by Kerry Dougherty
As I wrote this I debated whether or not to put a question mark at the end of my headline. Newport News School Chief About To Be Sacked?
I decided against it.
News reports seem certain that the Newport News School Board will vote tonight to fire School Superintendent George Parker for his cumulative failure to prevent three shootings on school property in 18 months.
The latest and most horrific, of course, was the shooting of first grade teacher Abigail Zwerner by one of her 6-year-old students on January 6.
“The Newport News School Board will vote Wednesday evening on the firing of superintendent George Parker and appointing an interim in his place,” reports The Daily Press.
“The special board meeting was announced Tuesday, and follows a series of closed meeting discussions the board has held in the past two weeks…
“Parker has faced a barrage of criticism since the Jan. 6 shooting of first-grade teacher Abigail Zwerner. The shooting is the third on school property in 18 months, following the 2021 shootings at Heritage and Menchville high schools.
Teachers, parents and community members have blamed the administration for failing to properly handle “out of control” student behavior, and have called for Parker’s removal. Dozens of teachers and parents spoke at last week’s board meeting to express their anger, and others have sent letters to school board members.”
Complaints about the superintendent concentrate largely on a widespread lack of support for teachers by administrators as they try to deal with discipline problems in their classrooms. The Washington Post reported last weekend that the child accused of shooting his teacher had been the subject of numerous behavioral complaints. He allegedly terrorized his classmates by throwing furniture and had frightened another teacher by telling her he wanted to set her on fire and watch her die.
Yet there he was, still in class, in January.
What does it take to be booted from classrooms in Newport News? Continue reading
by Shaun Kenney
There are certain political groups that we rightly exclude from the political commons. Not because in doing so they are antithetical to our ideas of liberalism (lowercase-L) or democracy (lowercase-D), but because they are antithetical to the moral tradition from which both liberalism and democracy spring.
Of course, our Founders were wise enough to give classical liberalism and the democratic spirit the guidelines required to thrive. Through constitutional limitations on the power of federal overreach, the various factions as defined by Madison are balanced by the traditions and processes which guarantee our liberties and basic rights.
So, there’s a reason why Nazis are not welcome to participate in public life, even if they are tolerated in the public square as something to be mocked. There’s a reason why the Ku Klux Klan doesn’t receive a forum, even though they are mocked ruthlessly in the film and entertainment industry.
And there’s a reason why the ASS (After School Satan) Club doesn’t get to be in our public schools. From WAVY 13:
A flyer advertising the club started circulating on social media promoting the club, which is set to launch at B.M. Williams Primary School on Dec. 15.
“We are non-theistic,” said Rose Bastet, a volunteer organizing the new club. “I understand the apprehension behind the satanic name, but he is just an imaginary figure that we look to because he is the eternal rebel that fought for justice and humanity.”
by Asra Q. Nomani
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Tears of joy came to the eyes of special education advocates Callie Oettinger and Debra Tisler as they read a much-anticipated decision by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
For years, they have been advocating — to deaf ears in Fairfax County Public Schools and the entire state of Virginia — on behalf of students denied educational services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Today, the U.S. Department of Education ruled that they were indeed correct.
“This is a victory for every parent,” said Oettinger. “In 2020, we knew that the actions that FCPS was taking were in noncompliance with IDEA. We are now vindicated, and every parent should contact FCPS to make sure that every child receives COMPENSATORY EDUCATION and other services that meet their needs.”
The key words here are to ask for COMPENSATORY EDUCATION. Many parents with special needs children paid out of pocket and took on second jobs to pay for tutors and other services to meet educational needs that Fairfax County failed to provide. And many other parents couldn’t afford these extra services, and their children were left behind. Continue reading