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Opinion: Parent’s Plea to Protest Bladen County Board of Education Decision

The Bladen County Board of Education has blatantly refused all of the parents of Mother Bladen our right to send our children to school. They have disregarded our request for open conversation, requests for choices in whether or not to send our children to school, and they voted against our children’s right to quality education.

Bladen County Schools and the Bladen County Board of Education members have been asked to reconsider their decision on only offering remote learning to start the school year. This was not just because I feel strongly about my children receiving in-person instruction, but also because the CDC released a memo titled “The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall.” Here is a link to the article. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html

Each Board member has been sent information that proves their decision is, at a minimum, highly flawed.

I feel muted… Only one Board of Education member even acknowledged my attempts to voice my concerns and receipt of information challenging their decisions.

Thank you, Chris Clark, for your response. While I have seen no affirmative action from the Board, I do appreciate your acknowledgment of my correspondence.

I have reviewed many other counties’ plans to reopen and nearly every other states’ plan as well… The vast majority include an option for parents to select in-person learning. There are some very creative plans to get this done, none of which came from Bladen.

All but two board members voted for remote learning ONLY for Bladen County Students. They decided to do so before they even had all of the parent survey results. Those results showed that 45% of parents intended to send their children back to school, and 7.3 percent of parents said they did not have internet access. Obviously, parents’ opinions do not matter to the education officials!

You may not want to send your children back to school… I respect your decision 100%… I am asking for options! The Bladen County Board of Education has taken away our opportunity to even consider sending our children back to school… Horrendous!

Folks, I am asking and pleading with you to join me… There are three things that we need to do…

First, call the Bladen County Schools – District Office and voice your disgust with their plan of remote learning only – 910-862-4136 – I hope we keep the line busy for days…

Then, please email all of the education officials … I have a message prepared. You may copy and paste it if you would like or write your own comments, but please send them a message.

Here are the members and their email addresses. Also, Bladen County Schools, Superintendent, Dr. Robert Taylor’s email address is below because he is the one who presented the remote learning plan as a recommendation to the Board…

  1. Mr. Roger Carroll, Board Chair – rcarroll@bladen.k12.nc.us
  2. Mr. Glenn McKoy, Board Vice-chair – gcmckoy@bladen.k12.nc.us
  3. Mr. Chris Clark – cvclark@bladen.k12.nc.us
  4. Mr. Dennis Edwards – dredwards@bladen.k12.nc.us
  5. Mr. Berry Lewis – blewis@bladen.k12.nc.us
  6. Mr. Gary Rhoda – gnrhoda@bladen.k12.nc.us
  7. Mr. Vinston Rozier – vrozier@bladen.k12.nc.us
  8. Mr. Cory Singletary – clsingletary@bladen.k12.nc.us
  9. Mr. Alan West – atwest@bladen.k12.nc.us
  10. Dr. Robert Taylor – rtaylor@bladen.k12.nc.us

I will be removing our children from Bladen County Schools if changes are not made. Where will we go, I am still uncertain. We are looking for options.. Here is what I know… unless we, the parents, and citizens of Bladen commit to removing our children from this substandard “learning plan,” the Board will not hear us… Please – commit with me to remove your children from their enrollment and attendance for 30 days… If you can send them somewhere else, great… If not, 30 days of “remote learning” will hardly be missed. Ask your child what they have learned since March…

Message Sample: Dear Bladen County Board of Education and Bladen County Schools – Please put my child/children’s education back on the top of your priority list. Let me decide what best suits my student(s); remote or in-person learning. It is simply not fair for you to make this decision on my behalf. I am the parent, I know what is best for my child. Please reconsider this right away. If affirmative action is not taken by the end of your next board meeting on Monday, August 10th, 2020, I will be removing my child from enrollment in Bladen County Schools for at least 30 days.

Last, but not least, please join me for a protest to be held during the next Board of Education meeting scheduled for August 10, 2020 at 6:00p.m. at the Bladen County Schools district office on Poplar Street in Elizabethtown.

I am not prepared to sacrifice our children’s education while the Board sits idle and makes no attempt to get our students back in the classroom.

Lastly, please remember this the next time you see the above-listed names on the Ballot… Remember, Dennis Edwards and Cory Singletary were the only two to vote NO to the ludicrous plan set forth by Dr. Taylor.

The YES vote for remote only learning by the education officials sends an unspoken statement to our children –

All businesses are allowed to open, go shop as you have the need and stop at the ABC Store on the way home… Just don’t go to school. It is NOT essential!! Your education – it’s a non-issue.

There it is… How will we respond?? The call and email will only take a minute… The protest maybe an hour. Please – our children need you! Whether you are ready to send your child back or not, you deserve and have the right to the option to do so!

Hopeful to see you on the 10th…

Daine Smith

910-876-1798

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