Howard County Board of Education prevails over parents in SMOB voting rights lawsuit

For those that have been following the “Parents file lawsuit against Howard County school board to unravel gridlock preventing children from returning to school”…the decision came in yesterday in favor of the Board of Education.

Here is a statement from the parents sent to Scott E’s Blog:

While we are disappointed in the Court’s decision we are not surprised. As the Judge Bernhardt recognized, the issues before the Court were issues of first impression and he felt constrained to abide by what the General Assembly decided was the unique course Maryland has taken with respect to minors’ direct participation in democracy and holding office. The issue is unique nationwide and neither party could present the Court with a case throughout our country where a Court was faced with deciding whether minors can elect or appoint a minor to office. These issues, unfortunately, must be addressed by appellate courts to provide lower courts with direction and we plan to appeal the decision. Our only hope is that the Court of Appeals will recognize the urgency and decide the case before our children lose out on another year of education.

We are of course saddened that the dysfunction on our Board of Education will now result in a second year of virtual or hybrid learning that is failing our children miserably. It has become clear that our Board of Education is now using the pandemic as a vehicle to advance a permanent virtual platform of education as a measure to address Howard County’s political failures to permit overdevelopment and school overcrowding. The children in Howard County will suffer with this experiment and we firmly believe it would not be possible absent the artificial gridlock and improper influence of adult board members on the student member of the board. As parents, it is disheartening to watch months turning into semesters and now years of gridlock all while our children lose out on crucial years of education. We have never wanted to stifle a student voice, but we firmly believe an unelected minor should not be used as a pawn for adults to advance a political agenda that affects 56,000 students and costs the taxpayers upwards of billion dollars.

Here is the PDF of the decision made by the Judge: Memo Decision

I have not seen a public statement from the Howard County Board of Education at this time.

Scott E’s Blog has published the following updates to this story over the past few months:

Scott E

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