So I was scanning Facebook and came across something interesting (or concerning) that I thought I could use as a teaching moment for anyone in office or running for office. There were comments from Ann Delacy (current Howard County Board of Education member) that I saw posted and I thought would be interesting to share to my readers.
Now, I don’t know much about Ann Delacy except that she was elected to the Howard County Board of Education almost 4 years ago (I am not sure if she is running again – as of this post she has not filed to run in 2016…but not many people have yet so time will tell). She does have a campaign Twitter account but it has rarely been used since 2014 (only 2 posts). There are a few other sources of online information I found conducting Google searches but somewhat limited overall.
It all started with a post from Jen Terresa (that trouble maker…LOL…just kidding Jen) on Facebook about the new “Driving Student Success” program in Howard County (Learn more about it via the Baltimore Sun here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-driving-success-1119-20151116-story.html). Here is what Jen shared:
Now as I read the post in the Sun I thought “Wow, a nice local program to help students participate in after school programs”. The vast majority of comments on Jen’s timeline were similar in that they were positive in nature. Some examples are “Great idea”, “This is such a big deal” and “Great vision”. Then this happened:
OK…WOW. This is an elected official in Howard County that represents the school board responding like that online. Now, I am of the opinion that anyone can say/write anything they like online but when you do also know that it will be noticed (and sometimes written about). I don’t want to get into the weeds of the subject matter (because generally that is not what I write about on this blog) but more so look at the online presence of our elected officials.
My teaching moment – if you are an elected official or planning to run for office, it might be a good idea to think before you post comments or articles online. These comments could potentially come back to you at some point.
My other teaching moment – Look how Jon Weinstein handled the comment…professional and to the point (impressive online presence).
Now I don’t want to beat up Ann Delacy in this article (wait, yes I do – but I will take a pass) but I will note that I live in this county, My child attends school in this county and I have a expectation of professionalism from the elected officials in this county. I get disagreements between various elected officials about their stances on issues but can we have some level of civility. The Howard County Library is holding sessions about online civility – the next one is on December 11th at the Miller Branch Library: LEARN MORE HERE. I have attended two of these sessions and they are very informative.
On a final personal note – Jon, I am a big fan of this initiative. Keep up the good work.
Wait – it just got better…As I was writing this article I went back to look at that Facebook feed to see if there have been any updates. This is what I found:
While I am not a fan of Howard Blackman’s comments (no idea who he is) the response is just not what I would hope for from an elected official.
Interested in keeping up with the candidates running for Howard County Board of Education in 2016? Check out this Technology Outreach Reference Card.