State to take no action against school official

November 16, 1994|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Sun Staff Writer

The Maryland attorney general's office says no action will be taken against an Anne Arundel County school board member who publicly embarrassed a Seven Oaks parent by accusing her of making "elitist and racist" remarks.

Zoe B. Draughon had asked Gov. William Donald Schaefer to remove school board member Maureen Carr-York for the remarks, made after Ms. Draughon questioned Ms. Carr-York about her contact with members of a redistricting committee. Ms. Draughon also sought a public apology.

Valerie Cloutier, an assistant attorney general who advises the state Board of Education, said in a letter dated yesterday that no action could be taken by the governor or state Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick, since the discussion involved redistricting.

"An appeal to the state Board of Education is the proper process to review a decision of a local board of education regarding h hTC school redistricting," wrote Ms. Cloutier.

Ms. Draughon said her complaint was not about a redistricting decision. The complaint, she said, was about Ms. Carr-York's "personal attacks on a parent."

Ms. Carr-York has defended her contention about Ms. Draughon's motivation in preventing Seven Oaks from being redistricted and has maintained that she had a right to make a sharp rebuttal.

"Tactful when confronted with the sort of nasty invective she hurled at me? There's a limit to what any human being can take," Ms. Carr-York said in an interview shortly after the incident. She called the exchange a rarity and said people "should not be afraid to approach me or the board on any issue."

School board members can be removed by the state superintendent at the governor's request for immorality, a felony conviction and other reasons listed in state law.

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