BALTIMORE COUNTY — State Delegate Robin Grammer, R-6, who represents part of Eastern Baltimore County in Annapolis, is under fire by colleagues for a Facebook comment containing language being deemed as racially-charged.
Last Friday, the GOP delegate penned a comment in a Facebook group called “BCPS Parents & Teachers for Equitable Facilities & Portable AC.” Grammer was responding to Baltimore County School Board Nominating Commission member Michael Darenberg, who was writing in about past BCPS Dallas Dance and his closest advisors — which include current Interim Superintendent Verletta White.
Darenberg said he thought all those who worked on Dance’s leadership team should resign. “If you do, we stop digging up dirt on you and you can move to another school system and take advantage of them,” Darenberg wrote.
“No deal,” Grammer replied. “Hang them high and leave it for the village to see.”
Del. Charles Sydnor, D-44B, a Democrat who also represents Baltimore County, and expressed his displeasure with both Grammer and Darenberg’s statements, saying Grammer’s was “hateful” and invoked language of lynchings targeting African Americans in previous generations. Sydnor also said the pair should “find better ways” to voice criticism of current and former school leaders.
Grammer’s “allusion to the lynching and public display harkens back to a dark period in this state’s history,” said Sydnor. The delegate said this kind of rhetoric is “dangerous,” and was confusing, as the two had cooperated previously in support of a recent bill establishing a Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“I don’t believe in cutting deals with criminals so that they can walk away without consequence to terrorize another school system,” Grammer told The Dundalk Eagle and The Avenue News on Tuesday. “White collar corruption in public office cannot be tolerated. Our students deserve better!”
Grammer was unspecific in who at BCPS currently that he believes to be a criminal. Grammer has penned an editorial in this week’s paper.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. said the delegate’s Facebook comment was “insensitive” and “unnecessary.”
In 2018, former Superintendent Dance pleaded guilty to perjury for failing to disclose income from consulting work he performed while the county’s top education official to the Board of Education and the public. Dallas was incarcerated four months for this plea.
No other current or former BCPS school administrators or educators have been indicted or accused of criminal activity.
White told she was “saddened” by Grammer’s comments. The two appeared together with other county and BCPS officials at an area ground-breaking last week.
“My parents were born in the mid-1920s and I heard their stories about how they had to really deal with the trauma and the horror of public torture and murder of African American people,” White told media last week. “It saddens me that both of my parents are gone now, and yet I’m seeing these words in 2019. Let’s try to move beyond this level of discourse, because our children are watching us.”