Dubel: Convictions stain county schools' good reputation
Oct 10, 2018 at 4:08 PM
Former Baltimore County schools Superintendent Dallas Dance was sentenced to five years, with all but six months suspended, for four counts of perjury. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
Earlier this year, Dallas Dance, a former superintendent of the Baltimore Public Schools, was the first school official to go to jail in the 170-year history of the system. Now the second shoe has dropped with the jailing of Robert Barrett (“Ex-Baltimore County schools official gets 9 weekends in jail for accepting funds from undercover agents,” Oct. 9). How sad! Shame on these miscreants who have tried to tarnish the hitherto squeaky clean reputation of the Baltimore County Public Schools. I am confident that the current dedicated and trustworthy Board of Education, administrative staff, teachers and PTAs will quickly restore complete trust in a superb school system.
Mr. Barrett apologized to the court, his family and friends. Why not issue an apology to the innocent school system he besmirched? Judge Richard Bennett beclouded the situation when he observed: "There is a history of this kind of thing in Baltimore County." He must have been referring to the Baltimore County government, which had seen officials go to jail years ago. The Board of Education of Baltimore and the schools are a separate governmental body, although have fiscal dependence on the county government.
Those of us who operated a totally fiscally clean system in the past are offended by these nefarious staff members who betrayed the trust placed in them. One of the first things we learned in teacher education courses was to serve as a role model for children. These are undoubtedly Messrs. Dance's and Barrett's greatest failures.
We were guided to complete honesty by "The Precept, Beliefs, and Values of the Baltimore County Public Schools." We knew it was improper to accept even a bull roast ticket from a vendor.
We trust all the stakeholders of the Baltimore County Public Schools to restore the squeaky clean image.