Monday, May 7, 2018

Shadyside Parents Oppose Len Forkas' Milestone Communications Cell Tower on Their Child's School

Len Forkas is head of Milestone Communications and also founder of Hopecam charity. Here are videos go him publicly speaking about his work.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Montgomery County Schools MEMO: Digital Safety and School and Home For Teachers/Staff and Students


Information and updates from the office of the Chief Technology Officer


Digital Safety at School and at Home 

The MCCPTA Safe Technology Subcommittee would like to share the following recommendations for using technology at school and at home.

For Students at School:
  • Consider placing Chromebooks/laptops on desks and tables rather than in laps;
  • Don’t forget to shut down and log off of Chromebooks/laptops when moving from classroom to classroom;
  • Consider turning off cell phones and keeping them in backpacks or lockers off when not in use;
  • If necessary, take eye breaks, 1-to 2 minutes in length, approximately every 15 minutes;
  • Attend to task! Avoid distractions such as reading email, playing games, or browsing the Internet;
  • Engage in face-to-face socialization, especially at free time, lunch, and recess;
  • Always use the Internet and devices for educational purposes in accordance with MCPS’s responsible use policies;
  • Use resources that do not infringe on another’s copyright or trademark rights.
For Students at Home:
  • “Disconnect” at least one hour before bedtime.  This includes all forms of media and requires online-based homework to be done well in advance of bedtime;
  • Keep electronic devices out of bedrooms for a sounder sleep.
For Teachers:
  • Encourage students, when appropriate, to customize their device screens using tools such as ScreenShader designed to reduce potential eye strain and fatigue
  • Consider providing students with options for good behavior that include physical activity and social interaction rather than “device time”;
  • When requested, provide paper alternatives for take-home class work.
Additional Resources:
Congratulations MCPS! 
See resources this memo links to here as well. (

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Formal complaint against Two Anne Arundel County School Board Members

From: Parent 
Date: Fri, Dec 8, 2017 at 7:19 AM
Subject: Formal complaint against two Anne Arundel County School Board Members

Dear Office Of the Attorney General of the Maryland State Department of Education,

I'm filing a formal complaint against two Anne Arundel County School Board Members for bullying and harassment. 

Patricia Nalley
Terry Gilleland

As public servants and school representatives their pattern of behavior over the past several months has been shocking.  For example, Patricia Nalley at a previous board meeting referred to me, my family, and members of my community as "those people". and continued to aggressively state that we probably deserved to have the police called on us when we quietly and politely tried to attend our school's PTO meeting. 

Yesterday's behavior was especially egregious. My 10 year old son gave a public testimony at the school board meeting on Dec. 6, 2017. Afterward I watched Terry and Patricia lean toward each other and snicker and roll their eyes to each other while looking at my son. He was aware of their actions and it made him feel very uncomfortable. I was watching in horror and shock and couldn't believe they could be so blatantly rude toward my son and the public. Not to mention the fact that they would be whispering to each other and not listening to the next person's public testimony.  Their actions were clearly meant to intimidate me, my family, and my 10 year old son. 

Because I can read lips, I know that what they were whispering back and forth to each other was about my son and mocking the fact that he is a "homeschooler" .  Not only were they totally disrespectful by intentionally whispering and snickering during somebody else's testimony, they were harassing my son based on his age and the fact that he is homeschooled and probably because the topic of his testimony was not to their liking.  This kind of discriminatory, bullying behavior is unacceptable. My son, who bravely came to express his concerns in a kind and respectful manner, was met with disrespectful and hurtful behavior. He has been taught to respectful listen to others thoughts and ideas by giving them eye contact and never to whisper and laugh in front of anyone because it is extremely rude and hurtful. He was as surprised as I was that school board members would behave in this way. He was expecting to be listening to and he also thought that the board might be able to help him and take his concerns seriously. The fact that he is homeschooled in Anne Arundel county had nothing to do with his testimony. Nor should he have to feel bad about that. 

I'm expecting a formal apology to myself and my son from the board.


Parent of Child

Support Bill PG 417-18: Transparency in Cell Towers At Prince George's County Schools

Your Voice is Important! 
The Right To Know About A Cell Tower At My Childs School Bill is moving forward. 

Support Delegate Alonzo Washington's new Prince George's County Bill PG 417-18  
If a cell tower company wants to put a cell tower on a Prince George's County School this Bill stipulates they must hold a public hearing at the school first.  This Bill ensures transparency in cell tower placement on our schools. 

All voices need to be heard on this bill so we can ensure transparency. 

1. Provide a letter of support for the legislation that we can provide to the Education Subcommittee hearing on Friday, January 19th.
The letter should be address to Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith, Chair of the Education Subcommittee,
The full name of the bill is PG 513-18 – Telecommunications Transmission Facility on Public School Grounds- Public Hearing Notification. Email a copy of your letter of support to by Wednesday, January 17th  so the office can  provide it to the Subcommittee.Send the letter to Care of Marty McGowan
2. Email and call the offices of the members of the Education Subcommittee and urge them to vote to support this legislation. Let them know the community wants this Bill! 

The members of this Subcommittee are: Calling AND emailing would be best. 
·         Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith (Chair) –
·         Delegate Daryl Barnes (Vice Chair) –
·         Delegate Tawanna Gaines –
·         Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk –
·         Delegate Carlo Sanchez –
·         Delegate Carolyn JB Howard –

Group Emails of the Education Subcommittee (so you can paste it into your browser),,,,,

Please share this information with anyone else who you think would be interested in supporting this legislation.
Now is the time to show your support!
What this Bill is: Ensuring transparency when a cell tower is proposed on a Prince George's County School . This Bill ensures that the community and parents are given a voice and are made aware of the fact tha a cell tower is going to be placed on a child's school. 

What this Bill is NOT:  An opinion on cell towers on schools. 

PG 417-18  ensures the community is informed because if the meeting is at the school where the cell tower is proposed then parents will understand it is about the children's school. In the past cell towers were proposed but the "community meetings" were not held at the school where the tower was placed. Some meetings were not even held in the same town where the cell tower was proposed. 

Telecommunications Transmission Faculity on Public School Grounds - Public Hearing Notification
SponsorDelegate Washington
SynopsisFor the purpose of requiring a telecommunications company proposing to install a telecommunications transmission facility on public school grounds owned by the Prince George's County Board of Education to hold a certain public hearing before the school system's CEO executes a certain notice to proceed.
Bill Text Read bill text in rich-text or PDF format

Please send an email of support NOW. Our elected officials need to hear from YOU.