Today the leaders of the Prince George’s County Young Democrats went on the offensive to capture the four seats on the Board of Education they endorsed candidates in. Before the April primary PGCYD supported David Murray in District 1, Micah Watson in District 4, Raheela Ahmed in District 5, and the reelection of Edward Burroughs in District 8. All of these candidates won huge in the primary and appear to be on the path to winning in November. With that in mind the board majority, led by chairwoman Verjeana Jacobs who will face off against Raheela Ahmed, the sister of the newly elected Student Board Member, has sought to limit the influence of future students elected to represent their peers. That all came to a head at the last board meeting when Faith Jackson, the outgoing Student Board Member, sought to engage in the tradition of passing the torch to her successor. The board said no and…well Faith set them straight. Watch her farewell speech below. We will just say, the speech was so powerful that Faith’s photo was immediately removed from the board’s website after the meeting, something that historically didn’t happen until the new Student Board Member is sworn in. That won’t happen until August.
Also stay tuned for more from that meeting. We are still getting information on the behind the scenes Executive Session that was held previous to this public session.
Letter from PGCYD President Larry Stafford
As you read this, there is a battle brewing in Prince George’s. It’s a battle for our county’s schools, and therefore a battle for the future of young people in the place we call home. Recently immediate past student member of the board, Faith Jackson, stood up against the forces that oppose progress in our county’s schools and police were summoned and she was threatened with arrest for her actions.
In her final address to the public as student board member,(which you can watch here) Faith declared “Prince George’s County Public Schools will not advance from second from the bottom until my colleagues either remove the politics or remove themselves.” Unfortunately, Faith’s colleagues have refused to remove the politics, and they will not remove themselves.
On April 3rd 2012, the tectonic plates of Prince George’s County’s political landscape began to shift. Every incumbent member of the Board of Education on the ballot for re-election minus one (who happens to be one of the progressive agents of change on the board) finished second in their races. They each were beaten by much younger and less well known candidates. This has sent shockwaves through the political establishment.
We must elect Edward Burroughs, Raaheela Ahmed, David Murray, and Micah Watson because the citizens of Prince George’s County are tired of an education system that does not put students first. Many of those who will vote in November do not know about the role of the Board of Education, or that several of its members are obstacles in the way of progress for our schools. Some of the same board members are betting on this to keep them in office in November. It’s going to take a strong grassroots campaign to spread the word about what’s going on and to move our schools forward.