While the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) redistricting decisions have been made…it is understandable that some in our county are still not thrilled with those decisions. One could easily argue that families in polygons 132, 1132 and 2132 have the most to be upset about (those with kids in elementary school right now in those polygons).

Families living in those polygons decided to organize a walk from their neighborhoods to Clemens Crossing Elementary school (something many of them do on a regular basis) on December 8th.

Here are some images that were sent to Scott E’s Blog from that walk on December 8th:

Now why did these families do this walk on December 8th…and why am I writing about it? Well, in case you missed the votes that happened during the Howard County Board of Education final decisions on redistricting…this happened to those polygons:

I have to say as a resident of this county I feel for these families. It is hard to watch the video above and not feel for these families. I get not everyone will…but they kind of got the short end of the stick in the redistricting process. In just a few minutes during that final redistricting meeting they went from staying at their school that many could walk to (and they actually do) to going to another school.

Will their world end…of course not. Bryant Woods ES is a great school. But I do understand why they are still upset with those on the board that voted yes…especially after seeing how the process happened that affected their families…and especially their kids.

We will all move forward from this redistricting process. We have to hope that the Howard County Board of Education and the Howard County Public School System has learned from this process and will do better the next time around (which should be coming soon in regards to High School #13).

We as a community must also do better. We should advocate for what we think is best for our kids…but also do it in the right way. I have seen good and bad on both sides of this redistricting process.

We will have a new board after the elections in 2020. We know that Coombs and Delmont-Small are running for reelection. We know that Ellis is not running. We have not heard official announcements from Mallo or Taj yet. We have 4 other community members that have announced that they are running (Pretlow in D2, Levine in D4, Rehman and Vaillancourt in D5).

I will be tracking the Howard County Board of Education race and reporting out on activities here:  https://scotteblog.com/hocoboe-in-2020/

Scott E

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the article. We had about 100 people turn out and had a lot of fun playing on the playground. And I really appreciate the comment about BWES. I think people, particularly some board members, have lost of sight of the fact that we have the best schools, students, and families in the nation!

    My personal concern is about the process, and having a fair and equal process for all. I think our polygons exemplify that a fair and equal process was not had in this redistricting efforts. And there is the opportunity to fix this. For instance, they could delay implementation for a year while some of these things are investigated. I’m really disappointed to not see more and better leadership on the board to find a better path forward.

  2. I’m not sure where Scott’s faith that everyone is going to move on is coming from. Especially if the board sees a lot of turnover in the next election.

    HoCo is basically a sea of housing developments. The local school helps form bonds between people who are otherwise just located in adjacent housing. Expecting people to shrug and move on when they get shuffled around (with the promise of more in the future) is unrealistic.

  3. Thank you for continuing to keep us updated. I’m not sure how I feel about this except that privilege has its price. We are a highly privileged county and we wield it at every turn. My parents and other parents paid for a bus for me and many of my classmates to get up insanely early to take a long bus ride all over eastern Columbia to go to Centennial High School in 1978. They had to petition for permission to do so and hired Mr. Roger Carter’s Bus Company (he was actually our driver). When Wilde Lake High first opened, my sister drove a number of kids who were districted to Howard High School to Wilde Lake from Thunder Hill. Fast forward 30+ years and an area near Centennial (where I lived) was redistricted to Marriotts Ridge. My son left many of his friends from Burleigh Manor and drove an extra 30 minutes to get to Marriotts Ridge when Centennial was right around the corner. There were the kids who were in Oakland Mills who were redistricted to Hammond when it was built. When some new schools were built and students had to attend other schools temporarily and then relocate again … well there were those inconveniences. Let’s face it. The issue here is not about redistricting inconveniences … we do it all the time in Howard County. ALL.THE.TIME. This is about socioeconomic status and race. Let’s please stop pretending it’s anything else.

  4. Earth to Brooke – Have you been living under a rock or are just plain trolling? The title, pictures and text of the article scream out about the walk-ability of these polygons to the school they have been yanked away from in favor of 3 other ones brought in that will have to bus their kids to that school.

    Your rambling about “privilege and price” are misplaced here as these polygons clearly had no privilege to be heard by the BOE let alone allowed due process by their violation of the open meetings laws. Then you give cherry picked examples of the exact opposite bussing lengths you and your kin and friends did decades ago to avoid natural community based schooling.

    The supreme court in the 70s decided race cannot be used as a factor in school allocation. That is illegal and you speak for yourself when you claim these families are doing what your kin did. I urge you to look at the composition of protesters in all the pics and you will see most are non white. This is about families, communities, safety, money wasted and time. I can tell you based on the swarm of activity, these residents are definitely not pretending. Yes, every few years relocations based on scientific and spatial evidence occur, but this is a poor show of governance with hidden agendas.

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