Beck Owes Group A Public Apology
Donna Hathaway Beck, a Board of Education member and elected official, recently used her county e-mail account and called our leader "an evil hate-filled [expletive]." What's even more surprising is that Prince George's County has a county executive, a state's attorney, 2 U.S. senators, 3 congressmen, 8 state senators, 23 state delegates, 9 County Council members and a host of others considering political aspirations, and none has gone on record against what Ms. Beck has done. Why?
People for Change is under fire because we called for a public apology and resignation, and neither has happened. Our group consists of bright and talented individuals who are strategic thinkers, education advocates, business owners, technology consultants, writers, trainers, retired teachers, marketing consultants, developers and builders, parents and students. We expect decency, moral character and integrity from our elected officials.
Whether the offense warrants removal from the board is based on one's moral standards and principles, which appear to be eroding in this county. In any work environment, a high standard of service and ethical behavior is expected.
Prince Georgians, have we become so complacent and apathetic that we are not outraged when an official we elect or is appointed to lead and serve us can use the power of his or her office to destroy the moral fabric?
As an elected school board official, Ms. Beck represents school system administration. Students, teachers, parents and the school superintendent report to her. She is elected to make and enforce policies that expel students for far less infractions than what she committed. Is she above the law?
The school system is considering a Parent Code of Conduct, setting clear expectations for appropriate "parent behavior." Violation of those expectations could result in a fine or imprisonment, if convicted, and denial of access to school buildings and grounds. Are there two standards?
This fact brings to light something very wrong in this county. It has become normal practice for an elected official to ignore constituents. They know how to court you to gain your support and vote during election season, but once they are elected, they do not know you. Why are we allowing this type of arrogance and behavior from an elected official?
Regardless of the reason, nothing justifies the course of action Ms. Beck took when she used her Prince George's County e-mail account to send an offensive e-mail to a voter, parent and resident. She disagreed with the position our organization took and took it upon herself to react in an unprofessional manner.
She sent an apology via e-mail 24 days after her unprofessional and mean-spirited actions. As of now, it has been 41 days, and Ms. Beck has not made or posted a public apology -- something that People for Change thinks is owed to every resident. More important, Ms. Beck owes her colleagues a public apology.
It's time for change in Prince George's County! We need to stand up and demand high moral standards and values. Then maybe we can remind elected officials, such as Ms. Beck, that they are supposed to be public servants and regardless to the differences of opinion, she works for the voters.
Donna Hathaway Beck, we, People for Change, call on you to put an end to the embarrassing situation you made on our county. Do the right thing; put away your pride and apologize to the public.