Dance's departure represents a loss

Today, I have been very angry! I have been very angry with Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools Dallas Dance because he announced his resignation ("Dallas Dance resigns as Baltimore County Schools superintendent," April 18). He and I have not always agreed on what our children, schools and staff need to bring about equity and success for all children. We have, however, always communicated with each other respectfully and with open ears and minds until some changes, maybe not enough or maybe not quickly enough, were made for children and teachers.

Mr. Dance, like the rest of us, is in the midst of a journey, a war if you will, for the lives of our children. Wars about the human spirit require that we stay the course, fight the good fight until we meet our goal.

I am angry today because Mr. Dance's resignation letter has reminded me that too often the system's stakeholders (the school board, parents, community and elected officials) have been so focused on our own issues that we have forgotten that no individual child or small group of children can be successful if all of the children do not have an equitable chance of being successful. I am reminded that we too often get so steeped in our personal ire and indignation that we stop communicating which means we stop listening and talking to each other and only our children suffer.

I am angry today because Mr. Dance's resignation means instead of our trying to work more collaboratively with each other for the sake of our children, we will now have to start over again, search for someone who seems to say the right things until that person goes against one group or another or the board and puts our children and teachers in a state of flux again. Some might cheer while others will lament his leaving, but in the end, we will find that the losers are our children and schools!

I am angry today with myself because as a retired principal I should have done more, worked harder with parents, with the community, with Mr. Dance so that he would stay for the long haul like his Baltimore County predecessors to reach the ultimate goal even though the course is rough — well-educated children taught and nurtured in strong schools, creating a system of schools where education is equitable and truly for all children.

Someone told me today that we cannot "unring the bell." In this case, I wish we could. 

Cheryl E. Pasteur, Pikesville

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