An open letter to Sen. Sydnor, Del. McCaskill, Del. Ruth, Gov. Moore.
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An Open Letter

To: Sen. Sydnor, Del. McCaskill, Del. Ruth, Gov. Moore

From: A verified voter in Halethorpe, MD

June 10

I am writing regarding the call for the dismissal of teacher Alexa Sciuto by Delegates Arikan, Grammer, Nawracki, and Szeliga. Ms. Sciuto has been placed on administrative leave based on these false complaints: In their public statement, the delegates describe acts of Ms. Sciuto arranging a lawful protest: organizing a meeting at a political event that Delegate Szeliga states they attended. Following this statement, as they describe peaceful protest actions, they characterize the use of assembly and speech as "threats." Again, the characterization of Ms. Sciuto as violent is not supported by any credible evidence and appears to be a deliberate misrepresentation intended to discredit her and suppress her voice. This was shared publicly on social media using what appears to be the official General Assembly letterhead of the Maryland House of Delegates. As this story spreads, it is clear that the lack of response from our elected representatives is not only troubling but also indicative of a broader issue. Again, it is also important to highlight that Delegates Arikan and Szeliga were present at the Parental Power Summit the event being protested. As public representatives, they should expect and respect the right of citizens to protest against them. The right to peaceful assembly and protest is a cornerstone of our democracy. The social media statement they claim as threatening in their letter was marked as rhetorical satire on the social media site it was made. It was posted days after any protest action, well after the public protests they detailed at length. Ms. Sciuto posted several near-immediate remarks to be very clear that it was a satirical scenario describing an attack on someone's reputation, and not on any person. All of this information was available to the delegates before they shared their letter. Delegates Arikan, Grammer, Nawracki, and Szeliga shared their intent to use their position as elected officials to have Ms. Sciuto terminated from her position as a Baltimore County Public Schools teacher. The letter is addressed to Dr. Myriam Rogers, Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools. Ms. Sciuto participated in peaceful protests, exercising her constitutional right to free speech. It is deeply unethical to see elected officials acting in their official capacity as legislators for the State of Maryland attempting to punish her for lawful expression. I have sent my statement and account, which I attest is true to the best of my knowledge, to the Maryland General Assembly Ethics Committee, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the ACLU of Maryland, and Dr. Myriam Rodgers of Baltimore County Public Schools. I urge the legislature to reject any calls for punitive action against Ms. Sciuto and to uphold the principles of civil rights. It is imperative that we protect the rights of all citizens, regardless of their profession or political views.

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