School Board Campaign Sign Theft Hits A New Low

I’ve had a few of my campaign signs disappear, but I expected that.  I know one was removed from Del-Dot, along with one of my opponents because you aren’t allowed to put them at this location.  Not sure why, but the big wooden sign for the Dover Days festival is there too.  One met a tragic end from what I assume was a riding lawn mower.  But I digress.

Liz Paige, a candidate (and incumbent) for the Christina School Board, had ALL of her signs stolen that she put at the polling stations for the election tomorrow.  In Christina, candidates are allowed to put their signs up at the schools that are the polling places ahead of time.  In Capital you can only do so the day of the election.  Paige put hers up weeks ago.  Ironically, Desiree Brady, Paige’s opponent, still has her signs up.  Paige confirmed the signs disappeared this weekend.  What the idiot who did this may not realize is many of the schools DO have cameras.  So good luck with that one sign thief.  Today, signs were found in a dumpster.  And they could very well have fingerprints on them.

CampaignSignTrash

Stealing campaign signs is ILLEGAL folks.  Even for a school board election.  If someone is stupid enough to steal school board campaign signs, I would suggest some therapy.  Paige’s sign is below.  If you see them hanging out anywhere in the Christina area, call the cops and let them know.   I endorsed Paige a couple months ago, but since she has to deal with this idiocy, I’m going to endorse her again!  Have I ever double endorsed anyone?

PaigeChristinaBoardCampaignSign

But as if what happened to her signs weren’t bad enough, apparently a teacher in the district actually got caught handing out campaign flyers for Desiree Brady to other teachers… during school hours. The teacher was at work on Friday, went to the Principal’s office, and wasn’t there today. For the love of God, just let people run for the school board. It’s not like it’s Donald Trump! It’s a school board. While immensely important to folks who live in the area, is it really worth your job or your criminal record to do stupid stuff?

The most important thing all citizens in Delaware can do tomorrow in districts where there is a contest is get out and vote.  For Christina residents, I would vote for Paige.  For Capital residents, what can I say?  Vote for Kevin Ohlandt.  I heard he has a lot of ideas! 🙂

My Thoughts On The Charges Against Amy’s Murderer And The Accomplices

As I’m sure most of America has heard, the Delaware Department of Justice filed charges against three teenagers involved in Amy Joyner-Francis’ murder two and a half weeks ago at Howard High School of Technology.  There is absolutely no mention of Amy’s head being slammed into the bathroom sink even though some reports stated that at the onset.  Only one girl, Trinity Carr, actually hit Amy.  She has been charged with criminally-negligent homicide.  The other two helped plan the assault up to twenty hours earlier.  But the true shocker was that Amy had a pre-existing heart condition.

According to the News Journal article linked above:

Investigators determined that the fight was a planned confrontation in the girl’s bathroom, but only one girl – 16-year-old Trinity Carr – actually hit Amy that day, according to a statement by the DOJ. The fight was filmed, according to court documents, and shows Carr hitting Amy repeatedly in the head and torso area with “what what appears to be a closed fist.”

The video then shows Carr leave and Amy attempt to stand up from the floor, according to court documents. Amy then appears disoriented, court papers say, and collapses back to the floor. When paramedics found her, she was unresponsive and went into cardiac arrest shortly after.

Knowing what really happened won’t take away the pain and sadness surrounding all this.  It won’t bring back Amy who apparently didn’t know this was coming.  Just a sweet, innocent teenage girl going to school one day.  The question is how many others knew about it.  I am still upset no one else in that bathroom intervened.  I’m assuming her heart condition was private as that has never been mentioned before.  If the intent was there to do bodily harm to Amy, what did Carr think would happen?  While they may not have planned actual murder, how is this “criminally negligent”?  Our justice systems works in funny ways.  Why did it take two and a half weeks when the police had the video the entire time to arrest Carr?  At the very least, the evidence clearly shows an assault.

Trinity Carr, Zion Snow, and Chakeira Wright will have to live with what they did every single day for the rest of their life.  Carr will most likely spend what should be some of the best years of her life in prison.  Snow and Wright will probably be in juvenile detention while their classmates are going to the prom and graduating.  But no amount of justice will ever make any of this alright.  Amy will never have the opportunity for any of those things.  I really hope this is a wake-up call for all of us in Delaware.  We need to make sure this never happens again, and that includes the adults.

Tim Furlong with NBC Philadelphia gave a bit more detail about what happened after the fight:

After the fight, Joyner-Francis complained about head and chest pain. A school resource officer called 911 and Joyner-Francis lost consciousness before medics arrived. CPR was performed as she was flown to a nearby children’s hospital. She later died at the hospital.

Where was this school resource officer during the fight?  I understand fights can happen fast, but where were any adults during this assault?  That is the question no one is asking.  I challenged the district about this a couple of weeks ago.  It was important to clarify their board meeting change, but in regards to my other concerns, they completely ignored them.  Last week I saw the Superintendent of the district for Howard High School, Dr. Gehrt.  She knows who I am cause I’ve seen her at many meetings where I gave public comment.  I saw her at the assessment inventory meeting at the Delaware DOE.  Usually she gives me a smile.  At this meeting, she could only scowl at me.  I’ll take my lumps where I get them.  But at least own up to… something.

Amy’s death affected me immensely, and I didn’t even know the poor girl.  She is a memorial to what we need to fix in our schools.  We can’t stop what happens outside of school, but we can make sure Amy’s death is a living testament to change.  I haven’t heard one word about school climate from those in power.  We have seen plenty in social media comments, but once again it is an empty echo chamber from the decision-makers in our state.  Our legislators have been strangely quiet on the issue.  The Delaware DOE, the State Board of Education, and Governor Markell have been eerily quiet about the situation.  Perhaps things will start to happen now that the investigation is over and charges have been filed.  All I know is something has to happen.  We can’t have another Amy, or all the many living victims of bullying and assault in our schools.  It has to stop.

It’s Not The Size Of The Sign, It’s The Size Of The Commitment…

By tomorrow night we will know the winners of the Delaware school board elections.  Some lucky candidates already know since they didn’t have an opponent.  But for myself, and several others, it is a wait and see.  I put most of my signs up last weekend.  As the week went by, I was astonished my two opponents hadn’t put any up.  They made up for it this weekend!  And of course they both had to get signs slightly bigger than my own.  But I urge you to look beyond the sign and look up their positions on the issues.  As well, if you are on the fence with me, look up mine.

We all appeared in a brief article about the candidates for Kent County in the Dover Post: Voters can choose education leaders in May election

We met in a debate/forum/meet the candidates event at Central Middle School in Dover last Wednesday.  There was a decent size crowd there, but no media!  I wish they had shown up to report for all what was discussed.

I have not found any Facebook pages for Andres Ortiz, one of my opponents.  Chanda Jackson put up a page on April 26th: Vote for Dr. Chanda Jackson

I put up a page on March 3rd, the same day I filed: Kevin Ohlandt for Capital School District Board of Education 2016.  I’ve put up lots of different articles and posts about why I’m running and what I would like to accomplish should I be elected.  But really, I’ve been writing about education every day for the past two years on this blog.  I also wrote a letter to the Delaware State News which they published on Saturday, but doesn’t show up on their website.

StateNewsLetter

I may have met some of you while putting up signs, canvassing, or through the many emails and Facebook messages I received from you.  Or yesterday at Dover Days.  Some of you I may have already known, and your support means the world to me.

The Capital Educator’s Association decided to endorse Mr. Ortiz.  I get that.  But I hope all the teachers in Capital School District will understand that an endorsement is not an “I have to vote for that person”.  For those teachers who may not have decided who to vote for yet, if I could please offer some advice:

Vote with knowledge.

Vote with history.

Vote with the hope that whoever you vote for will do what is best for students and will make sure all of you get the resources you need to be as successful as possible.

Vote for someone who will do their best to fend off the DOE as much as humanly possible.

Vote for someone who won’t be afraid to speak the truth at board meetings or question things.

Vote for someone who will probe and investigate any action item.

Vote for someone who isn’t quick to believe everything is awesome.

Vote for someone who recognizes an opportunity is only an opportunity if ALL have a part of it AND we can afford it AND it will help ALL students.

Vote for someone who thinks it is difficult to see the wonder of tomorrow when we have issues in the here and now that need to be dealt with.

Vote for someone who goes to State Board of Education meetings and various task forces, committees, and General Assembly Education Committee meetings not because they really enjoy them but because they believe knowledge is half the battle.

Vote for someone who will write potential policy to make your jobs better.

Vote for someone who hates the state assessment just as much as you do.  Vote for someone who really isn’t a big fan of Common Core either.

Vote for someone who believes your teacher evaluations should not be an indicator of how well a student does on the Smarter Balanced.

Vote for someone who doesn’t think Common Core is okay but the state assessment just isn’t aligned to it.

Vote for someone who doesn’t believe those same assessments should EVER be used for promotion or graduation requirements.

Vote for someone who is not okay with keeping the Smarter Balanced Assessment while getting rid of the assessments that do give good feedback and help you with instruction.

Vote for someone who will always be available for you if there is an issue beyond your control and you feel the proper channels aren’t working for you.

Vote for someone who will not be a rubber stamp.

Vote for someone who will do everything they can to find a way to improve school climate in all the schools of the district.

Vote for someone who would rather act than comply.

Vote for someone who understands school finances and didn’t have to get a crash course from the CFO after they started campaigning.

Vote for someone who understands the referendum process.

Vote for someone who values transparency as the truth for all to see.

Vote for someone who believes words like “focus” and “reward” are based on characteristics that should not be an indicator of any school in our district.

Vote for someone who knows the Every Student Succeeds Act and will be watching each regulation like a hawk when they are proposed.

Vote for someone who sees the extreme danger with personalized learning and your future job security.

Vote for someone who knows what happened in the past, what is happening now, and what is coming down the road.

Vote for someone who knows Title 14, IDEA, and all the education legislation going through our General Assembly.

Vote for someone who knows what the company behind IEP Plus is called.

Vote for someone who does not believe teachers should also be social workers.

Vote for someone who agrees with the recommendations the DPAS-II Advisory Group Sub-Committee AND knows what they are.

Vote for someone who knows regulations put forth by the State Board of Education before they vote on it.

Vote for who you believe will be the best for the Capital School District Board of Education.

And please, feel free to share this with ALL the teachers in Capital School District!