Letter to the Editor

printed 03/24/2023


You may have read recently that the Worcester County Commissioners oppose state legislation that would, without parental consent, allow for questionable curriculum regarding social and sexual education for all grades starting with Kindergarten.

This legislation is yet another effort to remove from our County local control.

Further, and more egregiously, it demonstrates a perverse influence by many in the Maryland Legislature over parents on how best to rear children.

Such condescension is alarming and it is wrong. Parents know what is best for their children. And, elected boards of education know what is best for their communities.

Our county should not be victimized by state legislators who espouse dependency on the state over self-reliance of the family and who celebrate, promulgate and legislate wrong-headed ideas about how best to educate our children.

Education priorities should not obsess over whether little Johnny and little Janie are white or black or Asian or Hispanic or all of the above.

They should not focus on making them feel guilty about being white or black or Asian or Hispanic or all of the above.

Nor should they concentrate on or encourage how little Johnny and little Janie identifies him or herself.

Such thinking may be fashionable in the high couture circles of self-righteous state legislators but I prefer my fashion off the rack, not off the wall.

Education priorities should ensure that little Johnny and little Janie are respectful, tolerant, productive, successful, disciplined, confident individuals, equipped to take on the challenges of their generation and of future generations.

Worcester County taxpayers pay more than taxpayers in any other state jurisdiction to educate each child in the public school system, close to $20,000 per student.

County taxpayers fund about 84 percent of the Worcester County school system budget.

For generations, county government has prioritized education, accepting its obligation to provide students with an optimum learning experience. It will continue to do so.

However, we are not obligated to suffer gladly the interference of misguided Annapolis legislators who, by their actions and comments, pander to a far-fetched ideology that mocks loving parents who want instilled in their children the values of family, community and decency.

When you read about state efforts to hijack the prerogatives of our local school board, when you believe parental and taxpayers rights are being suffocated, raise your voices in discontent, write our state delegation, and, if you are a parent, remain engaged in your child’s education.

Because if you don’t, who will?

As a community, as a society, we have no greater responsibility than to teach our children well.

Chip Bertino

Worcester County Commissioner

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