“Herrmann
http://bit.ly/HerrmannDec112018= Dec 11 to?
MD Higher Education Commission
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“2018
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OPINION: Bob Leib should remove his name from school board appointment

| November 29, 2018
Rams Head

Photo: Facebook

Facebook will be the death of us all. Well, maybe not all of us; but, certainly anyone that has a desire to dip their toe into the political swimming pool. Up next in the pool– Anne Arundel County Board of Education appointee Bob Leib!

When will they learn?

John Grasso posted several anti-Muslim memes and shared some anti-Muslim articles and only offered a half-hearted apology when caught. He lost.

Former Anne Arundel County Fire Chief Roger Simmonds was just axed from County Executive Elect Steuart Pittman’s transition team for similar posts.

And now we have Bob Leib who was recently appointed to serve a two-year term on the Anne Arundel County Public Schools Board of Education. So what about Bob and his Facebook page? A few days ago, local community activist Yasemin Jamison who runs a Facebook page called Anne Arundel County Indivisible and has written for The Arundel Patriot, contacted Carl Snowden about concerning posts on Bob Leib’s Facebook page.

OK, Leib is a graduate of the Naval Academy. Worked for County Executive Steve Schuh. There is no surprise that he might support President Trump and lean far to the right. There is no reason to get upset about that; nor would there be a reason to be upset over the appointment of a Hillary Clinton supporter. We all have our politics and that is the name of the game.

But when racism comes into question, it is time to take a look.  Scrolling back on Leib’s Facebook page (which inexplicably is wide open and available for the public to see) there are many posts (mostly shares) that give insight to his thinkings and political bent.

 

And three in particular are of concern for someone that is tasked with guiding the education of 80,000 students in Anne Arundel County many of whom are immigrants or LBGT.

You can peruse about 6 months of Leib’s Facebook timeline here.

 

Should a simple Facebook share be reason for denial of a Board of Education seat? A political appointment? Serving as an elected official? Maybe. Maybe not. But it certainly should give pause to the people that made the appointment or the voters that are considering electing the individual.

Leib is due to be sworn onto the Board of Education on Monday and serve for a two year term. He is one of the last members appointed by the School Board Appointment Commission which is a board consisting of 13 members, two of which are appointed by the County Executive. This commission was a departure from the School Board Nominating Commission as Anne Arundel County moves to an elected Board. Under the old system, names were forwarded to the Governor for the appointment.

It is not clear what can be done at this point in time.  Activists like Snowden and Jamison are calling for Leib to not be seated on the Board. We do not believe that the County Executive has the authority to make the change. We do not believe the Governor does either.  The Appointment Commission probably could recall the appointment, but that really sheds a bad light on how imperfect the system (and perhaps how poor the judgement of the 13 members) really is.  Or, Bob Leib could withdraw.

Given these choices, We feel Leib should withdraw his name and allow the new Board to continue with a member short until a replacement can be found.  Leib was chosen from a field of more than 10 very viable candidates and I suggest that the SBAC go back to the drawing board and dig a little deeper into the next appointee.

And just as we went to publish this, we received notice that the current Board of Education will be holding a special closed door session tomorrow morning at 9am to discuss a “legal matter.” This may be related to the appointment of Leib.

Social media is here to stay. As we have seen time and time again, sharing memes, espousing opinions, and commenting on articles is permanent. When anyone over the age of 40 was young, we were always threatened by some “permanent record.” Spoiler: it never existed. But now–all bets are off. Even a deleted post can be preserved with a screen capture. Today’s Internet is a scary place and we all must think about consequences now and in the future before we post!

And or those looking to get into politics in this new age of social media…

Rams Head

 

Category: OPINION, Post To FB

About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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