HCPSS MPIA Request #2020-418

Requestor
Samuel Seliger
Organization/Agency
Pressing the Future
Requested Information
This is a request under the Maryland Public Information Act, Title 4 of the General Provisions of the Maryland Code. I write to you in your capacity as custodian of public records of the Office of Secondary Social Studies. I wish to inspect all public records in the custody and control of the Office of Secondary Social Studies in any professional capacity pertaining to the following: 

Any and all public records and/or communications, including electronic mail, written correspondence, text messages, presentation documents, meeting agendas, and notes of or from meetings between and among staff, pertaining to political activism and political statements by high school social studies teachers, dated and/or compiled between June 1, 2016 and June 22, 2020;

Any and all public records and/or communications, including electronic mail, written correspondence, text messages, presentation documents, meeting agendas, and notes of or from meetings between and among staff, pertaining to student complaints about political ideology/bias in high school social studies teachers, dated and/or compiled between June 1, 2012 and June 22, 2020;

Any and all public records and/or communications, including electronic mail, written correspondence, text messages, presentation documents, meeting agendas, and notes of or from meetings between and among staff, pertaining to teacher statements and classroom discussions about or related to the Black Lives Matter movement, dated and/or compiled between July 13, 2013 and June 22, 2020.
Date Received
Status
Complete
Response Notes

Responsive to these requests (MPIA 2020-417), and per clarification you are seeking guidance given to high school teachers – beyond HCPSS Policy 8080: Responsible Use of Technology – regarding how to handle political activism, public political statements, and involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement, not to include instructional materials/curriculum on these topics, but rather how teachers should handle these discussions in the classroom, student complaints regarding bias, and/or a teacher’s public reactions to such topics, please find the following below. Further clarification and time would be needed to identify all forms of communication, presentations, meeting agendas and/notes between and among staff over a period of four to eight years.

Responsive Documents
Resources for teaching controversial issues as shared with teachers by the Office of Secondary Social Studies in relation to professional development as well as individual lessons on such topics related to controversial issues
Specific to classroom discussions about Black Lives Matter, please find attached recent guidance given to principals and teachers. Additionally, curricular materials released under MPIA 2021-008 for the Black Lives Matter Week of Action contains guidance for teachers in the form of “background for teachers” and “anticipated misconceptions” sections by topic/lesson.