and members of the Carroll County Board of Education:
The Carroll County Board of Education’s vote last night to ban pride flags in Carroll County Public Schools—during a month in which we are celebrating the progress made and challenges faced by our LGBTQ+ neighbors, family members, and students—is a deeply disappointing step backwards and threatens the well-being of students. I urge you to reverse this action, which makes school a less welcoming, less safe, and less supportive place for students.
No matter who we are, we all want the freedom to be ourselves. But too often we see attempts to put people in boxes based on what we look like, where we’re from, who we love, or our gender. This stoking of fear and division distracts from making sure that all students and families have the supportive, respectful, and bully-free environment that we all deserve. We should all be free to thrive and support each other for who we are.
Whenever a powerful few have tried to pick and choose who has the freedom to be themselves, there have always been those of us who showed up for each other to build more welcoming communities. I appreciate the voices of Board members Dorsey and Tedeschi, Superintendent Lockard, and many other leaders, educators, and community members in voicing their reservations and opposition to this new policy. We must reject division and chart a better, inclusive future for all of us.
We truly can provide our students with the opportunities they need to succeed, with the space to be themselves and pursue their dreams, and with the freedom to learn without fear or intimidation. We must focus on policies that support these goals—not adopt ones that work in direct opposition to them, as you unfortunately did through your actions last night.
President, Maryland State Education Association
CC: Dr. Steven Lockard, Superintendent, Carroll County Public Schools
Teresa McCulloh, CCEA President
Celeste Jordan, CCEA President-Elect
Diane Deal, CASE President