Thursday, April 27, 2017

Event: Panel Discussion Regarding Small Cell Deployment of 5G Frequencies and the Internet of Things.

Purpose:  Learn why some scientists are worried about the implementation of 5G without testing for Public Safety.  Hear how the telecommunication industry intends to deploy small cell antennas on every utility pole throughout the country. Become informed about how you can protect yourself and family from the possible harm.  Discover what other communities are doing to stop this.

When: Sunday, April 30, 2017 from 2:30 - 4:00

Presented by:  Center for Safer Wireless –

Police investigating $39K in missing funds from Montgomery Co. PTA council

NBC4 reports on Parents Speaking Out on Cell Tower proposed for High School

Prince George's County parents speaking out at a meeting this week on Rushern Baker's no bid, no public input, no transparency or accountability cell tower deal with Milestone Communications. Milestone Communications is one of the sponsors of all of the Board of Education vacations to Ocean City every year and gave $5,000 to a ballot initiative of Rushern Baker's.
The Ocean City vacations for board members are arranged through MABE the board of education club run by Frances Glendenning. Milestone Communications is a no bid sponsor of the MABE organization and gets to advertise and have meetings with board members out of public view. (Insert music to "It's a Small World").

Wash. Co. Board of Ed. member Removed from Office in part for Failure to Report Suspected Child Abuse to Proper Authorities

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

MCPS Investigates Reported ‘Smash Space’ For Frazzled Kensington Teachers

MCPS Investigates Reported ‘Smash Space’ For Frazzled Kensington Teachers: PTA president writes that principal allowed teachers to release stress by destroying furniture

 ...Liess, a 10-year principal, recently faced criticism for working a second job as a real estate agent. She announced in December that she was giving up her real estate license after parents complained that she seemed distracted by her side job and a former PTA president claimed a potential conflict of interest...

State BOE: Foose Must Recuse Herself in Contract Review, Contract Falls Outside Requirement for Superintendent Approval

County Police Investigate Report of Misuse of MCCPTA Funds: Financial review reveals possible embezzlement of $39,000 from group representing local parent-teacher associations

County Police Investigate Report of Misuse of MCCPTA Funds: Financial review reveals possible embezzlement of ,000 from group representing local parent-teacher associations

Construction materials questioned in College Park fire #MGA17

...Joshua Baca is with Build With Strength, a group that includes the concrete industry that pushes for tougher building codes. The group advocates for steel and concrete to be used. The building that burned Monday used wood materials on the upper floors.

"This is a legal building under the current code in Maryland; however, it is dangerous, as we can see," Baca said. "We believe that building with noncombustible products like concrete are safer. They are cheaper in the long run for consumers, and they last a lifetime."

Bills heard last year in the General Assembly that would have implemented such requirements failed. The building industry argues lightweight construction materials are safe, cheaper and faster...

Balt. Superintendent Dallas Dance and the Richmond Job Opening (Previously MCPS candidate) (Joshua Starr Lunch Buddy) (Supes Academy ethics investigation)

As supporters and opponents of the Richmond School Board’s split with Superintendent Dana T. Bedden clashed online in the days after his exit was announced, another name was on many lips: Dallas Dance.
The 36-year-old chief executive of Baltimore County Public Schools in Maryland had broadcast his own abrupt departure just four days before Bedden’s was revealed, also without explanation.
“People are talking about it,” Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Henrico, said of the timing. “It’s on social media, it’s everywhere; I’m hearing it.”
The move would be a homecoming of sorts for Dance, who graduated from Armstrong High School, attended Virginia Union and Virginia Commonwealth universities, and got his start in Henrico County Public Schools, alongside Bagby.
But it would be unwise to rush into filling Bedden’s shoes, cautioned Cathy Mincberg, president and CEO of the Center for Reform of School Systems in Houston, which provides training for school boards and superintendents.
Dance’s name has surfaced in board discussions, but a timetable for replacing Bedden in an interim and permanent capacity has not yet been announced.

MD State Dept. of Education Has an Ombudsman

​The Ombudsman’s office at the Maryland State Department of Education was established more than 20 years ago to help assist parents and other members of the public with their educational concerns.  The ombudsman works directly with Maryland’s 24 public school systems to gather information and resolve issues.

Prior to contacting the Ombudsman, we ask that you go through the following steps:

Step 1
Report your concern to your child's school principal or to the specific office supervisor or director.

Step 2
If still unresolved, contact the school system Superintendent’s office.

Step 3
If after Step 1 and Step 2, you still do not have a resolution, you may contact Teresa Dantzler,  MSDE’s ombudsman, through email at or by calling 410-767-0114.

Contact Information
Teresa Dantzler, Ombudsman
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Phone: 410-767-0114

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Howard board, superintendent in legal battle as they run county school system

A new majority took over the Howard County school board in December and passed sweeping measures to assert its authority over superintendent Renee Foose.
In response, she sued them.
Now the superintendent and school board are locked in a costly power struggle with dueling accusations and no lack of recrimination. The internal strife threatens to disrupt Maryland's sixth-largest school system, a district with 76 schools and 55,000 students that consistently ranks among the best in the nation.
"I've been very disappointed with the way that we're operating right now," said Kathryn McKinley, principal of River Hill High School. "It just seems to be dysfunctional." ...

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ousted Over Sexual Misconduct Claims, and On to the Next Teaching Job

Sound familiar? From The New York Times, story by reporter Elizabeth A. Harris. Full story here.


For many years, when teachers at private schools were forced out over claims of sexual misconduct, administrators let the accused quietly move on to teach elsewhere. The pattern was so common it earned its own grim moniker: “passing the trash.”
A report released this month by Choate Rosemary Hall, an elite Connecticut boarding school, is filled with instances of men who had been accused of sexually abusing students, yet were allowed to keep teaching. Now accusations have emerged that two of the men may have abused students at other schools.
Two women have come forward to accuse one former teacher, Frederic Lyman — who was forced to leave Choate over claims of sexual misconduct in 1982 — of inappropriate behavior while he was on the faculty at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., before he came to Choate.
After leaving Choate with a recommendation, he got a job at a school in Colorado, Kent Denver.
Five states, including Connecticut, have enacted “pass the trash” bills that aim to keep teachers who commit abuse from cycling to other schools. Some of these laws prohibit school districts from entering into agreements with abusers that may suppress information about sexual misconduct, for example, or they might require applicants to disclose if they were ever the subject of a sexual misconduct investigation, unless the charges were proved false.
“Some schools were doing the exact same thing that the Catholic Church did if they had an abuser in their midst,” said Jetta Bernier, the executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Children, a nonprofit advocacy group, and a member of an “educator sexual misconduct” task force convened by two private-school organizations. “It’s the same human dynamic. If we just get rid of him, it’ll be O.K.”
In Connecticut, educators have been required to report any allegations of sexual abuse to the state authorities since 1967. But Choate made no reports until 2010, even when it forced teachers out.

Former MCPS Teacher Shemer Moves for Reconsideration of Sentence


Docket Type: Docket Filed By: Court





Sunday, April 23, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Disability Rights Maryland Legislative Report

DRM 2017 Legislative Report
During the 2017 General Assembly (GA) session, DRM followed about 140 bills on a range of topics. We focused substantial energy on a package of bills aimed at improving outcomes for young people with disabilities, and are very pleased to report that ALL of the bills have passed! Gubernatorial action is pending, and the bills are listed below. A hearty thanks to DRM's allies and supporters, legislators and other who helped achieve progress for people with disabilities in the 2017 session.

HB 425/SB 651
Strictly limits out of school suspension for children pre-K through 2nd grade, requires positive interventions and supports, and authorizes restorative practices.

HB 331/SB 786
Creates a task force to review and revise state regulations governing use of seclusion and restraint in schools.

HB 174/SB 710
Requires parental consent for specific Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team proposals (e.g. including restraint or seclusion on IEP, removing a student from diploma track) effectively shifting the due process burden of proof.

HB 287
Establishes the Commission on the School-to-Prison pipeline and restorative practices.

HB 456/SB 943
Mandates the State Department of Education to develop a dispute resolution process for families of children with disabilities and child care providers.

HB 279/SB 272
Grants continuing jurisdiction to the juvenile court in guardianship and child welfare cases involving foster youth with developmental disabilities transitioning to adult services at age 21, to ensure provision of ongoing supports.

Our  2017 General Assembly Report and complete list of bills DRM supported, opposed, followed or worked on can be found on DRM's Public Policy page.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

PG Board of ed considers policies restricting public comment

UPPER MARLBORO – The number of speakers per meeting and what they can speak on may be restricted if the Prince George’s County Board of Education passes proposed policies introduced during its most recent work session.
At a meeting held at 1 p.m. on April 6, the board of education formally introduced changes to a board policy regarding public comment at public meetings. The changes were only a first reader, meaning board discussion or comment on the issue was not necessary; however a few members found the changes egregious and said so during their introduction.
Boardmember Edward Burroughs, III said the revamped policy would restrict residents in a burdensome way...

CNN: Where rapists can gain parental rights.(MD is one state and #MGA17 is OK with this. #Progressive)

(CNN) It's an almost unimaginable scenario: a victim of rape being forced to face her attacker over custody rights for a child conceived during an assault.
"Almost" is the key word, because it's a situation that can easily happen in states across the United States. The shorthand for this occurrence is often referred to as "parental rights for rapists," a phrase that's mind-boggling but accurate in its representation of the issue.
Without any legislation stopping a sexual assailant from claiming parental rights of a child, individuals are free and clear to pursue custody or visitation rights of their biological offspring..

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Meeting Scheduled, Document Not Released. What is a "week" in Montgomery County? #celltower #DAS #smalllcells

Small cell tower in MoCo
4/20/2017 UPDATE:  Montgomery County has deleted the statement that the proposed zoning change will be released one week before the public meeting. The public does not need to read the proposal to be able to comment on it, right?  Just "trust" that Montgomery County is "good" and agree to any proposals. No need for notice. 

It is important that Montgomery County residents have good imaginations.  

The Montgomery County Government has scheduled a meeting to discuss proposed changes to the zoning ordinance that concerns cell towers.  The County said that the proposed changes would be made public one week prior to the meeting.  The meeting is April 26th.  Today is April 19th, the Wednesday before the meeting, yet the proposed changes are nowhere to be found.  

Just imagine what the County might be up to and mark your calendar to attend the April 26th meeting.

Attn: Montgomery County residents Montgomery County will host a Wireless Telecommunications Community Meeting to discuss proposed changes to the County zoning ordinance and process for regulatory review of wireless telecommunications structures, to address new deployment and densification of lower-height (17’ to 30’) wireless technology in residential and commercial areas.
The Community Meeting is planned for April 26, 2017 at the Executive Office Building in the Cafeteria and Outdoor Plaza, 101 Monroe St, Rockville, MD 20850.
The County has invited equipment manufacturers to display so-called “stealth” equipment that disguises wireless antennas as streetlights and similar fixtures from 6 pm to 7 pm in the Outdoor Plaza.
From 7 pm to 8:30 pm, the County will host a discussion regarding potential changes to the zoning ordinance and regulatory review process. A summary and text of the potential changes will be made available here at one week prior to the Community meeting.

Video Casey Anderson Did Not Want You to See: Planning Board Invites BOE to Lunch

The Buffet taxpayers provided for this meeting.
Today the Montgomery County Planning Board invited the Board of Education to lunch.  The two public bodies met in the Planning Board's public meeting auditorium.  However, the Planning Chair, Casey Anderson, did not turn on the cameras in the room so the public was not able to observe this meeting.

The Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, MD, however, recorded the meeting and we are making the discussion of these two public bodies available to the public.

The public, after all, pays the salaries and stipends for everyone shown in this video, paid for the building where the two public bodies are meeting, and paid for the food they consumed.

Don't miss the discussions among the participants about the public's distrust of the planning process, transparency, and how much better the two public bodies are getting along. 


2015 Planning Board did videotape the dinner meeting with the Board of Education

2013 No video of dinner meeting

2011 Citizen records audio of Planning Board and BOE dinner meeting

Leggett warns Berliner on proposal to create new school funding bonds

Hat tip to the Montgomery County Civic Federation for providing the above memo.

Publc School Arrests 10 year old with Autism for Acting Out. Child handcuffed, spends night in detention. #publicschool failure

A Florida mother filmed the arrest of her 10-year-old son as school resource deputies handcuffed him and took him away.
The boy, who has autism, is accused of battery of a school employee in Okeechobee County because he kicked a teacher last November. The offense is a third-degree felony.
His mother Luanne Haygood said her son shouldn’t have been arrested for the incident.
“It was because of his autism that spurred this incident,” Haygood told WPTV. “And he was arrested for that.”
In the video, which Haygood recorded on her cell phone, her son John Benji Haygood is heard as officers place handcuffs on his wrists.
“I don’t want to be touched. Please don’t touch me,” the boy says in the video. “I don’t know what’s going on.”
Not wanting to be touched can be a symptom of autism, according to Autism Speaks.
Haygood said watching her son be cuffed and put in a law enforcement vehicle “broke her heart.” She said the 10-year-old boy then spent the night at a juvenile facility in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Although the incident took place last year, deputies said they couldn’t serve the arrest paperwork until last week.

Read more here:
 and first court appearance

...Montgomery Parks to increase the amount of calories for 20-ounce drinks, from 250 calories to 290 calories.

An organization that wants healthier food more widely available in government vending machines is faulting a proposal by the Montgomery Parks to increase the amount of calories for 20-ounce drinks, from 250 calories to 290 calories.
“On the surface, it might be, ‘What’s the big deal?’” said Shawn McIntosh, executive director of Sugar Free Kids Maryland. “We’re just saying that’s enough sugar.”
In an email, Melissa Chotiner, media relations manager for Montgomery Parks, wrote in an email that the parks commission agreed to the change “to accommodate sports drinks in vending machines since we host many sporting events and have places where people engage in intense physical activity.”
Chotiner also said the change will support jobs in our communities that might be hurt by limiting the types of beverages to those with less than 250 calories.
The proposed change has not been approved and will be reviewed Wednesday, Chotiner wrote...;postID=3636331342448213377

Paint Branch HS & Gaithersburg HS Alert: The Latest FieldTurf Issue Is Nothing 1,000 Gallons of Glue Won’t Fix #FieldTurf #artificialturf #fooledUagain

 [This is the brand of artificial turf that was installed at Gaithersburg High School and Paint Branch High School.  You know, the old no bid favorite of the Montgomery County Council!]

...FieldTurf crews are dumping a thousand gallons of latex glue called Beybond on top of the Revolution fields. During a weeklong process, crews vacuum up all the crumb rubber and sand infill cushioning between the grass blades, pour on the glue, then re-apply the infill in layers.
FieldTurf documents sent to San Diego Unified in October 2015 by turf salesman Tim Coury blamed the issues on a polyurethane “breakdown on the backing” of the turf rolls. The topical glue remedy was described as “non-invasive,” and FieldTurf claims in the documents that testing so far indicated there was “no negative impact on drainage,” often a selling point for the company...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

URGENT – Today is Last Chance to Comment on the New MCPS Wellness Regulation

All public input on the new MCPS Wellness Regulation, which regulates Food and Nutrition, Nutrition Education, Physical Education and Activity and Communications with Parents on these topics in MCPS will be downloaded on April 19thIt is URGENT that if you haven’t yet, you submit comments today.
To do so, go to:
and at minimum, we recommend that you submit these top two priority recommendations that RFKM is working on. Under “Food and Nutrition Services” copy and paste these two suggestions:
The combination of all foods and beverages (including meals and a la carte snacks) served or sold to any child in MCPS during any breakfast or lunch period should contain no more than 10% of calories from added sugar.
All beverages sold in vending machines in MCPS at all hours should be compliant with MCPS’ wellness policy for drinks sold during the school day.
Feel free to add your own additional thoughts in this and other areas as well! RFKM has also provided a more extensive list of recommendations for changes to the Wellness Regulation for your use.  

Agenda for Off Camera LUNCH: Board of Ed. to Meet with Planning Board Wed. April 19, 2017

Off Camera: Board of Ed. to Meet with Planning Board Wed. April 19, 2017: Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, Maryland

Joint Planning Board and Board of Education Lunch Meeting
8787 Georgia Avenue (Auditorium)
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Wednesday, April 19, 2017


1.Update on Development Plans–
WMAL and any other significant
developments plans in the pipeline

2.Update on 10 Schools Field Renovations by Parks Department and strategy discussion on MCPS field maintenance

3.Update on Co-location Study
and innovations in school design

4. Coordination on school projections
for master plans 

5. New thoughts on student forecasting

School Had High Levels of Carbon Dioxide: PGCPS Test Results Released.

Fix The Lead Contamination in Prince George's County Public Schools Water Fountains : District Heights Had High Levels of Carbon Dioxid...: District Heights Elementary School Mold/Air Assessment Shows The Air was Toxic. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TESTING After we sent a public info...

BCPS superintendent Dallas Dance announces resignation

New Student Data Show That Half of Graduating Seniors in LA Not Eligible for California’s Public Universities

...Two years ago, the school board decided to roll back graduation requirements, allowing students to pass A–G courses with a D instead of a C. At the time, school board members feared thousands of students wouldn’t graduate. The data show that their fears were founded, as roughly 14,200 graduates, or 53 percent, earned at least one D...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Time for a Spotlight on Sexual Abuse in our Schools and the Failures to Report It

Sex abuse in schools. No one wants to think about it let alone talk about it. But we must because the statistics are staggering and because living in denial puts children at risk. It wasn’t too long ago that no one wanted to talk about what was happening to children at the hands of priests either and we all know how that turned out. But as with the Catholic church, this is a very real problem in our schools nationally. Rhode Island is no exception.

Cranston West High School is the latest school here in Rhode Island to make news for a teacher allegedly abusing a student and the story gets worse by the day. Not only has a science teacher with a history of similar incidents in the past been arrested on twelve counts of second-degree sexual assault, but it turns out that a school psychologist had ample reason to suspect the abuse, yet chose to stay silent. He too has been arrested.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hundreds of Prince George's school staff members put on leave in misconduct cases this school year

An open records request to Prince George’s County Public Schools found hundreds of staff members are being put on administrative leave for abuse and misconduct allegations. Teachers tell FOX 5 the high number isn’t about widespread abuse, but a system that isn’t working.

The records request stated that 299 staff members were on leave for misconduct as of March 8, and there had been a total of 636 misconduct cases so far for the 2016-2017 school year. For perspective, Montgomery County, the largest district in the state, currently has less than 20 staff members out for misconduct...

As of April 2017: List of MCPS Staff Arrests and Notices - Sexual Abuse of Students or Inappropriate Activity with Students

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

MCFRS Responds to Dryer Fire at Kingsview Middle School

Screens and Kids: Through the Looking Glass The MD General Assembly...

Screens and Kids: Through the Looking Glass The MD General Assembly...:

Through the Looking Glass The MD General Assembly and Classroom Screen Safety: 
A study of disturbing nonsense

For student health advocates across the state and across the country, watching the developments surrounding the nation's first classroom digital device safety legislation during the recent Maryland General Assembly was a surreal, Alice in Wonderland kind of experience.

Just the idea that parents would have to take their case to the state legislature, to protect their children from serious harm caused by their teachers and schools is a bizarre concept. Aren't teachers supposed to be caring, nurturing people who protect children? And yet, their silence is deafening, even after learning of the myopia, retinal damage, sleeplessness, muscle pain, eye strain, anxiety, depression and addiction associated with daily use of digital devices in school.

Perhaps they are silenced by a craven shadow government, the Maryland State Department of Education, that consumes the lion's share of any budget, and then arrogantly dismisses the people who pay their salaries, while utterly disregarding the medical needs of the growing children, whom they are paid to serve.

A culture of fear 

Bloated and self-satisfied, state and local school boards and the crony political groups who shape them dole out mandates without a single thought to the health of our kids, and then intimidate any staff member or teacher who doesn't get onboard, according to what teachers say privately.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Remember: Sexual Abuse Conviction is not a fireable offense to Board of Education. BOE Did Not Fire Shemer, They Allowed Him to Resign After Internal Investigation

Exclusive: BOE Did Not Fire Shemer, They Allowed Him to Resign After Internal Investigation: Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, Maryland

MCPS Background Checks Lacking and RM Security Leader still on Administrative Leave

MCPS Checking for Gaps in Employee Screening After Arrest of Richard Montgomery Staffer: Security leader passed background check despite misdemeanor charge from 1994

Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids

...2. Social media is an entertainment technology. It does not make your child smarter or more prepared for real life or a future job; nor is it necessary for healthy social development. It is pure entertainment attached to a marketing platform extracting bits and pieces of personal information and preferences from your child every time they use it, not to mention hours of their time and attention...

Friday, April 7, 2017

wife filed a protection order against Yantsos following his arrest, asking that the court restrict him from contacting herself and his daughter, who is a minor, and his two step-children, but a judge denied the petition...

...If he posts bond, Yantsos will also not be permitted to have any contact with the minor and would not be allowed on school property, Wolfe said. He would also have to provide the court with an address where he would be residing. Assistant State's Attorney Hannah Gleason said his wife has told attorneys he would not be welcome at their home.
On Thursday, Yantsos’ wife filed a protection order against Yantsos following his arrest, asking that the court restrict him from contacting herself and his daughter, who is a minor, and his two step-children, but a judge denied the petition...

Richard Montgomery Security Leader Accused of Sexually Abusing Student Held on 75,000 Bond

Child cried for 'mommy' during recorded sexual assault, police say

BURTONSVILLE, MD (WUSA9) - A Montgomery County man is charged with sexually abusing three girls, two of them younger than 5 years old.
An anonymous source told police Kyle S. Thompson, 31, showed off several videos of him having sex and molesting a 4-year-old girl and two other underage females.
According to charging documents, in one video the toddler cried “I want my mommy,” to which Thompson replied “Your mommy can’t save you!”
Another video showed the girl’s arms tied with a belt. She cried while Thompson performed a sexual act, police said.
The reported abuse lasted six months at Thompson’s home in Burtonsville and in a nearby wooded area...

Kennedy Center Performance Cancelled for Stedwick Kids Opera Company

The opera third grade students at Stedwick Elementary have worked on all school year will not be performed at the Kennedy Center after all. The Discover the Music Inside Kids Opera Company was scheduled to perform “Falling from Judgment” on May 24.  The opera company plans to put on a puppet show to share their work. Teacher Mary McGinn has been leading students through creation of opera productions for 16 years. She sent out the letter below to explain the reason for the cancellation...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

On Monday, Yantsos saw the girl’s mother enter school and head to the main office. Yantsos made contact with the girl while she was in class. They met in school, and Yantsos took custody of the iPhone he’d purchased for her.

...Investigators received copies of text messages Yantsos had recently sent the girl.
On Monday, Yantsos saw the girl’s mother enter school and head to the main office. 
Yantsos made contact with the girl while she was in class. They met in school, and Yantsos took custody of the iPhone he’d purchased for her...

MCPS Hired Security Guard who: "was accused of using his revolver to menace a female while working for the New York Police Department."

A Message from Dr. Jack R. Smith Regarding the Arrest of Mark Yantsos on Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor
April 6, 2017
“The allegations against Mark Yantsos, the security team leader at Richard Montgomery High School, are disturbing. As Principal Monteleone stated in his letter to the community (included below), the behavior described in the charging document “represents an irreparable breach of trust, ethics and the law.” Any adult who abuses their position and takes advantage of our students has no place in our schools or community.
“Additionally, it has come to our attention that in 1994, Mr. Yantsos was accused of using his revolver to menace a female while working for the New York Police Department. We have provided this information to the police.
“The safety of our students is paramount. In 2015, the Montgomery County Board of Education updated its policy regarding child abuse and neglect. Central to the updated policy are new practices, procedures and protocols to ensure students have a safe environment in which to learn. This includes: 
• updated mandatory training of all full-time employees on recognizing and reporting child abuse; and
• the development of the Employee Code of Conduct, a document that summarizes the standards of conduct that MCPS and the broader community expect employees to follow.
We remain vigilant in our efforts to ensure all of our students are in a safe environment.”