Sunday, February 23, 2020

What Happens When Everyone Looks Away. NYT: A Criminal Underworld of Child Abuse, Part 1. "Every major tech company is implicated."

A monthslong New York Times investigation has uncovered a digital underworld of child sexual abuse imagery that is hiding in plain sight. In part one of a two-part series, we look at the almost unfathomable scale of the problem — and just how little is being done to stop it...

Part 1 and 2:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/19/podcasts/the-daily/child-sex-abuse.html


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Do police belong in schools? A suburb wrangles with how to keep kids safe.

Susan Burkinshaw remembers feeling relieved when she saw a police car parked outside the high school her three children attended. “There’s an officer in the building,” she would tell herself. “If anything happens, there’s boots on the ground.”
But when Tiffany Kelly sees a cruiser near her 10-year-old son’s elementary school, her heartbeat quickens. Last year, the child, who has learning disabilities, was questioned by police at his school for playing with counterfeit money.
“I constantly live with this fear,” Kelly said. “If there’s a cop, I immediately think: What’s happened to Sadiq?”
These disparate views, in the same liberal Maryland suburb, illustrate the core of a thorny debate that has erupted over a community policing bill. The legislation includes a request to “maintain and expand” Montgomery County’s $3 million School Resource Officer (SRO) program, which places police in the county’s 25 public high schools. While the goal of the legislation was to bridge — not widen — the distance between law enforcement and marginalized groups, the clause on SROs has had the opposite effect...

Friday, February 21, 2020

These institutions [like MCPS] will not deny that they hid them, moved them, or protected these predators. MCPS had Inappropriate Interactions Database. #sexualpredators #sexualabuse #rape #METOOK12

Yesterday in Annapolis Maryland State Delegate C.T. Wilson spoke to his proposed legislation that would eliminate the Statute of Limitations in sexual abuse civil cases and allow victims from the past an additional two years to file claims.

Listen to Delegate C.T. Wilson's presentation in the video below about why it is hard for the victims of sexual abuse to come forward.  Listen as he talks about how institutions like the Catholic Church are opposed to this legislation.

Institutions.  

Institutions including Montgomery County Public Schools that kept an Inappropriate Interactions Database of suspected sexual predators and "investigated" allegations themselves rather than reporting those suspected sexual predators to the Police and Child Protective Services.

While those Board of Education members in 2015 were joking about having an Inappropriate Interactions Database, MCPS elementary school teacher John Vigna was in a classroom full of little children at the same time he had multiple reprimands in his personnel file telling him to stop lap sitting with the little girls.

John Vigna was not arrested until 2016.  Keeping suspected sexual predators in classrooms was happening in 2015 and was not something for the Board of Education to joke about. 

Delegate C.T. Wilson's legislation also applies to past victims of sexual abuse in Montgomery County Public Schools.

How many victims of sexual abuse by MCPS teachers and staff have not yet come forward? 


Former Quince Orchard wrestling coach gets probation on pornography charge. Dowloaded more than 1,000 files of child pornography.

A former Quince Orchard High School wrestling coach was sentenced Thursday to five years of probation on a child pornography charge. He also will serve six days in jail.
Dake Williams, 28, of North Potomac, was accused of downloading more than 1,000 files of child pornography in September.
Williams’ sentence on Thursday was five years of probation before judgment, meaning he must serve out his sentence but a guilty conviction won’t show up in his criminal record. To avoid additional incarceration, he must meet conditions laid out in the sentence that include group therapy and community service.

Maryland State Police arrested Williams on Sept. 9 after authorities got a warrant and searched his home...
...The search of Williams’ home and his arrest came two years after customs officials at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport found a package containing ecstasy addressed to Williams’ North Potomac home.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography on Dec. 20, according to state court records...

Hidden Predator Act would end statute of limitations on filing lawsuits in future cases

https://www.wbaltv.com/article/hidden-predator-act-maryland-end-statute-of-limitations-lawsuits/31025704

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Superintendent Jack R. Smith's Contract Has Not Actually Been Renewed

Contrary to what was reported on a Bethesda blog, the Board of Education has not actually renewed Superintendent Jack R. Smith's contract.

What the Montgomery County Board of Education actually did on February 10, 2020, was take a vote to renew his contract pending negotiation of mutually agreeable terms.  There is no document to sign at this time.

The actual Resolution passed by the Board of Education said that the contract would be renewed:

"...pending mutual agreement and
 approval of the contract terms."


At this time there is no agreement between the parties as to the terms of a new contract.  First the parties have to agree to the new terms, and then the actual contract has to come back before the Board of Education for a vote.

Cell Tower Vendors on Board of Education Land Owe $165,000 in Property Taxes #Again

The Montgomery County Board of Education has cell towers on 12 pieces of public school land. 11 of those cell towers are on Board of Education property where a public school is currently located.

7 of those cell towers have vendors who have not been paying their Maryland Property Taxes. The amount of property tax dues for each vendor is shown in the images below.  The account number is shown on the MCPS list of cell towers and on the property tax bills below. Note some cell towers have multiple vendors.

The Parents' Coalition discovered unpaid property taxes in 2013, and in 2015and in 2016and again in 2017, on cell tower compounds located on Board of Education land. 










Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Montgomery Co. students launch effort to assist disabled classmates in emergencies

...“While evacuating, I noticed that one girl who was in a wheelchair waited in an area of refuge while everyone else evacuated,” he told the school board at a meeting last week.
The students researched the school’s policy on emergencies and discovered the girl was doing exactly what Montgomery County Public Schools policy required.
The policy urges students unable to safely evacuate alone to wait on an upper floor inside the building until a fire department official arrives to facilitate the evacuation because there isn’t equipment in place for school employees to do so.
The students came prepared with a few potential solutions, including an award-winning device they invented...

Maryland’s ER wait times — the time spent in the emergency room before being admitted to the hospital or being sent home — are the longest in the country

...In response, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue has instituted a program called Direct to Triage. The goal of the program is to identify patients stable enough to wait their turn in the emergency department lobby, and let them sit in the waiting room, freeing up the ambulance to leave to be ready to take other calls...

https://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2020/02/montgomery-county-er-ambulance-wait-times/

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Montgomery County v. FCC: Oral Argument Before US Court of Appeals for 9th Circuit. 5G... "may be dangerous, maybe they are not" "



Montgomery County, MD's appellate brief submitted in this matter:

https://www.nlc.org/sites/default/files/users/user56109/Montgomery%20County%20Brief%20on%20Merits%20filed%206%2010%202019.pdf

Maryland lawmakers can improve on 50-year legacy of transparency #MPIA #Transparency #PublicInformation

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Maryland Public Information Act. The “PIA” guarantees governmental transparency by requiring State and local government agencies, upon request, to allow for the inspection of their records “with the least cost and least delay,” subject to certain exceptions for confidentiality, privacy, and privilege.
Public records have changed a lot in 50 years, as government at all levels transitions into the digital age. But the core right guaranteed by the PIA — the right of citizens to know what their government is up to — has not...

Bowen Levy went to school one day and never came home

...Advocates for students with disabilities said Bowen’s death has gained notice far beyond Central Special.
“It’s just so upsetting to hear about this when it could’ve been, and should’ve been, entirely preventable,” said Lyda Astrove, a longtime advocate for students with special needs in neighboring Montgomery County, who said Bowen’s death stirred concern in online discussions and on Facebook.
“The whole community has been heartbroken for them,” she said of the Levys...

Monday, February 17, 2020

Governor announces Maryland's first education inspector general

Former federal law enforcement official to serve as schools' watchdog


Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday the appointment of Maryland's first inspector general for education.
Hogan announced the appointment of Richard P. Henry, who has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience at the federal level and currently serves as executive director of the Maryland State Department of Education's Office of Compliance and Monitoring...

Update: Maine School will Not be Receiving 200+ Tons of Crumb Rubber from WJHS Football Field. Where will it go?

The Parents' Coalition has learned from Sarah Craighead Dedmon the Editor of the Machias Valley News Observer that the school in Maine that was listed as the destination for the 200+ tons of crumb rubber infill removed from the WJHS artificial turf football field will not be receiving the crumb rubber.

MCPS will need to update their plan for the removal of the 200+ tons of crumb rubber removed from the WJHS artificial turf.

Where will it go?

Images from the 200+ tons of crumb rubber removed
from the WJHS artificial turf field. Each bag is 1 ton. 



MCEA: “The jobs were not posted, there weren’t interviews." #SuddenlyProcessMatters

...The most recent example came on Feb. 10, as Smith announced during a school board meeting that several central office departments would merge to form two new departments.
During the meeting, the school board appointed staff members to head the departments and filled vacancies in other administrative roles.
Lloyd said he learned of the changes six minutes before the meeting...

State BOE Superintdent Search Firm will not come to Montgomery County. MCPS is Largest School System in MD. #HazardYoungAttea

In 2011, when the Maryland State Department of Education was picking a new State Superintendent the search firm held a forum in Montgomery County to hear from parents in the largest school system in the State.

The Maryland State Department of Education is once again looking for a new State Superintendent but this time the search firm, the same search firmed used in the past, will not come to Montgomery County.

This search firm gets used over and over again in Maryland, even when their are issues with their vetting of candidates.  Why would they avoid the largest school system in the State when reaching out to parents, teachers and community members?




https://news.maryland.gov/msde/state-superintendent-search-community-forums-scheduled/

Friday, February 14, 2020

BCPS Spokesman: "Whole bunch of different people" supported sex offender at Parkville High

Board of Ed. Pat O'Neill Thinks Super Bowl LIV was Played on Artificial Turf #NaturalGrass #NotPlastic

At the Board of Education meeting on February 10, 2020, Board of Education member Pat O'Neill asked MCPS staff to research what the protocols were on the artificial turf in the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

Pat O'Neill said, "...I just have a question...Last Sunday when I was watching the Super Bowl in Hard Rock Stadium in Miami I noticed that it was on artificial turf.
(interrupted with correction from public)
It was, it was artificial turf.
(again interrupted) 
No, it was artificial..."
https://mcpsmd.new.swagit.com/videos/40658?ts=3163

Here is a news report on the natural grass football field used in the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami for Super Bowl LIV.

https://www.kshb.com/sports/crews-prep-hard-rock-stadium-field-for-super-bowl-liv

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Additionally, according to charging documents, police say Brown has “extensive criminal history.” #ClarksburgHS #Arrest #Robbery

5 Clarksburg High School students arrested after a handgun was brought to school


MCPS Hiring General Counsel

General Counsel
Company Name  Montgomery County Public Schools Company Location  Rockville, Maryland, United States
Posted DatePosted 1 week ago
Number of applicants
43 applicants

Description
SUMMARY DESCRIPTION:
The general counsel is responsible for ensuring cost-effective, creative, and proactive legal problem solving of the highest quality to assist the Board, the superintendent of schools, and other Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff to navigate legal requirements, evaluate and manage legal risk, align and conserve resources, promote collaborative dispute resolution and reduce avoidable litigation, if possible, and engage in strategic decision making to promote equity and academic excellence for all students. The general counsel reports directly to the superintendent of schools (superintendent) and the superintendent will supervise day-to-day school, administrative, and operational matters involving the general counsel. As a member of the superintendent's cabinet, it is expected that the Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) officers and the Board's chief of staff will work with general counsel on matters directly related to the daily work of the Board office. Serves as legal advisor on matters related to policy decision making. The superintendent and Board officers will collaborate on legal matters that have systemic implications or impact the overall operation of MCPS. Coordinates all legal counsel serving MCPS and the Board and supervises attorneys and other staff in the Office of the General Counsel.


Five Clarksburg High School Students Arrested after Handgun Brought to School

Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 5th District Investigative Section have arrested five Clarksburg High School students with offenses related to the possession of a handgun at Clarksburg High School.  The five students arrested are:
  • Tyson Brown, age 16, of Clarksburg – charged as an adult with possession of a handgun, robbery, and conspiracy to commit robbery

  • Justin Ferguson, age 18, of Gaithersburg, charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery

  • Juvenile male, age 15, charged as a juvenile with possession of a handgun and possession of a deadly weapon on school grounds

  • Juvenile male, age 15, charged as a juvenile with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery

  • Juvenile male, age 16, charged as a juvenile with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery
On Monday, February 10, at approximately 1:00 p.m., the School Resource Officer (SRO) assigned to and working at Clarksburg High School (located at 22500 Wims Road) was notified by an administrator that a 15-year-old student had been a victim of a robbery earlier that day.  The SRO also received information from a witness that this victim had brought a gun to school.
The SRO located the robbery victim in the school.  A search of the student’s backpack revealed a loaded handgun magazine.  The student admitted that he had brought a handgun to school that day.
Additional investigation by detectives revealed that the victim of the robbery (who brought the gun to school) and the four additional suspects all met in the bathroom in the morning.  At some point during the interaction, the four suspects stole the handgun and the robbery victim’s wallet and cash.
The three juveniles who have been charged as juveniles were arrested, processed at the 5th District station, and released to their parents/guardians.  The two suspects charged as adults have been transported to the Central Processing Unit.
This is an active and ongoing investigation.  Multiple searches have been conducted but the handgun has not been recovered.
Anyone who has information about this incident is asked to call the 5th District Investigative Section at 240-773-5770.  Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Note: A mugshot of Ferguson is not available at this time.  It will be added to this press release if it becomes available.  Mugshots of juveniles are not released.

Bradley Hills ES After-school leader sentenced to probation for indecent exposure

...No was charged in June with six counts of indecent exposure, stemming from an “incident” on May 21, Principal Karen Caroscio wrote in a June 14 letter to parents. Caroscio did not provide any additional details.
Caroscio wrote that Montgomery County police asked her not to share any information about the incident until police could start investigating.

Asked on Tuesday if there was more information about the case, police did not have additional details to offer...
...During Tuesday’s hearing, a prosecutor with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s office said there were five victims, all currently ages 6 through 9...

https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/courts/after-school-leader-sentenced-to-probation-for-indecent-exposure/

Students Tell Board of Ed.: " I know that I would be traumatized if I had to wait inside a burning building while my classmates evacuated."... "We think that MCPS’s current practices also don’t comply with federal or state law."



 February 9, 2020

 Ayush Talukder/Srijani Chakraborty:

     Hello, my name is Srijani (or Ayush), and I attend Julius West Middle School in Rockville (or Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring). I am joined by fellow MCPS middle schoolers. Together, we are a First Lego League Team, the Nuts and Bolts. FIRST LEGO League or FLL is the result of an alliance between FIRST and the LEGO Company to groom tomorrow’s thinkers, innovators and engineers. We design and program Lego Mindstorm robots, but we also work together on an Innovation Project. The Innovation Project challenges us to develop solutions to a problem currently facing the world.

     We, Team Nuts and Bolts, have chosen to address the evacuation of disabled children in schools during an emergency. We have researched and spoken to experts, and have invented our own solution. But today, we are here to ask this Board to provide funding to take steps now that will allow all children to be safely evacuated during an emergency. 

Ayush Dave:

     My name is Ayush Dave, and I attend Rocky Hill Middle School in Clarksburg, Maryland. About 2 months ago, there was a fire emergency in my school. While evacuating, I noticed that one girl, who was in a wheelchair, waited in an Area of Refuge while everyone else left. My team and I spoke to and emailed the following experts: Mike Harting and Ed Clarke from the School Safety Office; Eastern Middle School’s principal, a local school architect, the Rockville Fire Department, and two mothers whose children had temporary or permanent disabilities. We learned that MCPS requires disabled students on an upper floor to wait until the fire department arrives before being evacuated.  We also learned that people with disabilities are much more likely to die or be injured in a disaster, in part due to an inability to evacuate. 

     I know that I would be traumatized if I had to wait inside a burning building while my classmates evacuated. What would happen if your child broke their leg? How would you feel knowing that, in a fire, your child would be left upstairs to wait for the fire department?

Ellis Chung: 

     My name is Ellis, and I attend Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring. We think that MCPS’s current practices also don’t comply with federal or state law. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires disabled students to be allowed to participate in evacuations and drills. Court cases have been filed by the Department of Justice against schools who failed to evacuate their disabled students. The ADA also protects employees with disabilities. In 2017, Maryland unanimously passed HB 1061, requiring school systems to update their emergency plans to evacuate students, staff, and visitors with disabilities. Schools were required to comply by July 1, 2018, but as of today, Montgomery County’s school fire safety plan still prohibits the movement of disabled children down stairs except by firefighters and rescue squad personnel. In August 2020, all Maryland schools will be required to submit a report showing how they have complied with HB 1061. Will MCPS be ready?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Man called largest child porn ‘facilitator’ pleads guilty

GREENBELT — A man once described by an FBI agent as the world’s largest “facilitator” of child pornography websites pleaded guilty Thursday to operating a web hosting service that allowed users to anonymously access hundreds of thousands of images and videos depicting the rape and torture of infants and older children.
Eric Eoin Marques, 34, faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years after his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to advertise child pornography. A plea agreement will ask U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland to sentence Marques to 15 to 21 years in prison, but the judge is not bound by the recommendation.
Marques can withdraw his guilty plea if the judge departs from that recommended range. Chuang is scheduled to sentence Marques on May 11.
Marques, who spent years fighting his extradition from Ireland to the U.S., operated a web hosting service on the darknet that allowed thousands of users to view and share child pornography, according to a court filing Thursday.
Marques, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland, has remained in custody since his August 2013 arrest in Dublin after an extradition request from the U.S. He was living in Ireland at the time of the alleged offenses. The server that he allegedly used was in France...

Crush of Bills Is Unmanageable, Lawmakers Warn

There is growing consensus in Annapolis that the General Assembly is getting snowed in by an avalanche of legislation.
“We have to do something,” said Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s), the chairman of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, in an interview. “Quantity has gotten in the way of quality, and that’s a problem.”
The regular deadline for filing a bill this session was Monday in the Senate and Friday in the House. As of midday on Thursday, senators had filed 999 bills, delegates 1,150...
Bills can still be introduced later in the session but they must go through extra hurdles before being considered by committees.
Pinsky said the panel he leads has had several meetings this year during which 20 or more bills were heard. Some sessions ran past 9 p.m. “That’s just impossible,” he told his colleagues on Thursday.

Monday, February 10, 2020

MCPS Board of Ed. approves 40/60 payment plan with school bus stop-arm camera contractor. Zero $$ for Police Department.



Montgomery County Inspector General's Report on bus stop arm camera scheme from 2019

'The hazing ritual is notorious.' Damascus H.S. rape victims file lawsuit against MCPS

Today at Noon: Kojo Show to Discuss Damascus HS Lawsuits. Board of Ed and Jack Smith Won't Show Up to Discuss #sexabuse #failuretoreport

Board of Education, Superintendent and all other top MCPS administrators will not appear on Kojo Nnamdi show today to discuss sexual abuse of students in schools.

The failure of MCPS staff to report the sexual abuse of students is a decades old problems and extends far beyond the athletics program.


https://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2020-02-10/montgomery-county-public-schools-faces-lawsuit-alleging-negligence-at-damascus-high

Bill to Require MD Schools to Teach Print & Cursive Handwriting

From Facebook:

Elizabeth Levy-Hembling shared a link.

Del Joseph Joseph Carroll Boteler is sponsoring a bill that will be heard on February 13th (Thursday) in the House Ways and Means Committee requiring public schools to teach print handwriting by 3rd grade and cursive by 5th grade. The bill number is HB 725. This bill will face opposition from school systems that do not want the state to dictate to them. We need parents to write letters/testimony to support this bill.
Handwriting was taken out of much of the curriculum because of common core. It is so much more important than being able to write a signature or read cursive. There is a ton of data connecting handwriting instruction to spelling, reading, content of writing, note taking, and the retention of material. The science behind the importance of handwriting and how it is connected to literacy as well as lifetime academic achievement is well documented, yet most parents are unaware of the importance of kids learning to write properly. Please help support this bill. I fear it will be an uphill battle, and we really need your support. You can send letters to Del Boteler’s office. Emails for the committee are attached.
Thank you!

House Ways and Means Committee

darryl.barnes@house.state.md.us
joseph.boteler@house.state.md.us 
jason.buckel@house.state.md.us
alice.cain@house.state.md.us
eric.ebersole@house.state.md.us
jessica.feldmark@house.state.md.us
michele.guyton@house.state.md.us
kevin.hornberger@house.state.md.us
julien.ivey@house.state.md.us
anne.kaiser@house.state.md.us 
maryann.lisanti@house.state.md.us
bob.long@house.state.md.us 
eric.luedtke@house.state.md.us
nick.mosby@house.state.md.us 
julie.palakovichcarr@house.state.md.us
edith.patterson@house.state.md.us 
april.rose@house.state.md.us 
haven.shoemaker@house.state.md.us
stephanie.smith@house.state.md.us
jheanelle.wilkins@house.state.md.us

Denuncian condiciones insalubres y hacinamiento en escuela de Germantown

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Protocols for the Election of the Student Member of the Board of Education Montgomery County, MD

Monday, February 10th at 5 PM is the deadline for registering Delegates, Alternates and Observers to the Nominating Convention to select the next Student Member of the Board of Education.

Please note the Montgomery County Student Government is open to MCPS school students and private school students.

Protocols for the Election of the 2020-21 school year Student Member of the Board of Education.



https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/departments/student-leadership/smob/SMOB%20Election%20Protocols%202020_2021.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3FFDI3eRMkcnQn9NeJ4k4Gs-mJWEngMJrt24IWQlZpJMCcNsQSNtLefoI

Constitution and Bylaws of the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils

Constitution and Bylaws of the 
Montgomery County Region (MCR)
of the Maryland Association of Student Councils


Preamble
We, the high school students of Montgomery County, in order to initiate educational reform, promote good relations among Montgomery County high schools, provide a forum for the students of those schools to express their opinions, act on directives of those students, and express the collective opinions of Montgomery County high school students to the schools, the Montgomery County Board of Education, County Council, and the general community, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils.
ARTICLE I - Name
The name of this organization shall be the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils, hereafter referred to as MCR.

ARTICLE II - Sponsorship and Advisor

Section 1. Sponsorship - MCR shall be under the sponsorship of the Board of Education, Montgomery County Public Schools, hereafter referred to as MCPS.
Section 2. Advisor - The Advisor to MCR shall be selected by the superintendent of MCPS by a process agreed upon by MCR.

ARTICLE III - Affiliations and Associations

Section 1. Affiliations - MCR shall maintain affiliations with the Maryland Association of Student Councils, hereafter referred to as MASC; and with such organizations as may be specified in the Bylaws.
Section 2. Associations - MCR shall maintain associations with the Montgomery County Junior Councils, hereafter referred to as MCJC; and with such organizations as may be specified in the Bylaws.
MCJC shall be a constitutionally independent and separate entity to MCR and will be represented in the Executive Board by one voting representative and four voting representatives in the General Assembly. Additionally, MCR shall maintain a close relationship with MCJC.

ARTICLE IV - Membership
Section 1. Affiliates - Any high school student government organization in Montgomery County, including student government organizations of public and private high schools, shall be eligible for affiliate membership in MCR and shall become an affiliate upon payment of dues such as are specified in the Bylaws.

Section 2. Associates - Other groups or individuals residing in Montgomery County and having an interest in the welfare of its youth, not eligible for executive or affiliate membership, shall be eligible for associate membership in MCR upon approval by the Executive Board and shall become an associate upon payment of dues such as are specified in the Bylaws.

ARTICLE V - General Assembly
Section 1. Membership - Membership in the General Assembly shall be limited to the elected officers of MCR, Executive Board members, voting representatives of MCJC, and to those delegates selected from and by the student bodies of the schools the affiliates represent. The number of delegates shall be determined, as specified in the bylaws, by affiliate enrollment.
Section 2. Meetings
Clause 1. Except as provided for this Constitution or in the Bylaws, all meetings of the General Assembly shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
Clause 2. The General Assembly shall meet a minimum of 8 times per school year, when feasible, at times and places to be determined by the Executive Board or the General Assembly. The Executive Board or the General Assembly shall be empowered to reschedule meetings as well as call additional ones.
Clause 3. All members of MCR shall be provided with notice of a meeting of the General Assembly at least 9 school days prior to the meeting.
Clause 4. All meetings of the General Assembly shall be chaired by the President, Vice President, or Treasurer, in that order, each successive officer assuming the chair should the preceding one be unable to do so. Should all 3 officers be unable to assume the chair, the Secretary shall convene the meeting and preside until the General Assembly elects a temporary chair.
Clause 5. Each member of the General Assembly shall be allowed one and only one vote in the General Assembly, with the exception of the chair who shall vote only at such times as his/her vote will affect the outcome of a vote.
Clause 6. Non-delegates from affiliates, and delegates of associates, and others, by permission of the chair, shall be entitled to be observers of the General Assembly and shall be accorded all privileges of members save that of suffrage.
Section 3. Duties and Responsibilities - The General Assembly shall regulate its membership and that of MCR; hear the recommendations of its various committees; regulate its own affairs; legislate as it deems necessary; direct the Executive Board and the President in such matters over which it is not specifically denied jurisdiction by this constitution; and serve to elect the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary of MCR.

ARTICLE VI - Officers and Standing Committees
Section 1. Elected Officers - The elected officers of MCR shall be the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.
Clause 1. The elected officers of MCR shall have attended at least 4 meetings of the General Assembly and 2 meetings of the Executive Board prior to the election of the officers. Elected officers must also meet all academic requirements as set forth in policy and regulations by the Montgomery County Board of Education.
Clause 2. The elected officers shall have those voting rights accorded to them in this Constitution.
Clause 3. The elected officers shall take office prior to the close of the last regular meeting of the Executive Board of the school year, and shall serve until the completion of their terms, which shall be defined as the last regular meeting of the Executive Board in the year of service.
Section 2. General Elections
Clause 1. The general elections of officers shall occur at the next-to last regular meeting of the General Assembly in that school year.
Clause 2. The Executive Board shall be notified of all nominations at a meeting of that body prior to the elections meeting of the General Assembly. Nominating shall be formally presented to the General Assembly on the day of the elections meeting.
Clause 3. The procedures and rules governing the election of officers shall be specified in the Bylaws and shall be reviewed by the Executive Board prior to an election.
Section 3. Duties and Responsibilities
Clause 1. The President shall:
• Chair all meetings of the General Assembly, the Executive Board , and the regional caucus at MASC functions;
• Represent MCR at meetings of the MASC Executive Board; In case the president is absent, a representative, may take his/her place at the meeting, with full voting privileges.
• Represent the viewpoint of MCR to the community-at-large;
• Appoint eligible people to fill positions such as are specified in the Bylaws
• Directly oversee and supervise the appointed staff of the Executive Board;
• Be an ex-officio member of all committees;
• Carry out directives of the General Assembly or the Executive Board ; and
• Perform all other functions devolving upon the office.
Clause 2. The Vice President shall:
• Assume the duties which the President is unable to fulfill;
• Act as student advisor to MCJC and attend meetings of the Executive Board of the organization;
• Be an ex-officio member of all committees;
• Carry out directives of the General Assembly, the Executive Board , or the President; and
• Assume the presidency should the office be vacated.
• Supervise the MCJC Liaison;
Clause 3. The Treasurer shall:
• Prepare a budget proposal for the fiscal year, which shall be defined as July 1 through June 30;
• Supervise the collection of dues and maintain records of membership status;
• Maintain complete and accurate financial records for MCR;
• Handle all monetary matters;
• Coordinate the selection of and fundraising efforts for the MCR charity.
• Assume the duties which the Vice President is unable to fulfill;
• Carry out directives of the General Assembly, the Executive Board , or the President; and
• Become acting vice-president should the office be vacated until such time as a special election shall be held to fill the office.
Clause 4. The Secretary shall:
• Take complete and accurate minutes of all meetings and publish those minutes;
• Handle all matters of correspondence for MCR and maintain records of that correspondence;
• Oversee all information dissemination activities of MCR;
• Publicize scheduled MCR meetings and activities;
• Carry out directives of the General Assembly, the Executive Board , or the President;
• Maintain the roll of all meetings of the General Assembly and Executive Board ;
• Advise the president on procedural matters;
• Review the Constitution every year before the first regularly scheduled General Assembly;
• Facilitate the revision of the platform every January
• Recommend changes to the Constitution;
• Aid all members of the General Assembly in understanding matters of procedure; and
• Supervise any roll call vote taken at meetings of the General Assembly and Executive Board .
Section 4. Standing Committees - The standing committees of MCR which are specified in the Bylaws shall exist.

ARTICLE VII - Executive Board
The Executive Board shall be composed of all executive members of MCR and shall embody all authority such as is delegated it by this Constitution, the Bylaws, and the General Assembly.
Section 1. Membership
Clause 1. All elected officers of MCR, presidents of affiliate organizations, and the Vice President of MCJC or his/her representatives shall become executive members upon filing their respective positions.
Clause 2. All chairs of standing committees and those staff members whose positions are specified in the Bylaws shall become executive members upon appointment by the President
Section 2. Meetings
Clause 1. Except for as provided for in this Constitution or the Bylaws, all meetings of the Executive Board shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
Clause 2. The Executive Board shall meet not less than once each month during the school year at a time and place to be determined by the President or the Executive Board . The President or the Executive Board shall be empowered to reschedule meetings as well as to call additional ones.
Clause 3. All executive members shall be provided with notice of all meetings of the Executive Board at least 7 days prior to the meeting.
Clause 4. All meetings of the Executive Board shall be chaired by the President, Vice President, or Treasurer; in that order, each successive officer assuming the chair should the preceding one be unable to do so. Should all 3 officers be unable to assume the chair, the Secretary shall convene the meeting and preside until the Executive Board elects a temporary chairs.
Clause 5. Each executive member shall be allowed one and only one vote in the Executive Board with the exception of the chair, who shall vote only at such times as his/her vote will affect the outcome of the vote.
Clause 6. Those who are not executive members of MCR shall by permission of the chair, be entitled to be observers of the Executive Board and shall be accorded all privileges of executive members save that of suffrage.

ARTICLE VIII - Powers and Accountability

Section 1. Powers - If a power is not specifically denied the General Assembly or defined by this Constitution, and the same power is specifically granted the President or the Executive Board or both; the General Assembly shall be empowered by a simple majority, to prevent either the President or the Executive Board from considering a question devolving from that power; and likewise the Executive Board shall be empowered by a 2/3 vote, to prevent the President from considering a question devolving from that power.
Section 2. Impeachment and Removal of Elected Officers of MCR- Procedures for the impeachment and removal of all elected officers of MCR shall be the same.
Clause 1. The impeachment of a MCR elected officer shall occur when a petition stating the charges against the officer is approved by a majority of the individual affiliate members and is filed with the Executive Board
Clause 2. Upon receipt of the petition, the Executive Board shall investigate the charges.
Clause 3. Not more than 28 school days following the receipt of the petition the Executive Board shall convene a hearing on the impeachment.
Clause 4. After the hearing, the Executive Board shall vote on removal of the member, which shall require a vote of 2/3 of the entire Executive Board .
Section 3. Succession and Replacement
Clause 1. Any position in MCR that does not require an election by the General Assembly shall be filled according to procedures as outlined in the Bylaws.
Clause 2. If the office of President is vacated, its duties and responsibilities shall be filled by the Vice President. The Vice President shall appoint a person to replace him/her by a majority vote of approval by the Executive Board ; this person shall be know as the "Acting Vice President" until a special election is held to fill the vacancy. Should the office of Treasurer, or Secretary be vacated, said replacement procedure shall be the same as prescribed for the replacement of the Vice President.
Clause 3. Any elected position vacated before the term of office has expired shall be filed by a special election in the General Assembly no more than 40 school days following the vacating of said office, only if the said special election occurs 60 school days prior to the general election for the following year. The election shall be conducted according to the procedures and rules specified in the Bylaws for general elections.

ARTICLE IX - Bylaws
There shall exist a set of governing rules and policies of MCR, separate from this Constitution, to be know as the Bylaws.
Section 1. Contents - The Bylaws shall contain:
• The terms and details of any affiliations or associations not provided for in the Constitution;
• All policies regarding annual dues and delegate representation scheduled for affiliate and associate members;
• All policies regarding standing committees;
• The duties and responsibilities of any staff member not provided for in the Constitution;
• The rules and procedures guiding election of officers; and
• Any further rules guiding the operation of the Executive Board and the General Assembly such as are deemed necessary.
Section 2. Annual Review - Each incoming President shall review the Bylaws and submit his/her proposal to the Executive Board prior to the convening of the first meeting of the General Assembly. The bylaws shall take effect upon approval by two-thirds vote of the Executive Board and shall expire 45 days following the first day of the term of the incoming president.
Section 3. Amendments
Clause 1. The Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the Executive Board .
Clause 2. The Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the General Assembly.


ARTICLE X - Amendments
This Constitution may be amended by 2/3 of the General Assembly if all members of MCR are informed of the proposed amendment at least 9 school days prior to the vote; otherwise, it may be amended by 4/5 of the total membership of the General Assembly.
ARTICLE XI - Ratification This constitution shall take effect as the MCR Constitution when approved as an amendment to the standing MCR Constitution.
Ratified: October 21, 1982
Amended: May 1985; May 1995; November 2000; February 2002, February 2005, February 23, 2007, November 4, 2010

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The Montgomery County Region (MCR) of the Maryland Association of Student Councils

Bylaws to the Constitution


ARTICLE I - Affiliations and Associations

MCR shall be affiliated or associated with those groups as defined by the MCR Constitution.

ARTICLE II - Dues and Delegate Representation Schedules


Section 1. Individual associations seeking associate membership shall pay $10.00 in annual dues and have all rights except for voting priviledges.
Section 2. Affiliates shall be allotted a number of select delegates to the General Assembly based on total enrollment. Affiliates are encouraged to select two permanent delegates to attend the General Assembly for a year. Individual associations seeking affiliate membership shall pay as follows in annual dues:

Enrollment
Voting DelegatesDues
000-1993$30
200-3994$33
400-5995$36
600-7996$39
800-9997$42
1000-11998$45
1200-13999$48
1400-159910$51
1600-179911$54
1800-199912$57
2000-219913$60
2200-239914$63
2400-259915$66
2600-279916$69
2800-299917$72
3000-319918$75
3200-339919$78
Section 3. All affiliates shall pay annual dues by the first regularly scheduled General Assembly. Failure to pay dues shall result in the loss of General Assembly voting privileges until such time as said dues are paid.
Section 4:
 Schools joining both MCR and MASC through MCR on or before November 1st shall receive a $5.00 discount on their MCR dues.


ARTICLE III - Standing Committees

Section 1. The Special Elections Committee shall be a countywide committee comprised of students from grades 6-12. The MCR Special Elections Administrator shall chair this committee. This committee shall be responsible for administering the annual election of the Student Member of the Board of Education. Every high school within Montgomery County is encouraged to send one student delegate to serve as a liaison on the Special Elections Committee for the election of the Student Member of the Board of Education.
Section 2. Other standing committees of MCR shall be as listed in Article IV.
ARTICLE IV - Staff Members
Section 1. The Special Elections Administrator shall: organize and monitor the annual elections of the Student Member of the Board of Education; evaluate the election and prepare a report that shall be submitted to the Executive Board; chair the Special Elections Committee.
Section 2.
The two Special Elections Deputies shall assist the Special Elections Administrator in his/her duties.
Section 3. The Public Affairs Director shall: promote an understanding among MCPS students of their rights and responsibilities; plan and execute advocacy training workshops; share student advocacy tips at MCR meetings ; work in coordination with outside organizations as necessary in order to effectively communicate student related issues (i.e. SMOB Council); coordinate and oversee voter registration initiatives at each high school; coordinate MCR action on affairs and items of interest to the Montgomery County high school student body.
Section 4
The Lobbying Director shall: research and monitor the development of legislation related to education and youth issues under consideration by the Board of Education, the County Council, and the Maryland General Assembly; propose positions and draft testimony on said issues for presentation in the appropriate forums; coordinate MCR lobbying and testimony efforts; empower student leaders with legislative resources, information, and training; attend MASC Legislative Lobbying Day , MASC Legislative Session, and BOE and County Council Meetings as appropriate.
Section 5. The MCR Logistics Director shall: assist the MCR Advisor on administrative tasks of MCR; keep accurate attendance records at all MCR events and track elected and appointed staff student service learning hours; write correspondence and messages on behalf of MCR at the request of the President/Advisor (thank you notes for schools hosting MCR events and to special presenters at MCR events, etc. using official MCR letterhead); work to ensure all phases of student service-learning (SSL) are followed for MCR activities; present quality SSL activity and program ideas at MCR meetings and/or in the MCR newsletters; work with the Student Affairs Office to maintain the MCR website.
Section 6. The MCR Events Director shall: work with the Executive Board in planning food, snacks, facilities, and clean-up for MCR Executive Board meetings and other special MCR events as needed; ensure recycling is practiced at all meetings and promote environmental awareness among the Executive Board and General Assembly attendants; organize and coordinate the delegate breakout sessions at the General Assembly (with design assistance provided by the executive board); assist MCR with the development of supplemental programs as may be appropriate; work with the MCPS Department of Family and Community Partnerships
and with assets who have attended study circles in the past to explore diversity related actions and/or initiatives.
Section 7. The Public Relations Director shall: promote awareness and understanding about MCR throughout the county’s high schools and community media outlets (morning announcements, school newspapers, etc .); prepare press releases at the request of staff members; distribute correspondence at the request of staff members upon authorization from the President/Advisor; publish a MCR newsletter at the end of each quarter ; contact school presidents and advisors at the request of the President; serve as the historian by taking pictures at each MCR General Assembly, Executive Board Meeting, or other event in order to design and maintain the end of the year MCR scrapbook.
Section 8. 
The Chief of Staff shall: ensure, through regular phone calls and email messages, that all members of the Executive Board are completing their duties; conduct routine evaluations of all MCR activities (including Executive Board meetings and General Assembly meetings) and present these evaluations to the Executive Board each month; compile the annual MCR report to the Board of Education; collect regular staff and committee reports; make recommendations on improving MCR activities; serve as a general assistant to the President of MCR.
Section 9. The MCCPTA Liaison shall: assist the President in supporting representation of MCR to various County stake- holders; prepare presentations about MCR to MCCPTA members; prepare presentations about MCCPTA to MCR members; attend all MCCPTA meetings and other MCCPTA related events as necessary; serve as the conduit between MCR and MCCPTA, delivering MCR’s standpoints and perspectives to the MCCPTA and vice versa; work with the Lobbying Director to collaborate with selected issues of the MCCPTA.
Section 10. All staff members shall: fulfill and complete their tasks and duties to the best extent of their abilities, comply with MCPS policies and regulations, attend all Executive Board and General Assembly meetings; actively participate in MCR activities; maintain regular communication with the Chief of Staff, officers, other staff members, and the advisor ; give monthly progress reports on activities and tasks, and submit a year end report relating to  their actions during that year. Additionally, the Executive Board members are to serve as liaisons to their high schools, ensuring full participation and consistent communication. A single dereliction of a duty mentioned above shall be considered a breach of contract and a violation of the responsibilities of a staff member, potentially leading to impeachment as specified in Article VII.
Section 11. The President shall have the authority to appoint eligible people to fill vacant positions such as are specified in the Bylaws should vacancies arise.
Section 12.The Executive Board may establish new staff positions or eliminate vacant staff positions in the bylaws by a 2/3 vote, following a formal request from the President.
Section 13. Deputies to each of the aforementioned staff members will be appointed accordingly and will serve as staff members under the direct supervision of their director or administrator. Deputies will be appointed to all positions with the exception of the MCCPTA Liaison and the MCR Logistics Director. Should the need arise for deputies for any of these specific staff positions, a formal request will be written and submitted to the Executive Board that will then be confirmed by a 2/3 vote. The MCR Staff Deputies shall: assist in completing the tasks/responsibilities of their respective supervising directors; act as the standing director should the director be absent in any event (General Assembly, Executive Board, etc.); provide active input and communicate effectively with their corresponding director; serve as an active member of the MCR Executive Board.

      
ARTICLE V - Elections and Related Activities

Section 1. The Executive Board shall establish and approve the rules and procedures that shall govern the election of officers, special elections, referenda, and other events that require a systematic and precise reporting of the intent or wishes of the General Assembly or member schools. Said rules and procedures shall be made known to the membership no less than 14 days prior to said special event.
Section 2. The Executive Board shall review and approve the rules and procedures that shall govern the election of officers in the spring of that year, a minimum of a month prior to the election.
Section 3
. Rules and procedures governing elections, special elections, referenda, and other special events shall be maintained on file in the Student Affairs Office.

ARTICLE VI - General Assembly Participants

Section 1
Each school that is a member of MCR shall be strongly encouraged to have at least one student actively serving on each of the MCR committees.
Section 2. Each school that is a member of MCR shall be strongly encouraged to nominate an individual as its school’s MCR liaison. The MCR Executive Board shall confirm with a majority vote only those liaisons present at the meeting. The liaison, upon confirmation by the majority vote of the Executive Board, shall, as a member of the Executive Board: serve as a link between MCR and his/her school; coordinate the school’s delegates to General Assemblies; become a voting member of the Executive Board following his/her school’s payment of dues; and receive one vote to be added to his/her school’s number of voting delegates as specified in Article 2, Section 2 of the Bylaws to the Constitution.  Only the confirmed liaison of a member school may exercise the right to the additional vote.  This vote may not be transferred to another.
Section 3. In the event that the President of a school is also an elected member of MCR or confirmed as a staff member, then he/she may, with the consent of his/her school’s student government, appoint a representative from his/her school to serve as his/her school’s presidential representative vote on the MCR Executive Board or General
Assembly.

ARTICLE VII - Impeachment and Removal of Staff Members
Section 1.Procedures for the impeachment and removal of all chairs of standing committees and staff members whose positions are specified in the Bylaws shall be the same.
Section 2.
Clause 1. Following three discrete violations of Article IV by a staff member, the MCR Advisor and President shall begin investigating and, if necessary, make recommendations for impeachment in a petition stating the charges against the staff member. These members of MCR may be impeached once a petition stating the charges against the staff member is approved by a majority vote of the elected officers of MCR.
Clause 2. Immediately following a majority vote, the staff member in question shall be considered under impeachment.
Clause 3. The elected officers shall immediately investigate the charges following the majority vote to impeach.
Clause 4
. Not more than 28 school days following the approval of the petition, the Executive Board shall convene a hearing on the impeachment.
Clause 5. 
After the hearing, the Executive Board shall vote on the removal of the member, which shall require a majority vote of the Executive Board if all members of the Executive Board are informed of the proposed removal at least 9 school days prior to the vote; otherwise, these members may be removed by 2/3 of the total membership of the Executive Board.

ARTICLE VIII- Jurisdiction

Section 1
. This document shall be appended to the Constitution for the duration of its authorization, but shall be superseded by the Constitution in any conflicts.

ARTICLE IX - Adoption

Section 1. This document shall take effect upon approval by two-thirds vote of the Executive Board and shall expire 45 days following the first day of the term of the incoming president.
Approved: September 1, 2011