The following information was sent to Scott E’s Blog from the Larry Pretlow (Howard County Board of Education candidate in District 2) campaign to share with the community:
I initially suspended my Board of Education campaign due to racially charged attacks directed towards me at the Oakland Mills Village Board where I currently serve and where it is still being run like an old boys club where resident input has been ignored especially in the apartment communities.
As a young black gay man and a father of 2 I ran for office starting in 2019 to help build consensus to solve the big problems in the school system such as safely reopening our schools based on strict CDC guidelines, redistricting for overcapacity in a transparent manner, reforming rather than removing the SRO program based off of community input and promoting a culturally relevant curriculum as we work to close the achievement gap.
The past few years have been some of the most divisive we’ve seen as our county has gotten more polarized. There is no reason for our county to be so polarized. I long for the days of steady leadership under proven superintendents such as Dr. Cousin.
The proverbial straw on the camels back that got me back into this race was at the Our Revolution candidate forum my opponent Antonia Watts said she was scared for her black sons if there was a “conservative takeover” of the board of education. The polarization at the local as well as national level have greatly exacerbated in the last few years. When I heard her play word games like Ms. Mallo and refer to school boards as progressive or conservative I knew I had to get back in the race to stand up for a nonpartisan school board. We are not a “progressive” School board or a “conservative” School board we should be a united non partisan school board.
Throughout my adult life I have been registered as both a Republican and a Democrat at times and am currently registered as an Independent. Whatever my registration I have always held moderate fiscal views of promoting a strong social safety net and efficiently using our funds to maximize outcomes as well as moderate social views of promoting diversity and inclusion in all parts of our lives including our schools without politicizing it.
For instance, if you read the questionnaire provided by CARY you’d see that as a gay man I am a strong advocate for LGBTQIA+ protections for our students while still recognizing that a teachers home life isn’t relevant for discussion in schools and that LGBTQ themed curriculum should be offered at an age appropriate level such as high school. Somehow those common sense beliefs have lead them to rate me as an F.
Yet many individuals label candidates as “Conservative” or “Progressive” based off of flawed questionnaires such as this.
Unlike my opponent if I am elected no special interests will be able to influence my vote. All of my decisions will be based off of data from an apolitical perspective.
# # #
Friends of Larry Pretlow II
4803 Circling Hunter Dr #103, Columbia, MD 21045
To learn more about all of the candidates running for Howard County Board of Education in 2020 be sure to check out this resource: https://scotteblog.com/hocoboe-in-2020/