By Ed McMinn, Editor, News Messenger
Mark Miear (@MarkMiear)/Twitter
Former Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Mark Miear announced Tuesday, Jan. 10, at a meeting of the Montgomery County School Board that he will be running for the school board in November.
At the meeting, Miear spoke up and asserted that he did not give up his rights as a parent when he became superintendent. In an earnest address to the board, he said,
“On March 11, you, the board, had a meeting and decided to dismiss me without even calling me in to share my thoughts. I feel that after six years of being the superintendent in the county, I still deserved due process and at least the opportunity to share my side of what transpired that day.”
Miear admitted that he “lost my temper” on March 10 when he was speaking with Dr. Whiaker “about my own child. I sincerely want to apologize for that,” he said, declaring he acted “in the capacity of an upset parent, not as superintendent.
“Yet,” he said, “you dismissed me without even talking to me.” In his address to the board, Miear went on to share his thoughts about his dismissal.
“As a parent who shares joint legal and physical custody of my child, who I love more than anything, the school should not be allowed to change my child’s name without my permission,” Miear said. “The reason why I was against this change is irrelevant and personal. However, the board felt it could take away my right as a parent and change my child’s name without my permission.”
Miear directly addressed board member Susan Kass and declared she threatened him in February that if [he] didn’t allow [his] child to change her pronouns, it wouldn’t look good for [his] job. I felt coerced and regrettably agreed to it. I was not going to do the same with my child’s name. I did not give up my rights as a parent when I became superintendent.”
Miear went on to say, “In March, I requested that I be allowed to write a note of thanks to the students, employees, and parents. You denied me the dignity to do so after 30 years of public education. So, I would like to take this time to thank the MCPS community for giving me a wonderful six years as superintendent.
“I would like to give a special thanks to some amazing board members such as Joey Lyons, Gunin Kiran, and current members Jamie, Dana, and Marti. We didn’t agree on anything,” Miear said, “but you always advocated for students, were on the board for the right reasons, and always treated me with dignity and respect.
Miear made it obvious he did not feel that way about the whole school board. “As for Mark, Sue, and Penny: As superintendent, working with you was unbearable. You rarely mentioned students as a basis of your decisions. If we disagreed, you found it acceptable to treat me and others with disrespect. You are not on the board for the right reasons. You are not what is best for the children of this county.
The former superintendent then spoke for a moment to the parents of the system’s school children, reminding them that “if the school board can infringe upon my parental rights as the superintendent, they will certainly do the same to you if given the chance.”
He then announced his intention to run for the school board in Christiansburg’s District B in November and concluded with a simple statement wishing Dr. Bragen the best. “I know that I still have much more to contribute to the MCPS community.”