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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Wicomico BOE: New Dog, Old Tricks

Dr. Donna Hanlin
By Thornton Crowe

We believed when Dr. Donna Hanlin took the reins from Dr. John Frederickson as Superintendent of the Wicomico Board of Education, everything would miraculously be transformed... Were we ever wrong. Things just got worse -- much worse.

In the fashion of big government, bureaucracy and all things we hate about politics and its effect on our worlds - another astounding development surfaced on the last day of school when parents received a  letter stating if their children lived less than a mile from a school, they would be forced to walk because the WBOE will no longer provide bus service in that radius.

This new measure encompasses even pre-kindergarten children. Yes, babies ages less than 5 years old are also expected to walk to school up to a mile away; regardless of said school's location.

As per one source, this means some students in the Quantico area will have to walk 25 minutes to get to a school, only to be bussed to their end destination. Does this make going to school more an adventure of endurance in a maze of confusion?

While many of you will no doubt herald this as the way for kids to get much-needed exercise, is it prudent in our current melee? Violent crime is on the rise in Salisbury and all, it should concern all parents whose children will be forced to walk through neighborhoods most adults wouldn't drive through in order to get to school five days a week. Is this really what folks expected when the WBOE touted budget cuts?

Is this really looking out for the kids?


Back in the day when most walked to school except for those in far-reaching rural areas, Salisbury and surrounding areas were much safer than today. In most cases, neighbors knew one another and watched out for each others' kids. With an 80% rental population in Salisbury, those days of community are long past.

Additionally, remember sex offenders are banned from living less than a half mile from any school; meaning child molesters live within the same vicinity as your child's walking path to school everyday.

For example, within less than a mile's distance to Hebron schools, there are currently five child molesters listed as living in that area - one convicted of penetration of a child. As many of you know, some sex offenders fail to register when they move; hence, their whereabouts are unknown to both law enforcement and the communities for which they live...Is this safe for your child(ren) to walk pass this person's home?

Furthermore, besides the obvious physical danger, for those students who are prone to skipping school, this provides them with a perfect opportunity to continue a pattern of truancy due to the lack of any adult supervision. Now the WBOE expects youngsters to basically decide for themselves whether or not they will show up for school? Simply Brilliant!
Desmond Hughes

A curious fact about this new 'rule' is that it was forwarded by your General Assembly Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes's husband, Desmond Hughes, Transportation Services Director for the WBOE. As your delegate, isn't it her ultimate responsibility to promote legislation to keep you and your children safe, not create potential sex crime victims and/or continued truancy?

Isn't it quite the black eye to residents after revelations exposed by Salisbury News where we learned of the $100K ruse a couple years back? Teachers and administrators were using gift cards meant for the kids, enjoyed lavish dinners and trips -- rarely using those cards for their intended purpose. However, now, the WBOE can't afford to make sure your 5-year-olds have a safe journey to and from school. In what universe does this make ethical or practical sense?

Important Side Note to contemplate...

Doesn't this encourage good residents to move outside the one-mile radius of schools? By sheer supply/demand economics, this will lower rents and home prices in that area; making these areas more attractive (and affordable) housing for sex offenders who have difficulty finding jobs due to their criminal records?

It's really up to you to be the judge but this doesn't look like a prudent decision on Hanlin or the Wicomico School Board members' part. While they look for ways to save money, is your child's safety really such a low priority that this was put forth without a second thought?

This whole escapade smacks of nothing less than what we expected from Frederickson and his comedy of errors and illegality; therefore, is Hanlin really any different or is she just the former superintendent in a dress?

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

I AGREE with her i live on a street a block from a school and watch kids get on a bus while living ACROSS from the school this is Absolut BS and lazy on the baby mommas let em.walk.

Anonymous said...

Obviously you didn't read the article 831 and you probably tell people you're informed. LOL

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm just old school. If kids live in town, I see no need for a bus to pick them up, let them walk, however, if they live out in the country, then definitely, they need to be bussed and I don't mean a stop right in front of every house. They need to have one stop ever so many streets and let the kids walk to the closest bus stop.

Anonymous said...

Public schools are a joke anyway. They are admin heavy. If they wanted to save money they should eliminate alot of the "helpers" who will have legacy expenses for decades. I dont have a problem with kids walking to school. Hell now they drop most kids off at their door. When i lived in Centenial village we walked a half mile to the bus stop. The bus didnt enter the neighborhood. I survived. I really would worry alot more about what happens after they get to school. Oh and BTW i dropped off and picked up my kids everyday for 11 years to a private school which didnt have buses.

JoeAlbero said...

I'd love to see a copy of the letter that was sent home with the kids. If you have one, please e-mail it to alberobutzo@wmconnect.com

Anonymous said...

And she was just like old give fiber Freddie by saying the police responses to the JMB riots was an overreaction. Shame on her shame on Freddie shame on Boe for letting THUGS ruin your Children's education. Sad days

Anonymous said...

Five finger... autocorrect is bizarre ha

Anonymous said...

Is this "don't tell" donnas newest tactic to let the THUGS keep ruling the schools? No suspensions. Reward destruction of property, assaulting staff, and tormenting other students. THUGS

Anonymous said...

Back when I went to school, we walked!!! I remember walking 5 miles to school in waist deep snow uphill both ways. We are creating snowflakes!! Make them walk!!! Gives them something to do. Too much idle time is never any good.

Paladin said...

Dear Readers,

To fill in some background, this is not a new idea/concept. It has existed in various forms back to Dave Reeve, Mr. Hughes' predecessor who also advocated for this many years ago under the guise that the rest of the state was doing the same thing as a cost cutting measure. That being said, the good Dr. is simply acting upon something that has been discussed and kicked around for some time in Ed circles. Please keep in mind those 'assessments' were made during much different times, and all discussion ceased after several high profile situations regarding school aged children occurred, and the public was very sensitive to children walking (or doing anything) unattended. Give the skyrocketing crime rate in Salisbury, this is certainly a very shortsighted move by the good Dr. That is the primary concern here - that she is so oblivious to the crime issues that she would promote this over safety of students - someone that out of touch leading a school division is a sure sign of trouble.


Kind Regards,

Paladin

Anonymous said...

Note that most elementary schools and the neighborhoods around them in the county do not have sidewalks. Are the children expected to walk in the road or on people's properties to get to school? There are no crosswalks at many of the county schools either. It is a great idea to get kids walking and biking to school again but only if it is safe to do so.

I Threw Up My Lemonade When I Read Your Stupid Asinine Comment said...

Amazing how people like 831 and 918 forget about the whole sexual predator thing many kids face today. Back in the day being a pedophile wasn't as widely accepted as it is now. It's all fun and games until it's YOUR kids who are molested. Then the party's fun & laughter ceases unless you're molesting your own kids. Sick bunch of idiots.

Anonymous said...

The same people running the same school system. The same people that refuse to enforce discipline in the schools. I work in a school and there is a huge lack of consequences for the very small minority of students that are the cause of the majority of problems. Remember this, it is a very small group that causes most of the issues. We know who they are but won't do a damn thing to stop them.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I see fights almost daily on this street right across from JMB. It's like an all-out brawl with fans cheering and street fight beatings. Staff deals with these little darlings all day. Let them pummel each other and protect the good ones...

Anonymous said...

Yea. I'd like to agree in principle but THUGS don't respect no drug zones and No gun zones. It's a like putting a baby in a lions cage (Like that wonderful woman in Cincinnati with harambe).

Anonymous said...

It's not so much the molesters. True they exist but that fear is well exagerrated on the whole... I agree that one is too many though. I think you should be worried about thuglets more...

Anonymous said...

Why don't they just dispense with the niceties and let kids drop out at any age in Wicomico. They're setting it up so they don't have to attend school anyway. Many of them already think they know it all, so why not let them just drop out? Then they can just roam the streets reeking havoc on the community all day until they become inmates at the local juvenile facility where they will end up anyway.

Anonymous said...

Me too. It's about 2-3% with 2-3 more who act out because they think they need to impress the worst offenders. We will always have some problems, but this county just doesn't get it. Hanlin comes in the beginning of year, declares all is well, then we never hear from except during photo ops. At least fredderickson you could expect this from...

Anonymous said...

Don't forget MS-13 recruits kids as young as 5 to be lookouts and deal on the playgrounds of America. Have fun kids!

Anonymous said...

Which one looks better in a dress? Frederickson or Hanlin? Would say it's pretty much a tie at this point.

Anonymous said...

Yea. I'm sure these wonderful children will make it and get their diplomas and go on to cure cancer -libs

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the new position for Paul Butler with a hefty salary !

I Threw Up My Lemonade When I Saw This On Your Blog! said...

945 excellent point. Why did they hire on someone at a large salary only to turn around and stop busing to school for little ones? This just shows Hanlin's BOE priorities are way out of whack. Just who decides how far sex offenders can live away from a school zone? How do these decisions get made? If you're going to do asinine things like this, shouldn't those rules be revisited? Always half-assed measures by nitwits.

Anonymous said...

FYI, there is no such "law" prohibiting sex offenders from living a half mile from schools. They can live across from one if they want to. A judge would have to make that part of their sentence, that upon release on parole, said sex offender can't live within a half mile of a school while under supervision. At least in MD, which is where we are talking about (for those of you that don't know Wicomico County is in Maryland).

Anonymous said...

What did this hurtful comment do to enhance discussion?

Anonymous said...

If you are really worried about your little child walking to school, You the parent should be walking with them to school. Then no worries. If time doesn't permit then you drive them to school. I went to school in the sixties. We lived in the country a very long way from the school. My mom or dad drove us kids to school every day for years. Sometimes that meant driving to two different schools because of our ages. This went on from first grade until we were old enough to drive ourselves to school.

Anonymous said...

all these budget cuts and paul butler is making a cool 96k a year to report "the good things about wicomico county schools". meanwhile babies are expected to walk to school because they need to cut transportation spending.

I Threw Up My Lemonade When I Saw This On Your Blog! said...

951 was under the misperception there was a rule that prohibits sex offenders from living within a school zone in MD. Wow. Just speechless because of the commenters here who don't mind kids being put on a path of a lifetime of turmoil at the hands of a molester. Thanks for clearing up ambiguity, 951!

Anonymous said...

9:24 AM they walk in the street even when a sidewalk IS available. Blows your point out of the water. Don't believe me? Come down E Main st some morning. We have to dodge them every morning while school is in session because they intentionally take up most of the road and refuse to move out of the way.

Anonymous said...

1018 a fabulous idea, only problem is many parents work shift work due to the failing economy here. Some work 11pm-7am and aren't home to get little ones off to school, so it's left to an older grandparent or sibling to get them to the bus stop. That's what happens when white collar jobs working 8-5 are replaced with blue collar where shifts don't correlate with school hours. All part of the government disconnect.

Anonymous said...

1022 just gives parents even more a reason to encourage school choice over public school systems. Let them keep screwing up WBOE might end up losing half their base because parents will then have a choice. It's their idiocy that will lose the big race for them in the long run. How long will Paul keep his cushy position once people start yanking their kiddies out of PS? If I were him, I wouldn't have taken the job. Only people with worse reputations in this area than media is the BOE. He took a demotion in stature IMO.

Anonymous said...

And when they see a car coming they walk slower or stop to check their phones

Anonymous said...

I can understand this for middle/high school students. Certainly not for elementary. I would rather see them reduce the number of bus stops on the route. Operate it like transit. Here are your stops...your kid should be there by X time. If you live in Nithsdale, Deer Harbor, Kilburnie, or like neighborhoods or apt complexes- this is your kids' bus stop. There's no reason that group of kids' parents can't share the responsibilities of watching over the group until they're on the bus. I live in Parsonsburg and I still had to walk to the bus stop 1/2 mile away even in elementary school. Parents switched off on who supervised. Saved time, gas, and traffic aggravation. There are too many single house stops. Time to put some of the responsibility on the parents. You know, the same ones who dump them off at Crown or the Centre and leave them totally unsupervised? Let 'em walk a mile in our shoes since they have it so bad!

Anonymous said...

Same here. To and from for 14 years.

Anonymous said...

11:10 did you fail 2 years

Anonymous said...


Walked to school K-12 through a mix of residential and light commercial. No sidewalks. In colder climate than ours. Carrying a book bag and lunchbox (before backpacks). So did the majority of my classmates and my younger sibs.

Generally there will be other kids in the same age group heading to the same school from neighboring homes.

Regarding the registered offenders. Not trying to minimize the situation, but they are registered after conviction for a reason. Back to basics on caution with strangers.

For this decision to get this far means it was under study for some time and got majority approval by the BOE members; they have kids and grandkids, too.

The letter gives several months advance notice so it's hardly a sneaky move.

Anonymous said...

Don't you know? He's there to promote more good things that happen in the school system so the cover up of the not good things continues

Anonymous said...

Why can't we spend 96k to actually deal with the THUGS and make choices much larger. What a joke!

Anonymous said...

This school system is a disaster. Hiring Paul butler as a propaganda puppet master? Sure there are wonderful things in our schools. Teachers are generally doing the best they can with ties hands. Most kids succeed in some form. Some students literally go pro or become scientists. 2-5% go to jail and disrupt everyone elses' education on their way there. How is that fair? Why punish the good ones? Political correctness? Liberalism run amok? It's time to hide hire someone with common sense that is willing to fight for the good kids. "Don't Tell" Donna isn't that person.

I Threw Up My Lemonade When I Saw This On Your Blog! said...

1159 you mean like an overpaid cheerleader. Let me go get my pom-poms out of storage and I'll cheer for them for $96K a year plus benefits. Why the public lets them get away with this crap is just amazing.

Anonymous said...

1212 had one encounter with a teacher from Bennett Sr who did nothing but sit around, bitching that she wasn't paid well enough to buy a spiffy new wardrobe every year. Are the teachers really doing their best with tied hands? My experience hasn't mirrored your sentiment. Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Teachers aren't the decision-makers and really not a part of this conversation. Yes, the BOE is a huge cluster but what has any citizen done to rectify the situation? You're about to vote for the first time for people who are poised for the positions but they're hand-picked by the very corruption you scream about. What good is it if they are 'interviewed' first by these malcontents when the community is supposed to be voting people in? It's a set-up containing all the same ideas and values (or lack of) that you people wanted to do away with by putting them to a vote instead of appointments. Wake up people. Just because you change it from Pink to Red, it's still lipstick on a pig.

Anonymous said...

I doubt many of the affected parents are going to let their kids walk. They will drive them there or carpool with other parents. A mile is a little long, but 1/2 a mile isn't that bad for a kid. It will also give them the exercise they need due to all the video game/social media butt-sitting.

Anonymous said...

A Community Dare:
I dare anyone on here commenting that walking through some of Salisbury's slums and ghettos for kids is alright to go and walk through those same neighborhoods. I bet you $20 not one of you keyboard warriors will do or even think of doing it, but it's okay for little kids 5,6 years old to do it.

You're just a bunch of hypocrites. Let's just see how many Amber Alerts get called after this nonsense begins and then you all will be up in arms that the police aren't keeping the kids safe.

Anonymous said...

Did they think of the fact that some of the months some of these children will be walking in the dark ? Will there be additional crossing guards? Up to a mole
From the school? It will take one cute innocent child, walking home from School in the dark to be accousted , hit by a car, attacked .. for this policy to change. God hep them if this is my child

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with this. Young kids just starting school are scared and intimidated by the new experience; they need help from someone like a bus driver to feel secure in their surroundings.

Anonymous said...

Awwwww are we a lasy baby momma ?

Anonymous said...

I live almost around the corner from my son's elementary school but I didn't receive a letter...

Anonymous said...

Paul Butler's is not the only new position at the BOE, yet positions are being removed from the schools. When do the CHILDREN become our priority, Wicomico County Board of Education?????

Anonymous said...

Hanlin is no better than Frederickson. Neither is worth buckus & kids aren't the priority, 143. They never will be. Those people are more interested in make a lot of nothing than investing the country's future.

Anonymous said...

1217 funny. When I go to sub some of the teachers are dressed worse than the students. And they wonder why kids don't respect them. Can't imagine why.

JoeAlbero said...

It never ceases to amaze me just how ridiculous these comments get. Stay on topic.

Anonymous said...

Exactly my point

Anonymous said...

Joe, I agree but why do you let the teacher-bashers post while those who disagree not post?

JoeAlbero said...

2:37, Because I don't moderate all the comments. With all due respect, I start here at 3:00 AM every morning. I don't wrap up until about 9 PM. In the mean time, I have multiple properties to take care of and a Family to be with. Then there's breakfast, lunch and dinner, if you don't mind. And yes, there's laundry, meals and keeping the house clean every day.

While I'd love to read and publish the many hundreds of comments that come through every day, sometimes there are more important things to do. Besides, if I didn't do many of the things I mentioned above, do you really think my Wife would tolerate me spending my every waking hour on this FREE Website?

By the way, I just finished mowing the Ocean City lawn, (about 2 acres). At 6:00 AM I started planting 24 jumbo elephant ear plants. Thanks for understanding.

Anonymous said...

Another case in point former council member now delegate Hughes husband is director of transportation for county board of ed? How did this slip by and accepted? What the benefit package on that about 100k yr?

Anonymous said...

Another case in point former council member now delegate Hughes husband is director of transportation for county board of ed? How did this slip by and accepted? What the benefit package on that about 100k yr?

Anonymous said...

They should walk. I agree. We waste too much tax money on transportation!

Anonymous said...

Tough crap. Old enough to have them, then take care of them.

Anonymous said...

When I was a student we lived in the worst area of town and the most dangerous street in the hood. Buses feared the area. The deeper down you went, the meaner they were. I lived behind the last house out back in a tent and walked to school through rain, snow, sleet and hail. (now I'm a mail carrier). I guess it paid off, I'm surviving.

Anonymous said...

Most parents can't walk their child to school these days, especially at the Westside Schools. The earliest kids can arrive is 8:45 a.m. - much too late for parents to be available to walk or drive their kids to school.

Anonymous said...

6:15 pm, you are ignorant!

Anonymous said...

12:32:
Until your child steps foot on a bus, they are YOUR responsibility. Not the schools'.

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:31, they need the bus driver to protect them?? You mean bus drivers like the one who was just arrested in the prostitution sting at Hampton Inn?

Anonymous said...

WCBOE is a joke. They claim they’re there for the children and the community. This sucks for families that’s children will be affected. Look a little deeper into how some of their other more recent decisions have left approximately 30 residents without jobs. Definitely don’t practice what they preach!!

June 1960 said...

Most parents have to be to work before the time that you're allowed to drop them off. It's not the sixties any more.

June 1960 said...

And they have means of making sure their kids and grandkids get to school safe. Not everyone is that fortunate.

Anonymous said...

This decision is very unsafe for students! Take a street like Camden Ave., north of North Blvd...the street is very narrow and now heavily traveled by cars and trucks. It has no space between the sidewalk and street. Several yours aga a kid who was horsing around while walking with others fell into the street and was hit. Then you add the city's failure to enforce its zoning laws and allow Jeff Outten to illegally convert homes, the handiwork of the slumlords, and the criminals roaming the street...even adults aren't safe.

Anonymous said...

So John Palmer & Joe Ollinger were busting tail to get put on the school board to straighten this mess out. Where are they now? Haven't heard a peep out of Palmer & Ollinger is resigning. What does that say about making it about the children's bus rides or anything else about the kids?

Anonymous said...

Great call. It is a complete waste of $ to drive kids 1 mile!

Anonymous said...

Your child is your problem once he/she leaves the school.

Anonymous said...

And yet we can hire a PR person at $90,000 plus a year to tell people how well WCBOE is doing ad troubles are "isolated incidents", but we can't see to our children's safety to get to and from school?

Anonymous said...

While Mr. Hughes makes the recommendation to the BOE that this is a cost cutting measure, my 5 year old daughter will now have to walk a mile to school while his own children are transported in a county owned vehicle, by him, to a school out of his neighborhood district. He then drives back to Salisbury to start his day. I think that should stop if we're trying to cut cost.

Anonymous said...

11:18:
Ever heard of day care and preschool? I said I too drove MY CHILD to private school both ways. For 14 years. Went public grade 9.

Anonymous said...

Is that a picture of Hamlin at the top? If so, that chick fell through the ugly tree and hit EVERY branch!!!

Anonymous said...

Very insightful. You added much value to this conversation. Now it's time for adults to speak. Good night!