Ken Kerr, Disabilities, and “operatives”

By Eric Beasley

alex-jones

So as we all expected, with early voting underway and 8 days to the General Election, the races are all heating up. I awoke this morning to the Board of Education race getting heated….yet again. Who would have thought that a $10K/year job was such a big deal?

I did, considering the future of Zane and Arthur’s education is at stake. With Common Core and education meant to sabotage their cognitive abilities, I have a full plate of parental responsibility for the next 17.5 years to ensure my children become competent adults, not Democrat Drones.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Unlike some public figures in Frederick County media, I’ll tell you straight-up my stake in any candidate. I’ve donated $50 to Cindy Rose’s campaign and completely support her candidacy. She also donated money to my City Council campaign. Interpret that as you will.

I’m going to take this whole kerfuffle in order.

On Saturday, a Cindy Rose supporter posted an encounter that she had with Dr. Kerr:

shawna-against-kerr

The post is self-explanatory.

Dr. Kerr responded on social media yesterday:

kerr-response

There are a few interesting tidbits buried within the political posturing of both posts:

  1. Dr. Kerr does not dispute the facts of the conversation. What he disputes is a single word, “all”, being used to quantify the use of accommodations.
  2. Dr. Kerr implies that Rose supporters are getting nervous. What empirical data backs up that theory? Has there been polling done in Frederick County for the Board of Education race? What other fact-driven analysis has taken place which makes the No-Slate Slate believe they have this in the bag? While reviewing their campaign finance reports, I did not see any expenditures related to polling. Did an outside organization like the MSEA or FCTA pay for polling and share the results with the No-Slate Slate?
  3. It’s odd, and downright dishonest, for any candidate to try to take this false “high road” when it comes to distortions. Quite frankly, every Board of Education candidate has supporters, or “operatives” as the pejorative description of them, out there posting memes or using hyperbole to describe their opponents. Some people have called Cindy Rose a book burner (Dave Schmidt, Kerr supporter), accused her of running a smear campaign (Casey Day-Kells, Union/Democrat Hack) or dropping out of the race citing “dangerous” Cindy Rose (Lois Jarman, bullied by Democrat Central Committee to drop out).

 

Right about now, someone out there with good memory is remembering a time about 3 months ago where I was personally attacked with one of the most vile campaign activities in recent history. There is a difference between some exaggeration and downright fabrication. In my instance, the attack was absolutely false. The people above are using hyperbole, the anonymous coward who created that mailer is a libelous liar.

As to the subject of the claim, there’s one thing that does puzzle me. Accommodations for folks with disabilities is federal law. There is no way around it, it doesn’t matter if someone is in school, college, or the workforce. Employers must provide these accommodations. Personally, I fail to see any reason why accommodations should be tapered back during college to integrate into the workforce.

I’ve worked with deaf programmers before. I’ve worked with other IT professionals that did not have all their limbs. I worked with a blind man that spent his lunch running laps around Fort Meade. I remember a guy that was called “stubbs” that required accommodations and performed his duties admirably. “Stubbs” is a double above-the-knee amputee whose amputation prevented him from using a modern prosthetic. So instead, he had LT Dan-style metal straight legs that made him right about 5 feet tall. Obviously, he required a special chair and desk.

I see no reason why “Stubbs” should have been forced to sit in a regular height chair and regular desk while he was in college “to prepare him for the workforce.” Stubbs is getting along just fine.

I have also seen some accommodations in the workforce which do not involve legal mandates. My supervisor was training for the Olympic fencing team last year and was allowed to work off-hours during this time. Even right now, Elyse is out in California and I am home alone with Zane. My company has “accommodated” by current work schedule by allowing me to work while he is asleep and over the weekends. No legal mandates required, just some free-market flexibility.

So while I understand the theory that Dr. Kerr is operating on, that accommodations prevent employment, the fallacy here is that accommodations end when schooling ends. Many of them continue into the workforce, and it would be illegal for any company to deny these accommodations to their employees.

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Ryan Miner is Editor in Chief, Founder and Publisher of AMinerDetail.com. Miner is the sole reporter and columnist at AMinerDetail.com, covering Maryland news, politics, business, education, national, state and local government. Miner is the host of A Miner Detail Podcast.

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