Petition Closed
Petitioning Frederick County commissioner Paul Smith and 4 others

Tell the Frederick County Commissioners to Apologize for their Sexist Solutions

Frederick County, Maryland officials were dealing with the local budget when their creative problem solving took a turn for the sexist. County commissioners, having decided to eliminate funding for Head Start, a preschool program for disadvantaged kids, suggested this for those families affected: Make the women stay home. This idea is sexist and officials should apologize for offering up sexism in lieu of solutions.

"The mother's role is primarily in the home," said Frederick County commissioner Paul Smith. His colleague Kirby Delauter backed him up, adding, "My wife, college educated, could go out and get a very good job. She gave that up for 18 years so she could stay home with our kids.” 

Smith and Delauter assume that the parents of the children in Head Start have the luxury of making the same choice their wives did. Staying at home requires that families can afford to subsist on one income. That simply isn't reality for low-income people.

Cutting off local funding for Head Start put Frederick County families in a tight spot. Shaming women into staying home did not help matters. Tell the county commissioners to apologize for their remarks and offer up real solutions for parents of young children.

Photo credit: hfb

Letter to
Frederick County commissioner Paul Smith
Frederick County commissioner Kirby Delauter
Frederick County commissioner David P. Gray
and 2 others
Frederick County commissioner Blaine R. Young
Frederick County commissioner Billy Shreve
Earlier this month, you and your fellow commissioners were dealing with the local budget for Head Start when your creative problem solving took a turn for the sexist. County commissioners suggested this for those families affected by the cuts to Head Start: Make the women stay home. The commissioners should apologize for offering up sexism in lieu of solutions.

Saying that low-income families --those primarily affected by the cuts-- should simply have the wives stay at home assumes that these parents have the luxury of making that choice. Staying at home requires that families can afford to subsist on one income. That simply isn't reality for low-income people. Certainly I don't argue the validity of the choice to stay at home --for men or women-- but it shouldn't be considered a requirement for proper motherhood. Different people, different families, different solutions.

Cutting off local funding for Head Start put Frederick County families in a tight spot. Shaming women into staying home did not help matters. Apologize for their remarks and offer up real solutions for parents of young children.

Thank you.