Capital Article

Huang, Cindy, Chesapeake Science Point student wins seat on Anne Arundel school board, April 20, 2017

Snider Comment

The most interesting part of this article from my perspective is the Capital’s photo including AACPS students in the background at today’s SMOB election. Although to the untutored eye this may seem a routine type of photo, this is the first time I recall seeing such a SMOB election photo in the Capital. The previous AACPS policy was that such photos would not be allowed without first getting written permission from the students in the photo, which effectively banned such photos from a practical perspective. I wonder if the Capital reporter’s handler knew that she was taking such a photo and, if so, didn’t object. In the past, taking such a photo would have been grounds for asking the local police officer stationed at Arundel High School to either confiscate the film or threaten to arrest the person taking the photo. Perhaps AACPS changed its official policy on this matter. But since its official policy wasn’t really in writing (although AACPS’s assistant superintendent claimed otherwise when the issue last came up), I suppose it was one of those many claimed policies that AACPS administrators just arbitrarily change at the spur of the moment depending on political convenience.

As for the SMOB election this year, what I found most interesting is that the administrators’ controlled nominating panel for SMOB resisted its natural temptation to pick sycophants. Indeed, I would say that there is significant pressure on the SMOB to disagree publicly and vote against the superintendent on at least one salient issue to demonstrate to the public that the SMOB isn’t the superintendent’s puppet. This change I attribute to the various bills relating to the SMOB election that were introduced but defeated, including one by a close 8-7 vote, during the recently concluded session in the Maryland General Assembly.

For a report on the SMOB election last year, see my “The SMOB Election and Riva Road’s Culture of Intimidation” at