Bramble speaks on role of Board

Submitted to the Dorchester Banner/DCPS
Board of Education President Glenn L. Bramble spoke on the role and duties of the organization.

CAMBRIDGE — During the Dorchester County Board of Education’s meeting on Thursday, President Glenn L. Bramble addressed recent public discussion regarding the role of the board and the superintendent. With public schools facing issues of discipline and violence, as well as the recent retirement of Superintendent Dr. Diana Mitchell, calls have been heard for action from the board, which is limited by the law in its scope.

Many of those remarks took place at a special meeting of the board on March 21, when teachers told of classroom attacks and demanded action, expressing their disappointment in what they said was the board’s lack of support.

“We’ve received all the hard copies” of those comments, Mr. Bramble said on Thursday. “As the president, I’m the bad guy. That’s ok, I’ve been called a lot worse things than that.”

“The majority of the statements made that night, I agree with,” he said. “The problem of it is, most people don’t really know the system.”

Mr. Bramble said there was much he would have liked to say, but he could not, according to the law. He then read a favorite quote to those in attendance, saying, “‘Responsibility from children comes from responsible parents and grandparents.’ Think about that, long and hard. I could say more, but I won’t.”

He shared details of classes he and other members of the board had attended, in which they were instructed in the duties and responsibilities of a board of education and a superintendent in Maryland. “I wanted to address this issue, because it’s been addressed several times,” he said.

Reading from Maryland Association of Boards of Education information he received at one of the classes, he said the state requires that boards of education set policies and select a superintendent. Speaking with emphasis, he quoted, and then repeated, “The local board does not run the day-to-day operations of the school system.”

He continued, “Yes, I said it twice, because we’ve been accused of that, and we don’t.”

Mr. Bramble said a superintendent’s duties include carrying out the policies of the school board and visiting schools. Board members, he said, have no more influence than other citizens, except for their votes at meetings.

He said he spent two years learning the duties of a school board, and now sees them changing from one year to the next.

“Laws have changed drastically over the last couple of years, about what you can and what you can’t do, not just for the board, but for the superintendent as well,” Mr. Bramble said.

Mr. Bramble said he is working to schedule a special meeting at which views can be aired. “I will do my very best to schedule something for the public,” he said.

More information can be found at www.dcps.k12.md.us.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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