Two high profile contentious issues were presented to the elected leadership in Falls Church City recently, the community spoke and the majority of the constituents were ignored. Totalitarianism is on the creep in Falls Church City, Virginia. Well known to be a bastion for liberal democrats, things took a turn for democracy in Northern Virginia when in August in Falls Church, the City Council rushed a gun ban through, with no live public comment, under the cover of COVID. Championed by Council Member Ms. Letty Hardy, a minority and first generation immigrant from Hong Kong, the ban passed despite immense opposition at first reading and against the voices of minority groups and citizens (Jewish organziations, Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking Survivors, Asians, and African American citizens.)
Yet again,this past Tuesday, December 8, the will of the citizens was ignored as the Falls Church City Public School Board voted 7-0 to change the names of two schools despite the community opposition to this idea. Letters had poured in from both sides and Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS) even created an entire webpage to the deliberations to hear from the community as to whether to change the names of George Mason High School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, founding fathers who had themselves owned slaves. The community poll was only 26% in favor of the change.
Makes National News
Perhaps not surprisingly this infringement story was picked up by other outlets and national news outlet Fox News and our community leaders are now being mocked for their lack of critical thinking power grab. The moral purity and virtue signaling of the popular morals of the day, are really only present day cover for censorship and control.
Discussions have raged in the community on Facebook groups and on email listservs. Personal attacks and memes of bikini clad beach goers with guns and flags were not off limits. One email thread pointed out parallels from world history offering that when the United Kingdom signed the treaty passing sovereignty over Hong Kong to China in 1997; the treaty gave Hong Kong the right to govern itself until 2047.
Recent events there demonstrate that the Chinese government has no regard for the liberties of the people of Hong Kong and the Chinese Communist Party has now imposed its’ rule on Hong Kong and yet, the leadership of Falls Church see no parallels nor find no lessons there. Liberty always suffers when people place their trust in governments to uphold them. Recognizing this, James Madison proposed a bill of rights for this very reason and the crafting and passage of which both Mason and Jefferson played a role. The 2nd Amendment was and still is one of those rights even though democrats seem to insist that it is old and no longer relevant.
Interestingly, during the time that events in Hong Kong were even pushing COVID from the lead story, the City Council proposed and passed the ordinance to strip individuals of their rights to carry guns in public spaces and parks through what has been coined “common sense” gun legislation. Where was the concern for the minorities then considering the racist history of gun control in this country? It is never common sense to relinquish one’s liberty and any value gained by the critical loss must be carefully weighed against any proposed “common good” gain. These same common sense proposals close schools and yet push to end online conceal carry gun classes during a global pandemic.
History proves over and over that governments will oppress their people with whatever power they accrue. Hong Kong is just one of the latest examples in world news, but here in Falls Church the City Council and now the Falls Church City Public School Board is using their power to thwart the will of the people.
Our forefathers warned us about this and now it is clearly a pervasive government procedure at every level. Falls Church City Council and the Falls Church City Public School Board are no different as both voted against popular opinion and chose what they personally thought was better for the city. In this community we are supposed to have a democratic representative government but it’s looking more and more totalitarian every day.
I just viewed the Fox news segment. Phil Reitinger is a school board member that needs to be schooled: Obama built the cages. Phil is re-writing history in many ways to justify his lefty leanings. Welcome to the people’s republic of China. Good Day Comrade. Phil – learn history before you pontificate falsehoods.
The link to phils speech https://twitter.com/MattWalshBlog/status/1336685289922768897?s=09
Well, Well, Well. Twitter exposes Phil Reitinger. Is this true?
Here are some facts it seems.
Phil Reitinger points out that over 81% voted for Biden in this town.
Who was vice president when the “cages” were built? Right… Vice President Biden
As we have been taught in this town by the teachings of Ibram Kendi
“We can be antiracist or we can be racist.”
81% of this town committed a racist act by voting for someone who was vice president when the cages were built and did not stop the cages from being built!
Has anyone called him out? Or are they silent because that’s what they want to believe? Most of the people in this town don’t believe the Obama administration built the cages because the media hushes up any story that is not complimentary to democrats. Phil should know the truth because he worked at DHS according to the link in this article. It’s shameful he pontificates about racism when he is guilty by association.
The list continues:
1. where was the uproar to impeach Gov Northam for his acts of racisim?
2. when will Falls Church change their name since it is based on creating boundaries that were intentional made to keep people of color out of the city?
3. when will Falls Church open their boundaries to the very neighborhoods they excluded?
This issues are more recent and demand action.
I’m appalled at the way Falls Church City schools handled this issue. The city claims to be so educated but they are actually elitist thugs not willing to listen to people that have opposing opinions. That’s tyranny.
I am so very thankful that Laura Ingram put a spotlight on this breathtaking display of ignorance and partisanship by this collection of offensive School Board powermongers! It is pretty clear they have no respect whatsoever for the people they ride herd over, and worst of all, it is the children that suffer from their utter incompetence, warped sense of priorities and brazen disregard for their primary responsibility to educate the children of this community. What a colossal national disgrace they have become!
A nationally recognized school!
The school is nationally recognized now, that’s for sure!
We are extremely proud of the Falls Church City Council and Falls Church City School Board for their courageous decisions!
As a family shocked by the racism that our grandchildren experience every day in our beloved City, we now understand why!
This is truly one of the most unkind and ridiculous posts ever.
After listening to people of color and the SCA students calmly expressing their desire for change, the Board made the best unanimous choice!
We are SO PROUD of our City leaders including Dr. Noonan who wants ALL children to feel safe! Hear us roar!
How will changing the name of two schools end the racism that *shocks* your family? Erasing a name neither changes history nor is a magic bullet for any societal woe.
Arguably it renders the matter worse, for as long as (pick-a-social-justice-topic) is *erased* from public sight then the problem is solved? Backwards thinking at its worst.
I’m sorry that your children or any child faces any kind of discrimination in school. That means the school has some work to do. I agree with the other poster – changing a name is just virtue signaling. The city could add seats for a more diverse student body, but they don’t. They are the one’s being non inclusive.
With all due respect, why do people of color and the SCA (whatever that is) have the opinion that matters? Shouldn’t all opinions be considered? Why does one opinion get more weight than another?
Why is anyone surprised by the School Board vote? A taxpayer-funded survey sent to *only* a subset of taxpayers yielded the *wrong* response, and the SB voted how they intended to proceed all along anyway.
The message sent is clear: “Peasants, pay your taxes. We *betters* will make the *right* decisions.”
You got what you voted for, citizens of the People’s Republic of Falls Church.
And why did they even do a survey and why did they waste taxpayer money to create and implement the survey if they were not going to give it to a wider audience or listen to anyone’s opinion on changing the names of the schools. I do not live there anymore but went to George Mason in the 70s. They wasted my relative’s and friends’ tax dollars.
The *betters* did so to give the illusion that the process is fair. To have unilaterally made the decision without requesting *input* from a (select) group of taxpayers would have revealed the SB for who they are; this faux survey made it seem as if the taxpayers had a voice that mattered.
I think they spent a lot of money on the survey which could have been used towards educating children. The school board had made up their minds before the meeting and the press release was written in advance. Clearly, they had no willingness to have an in depth and moderated discussion.
It is evidently clear that the SB had met behind closed doors and the process was already baked in. It is insulting to see how it all played out and now they got called our on national TV. The entire process was a sham. Noonan is on their agenda as well.
If we were serious about changing things and not just virtue signaling, we might consider:
1. A scholarship program for minorities to attend our schools
2. Replacing Dr. Noonan with a minority Super
3. An exchange program with a DC school
4. Property tax break to minorities who move into our City
5. Taking down pictures of Gov. Northam from all public buildings because of his KKK /Blackface scandal
6. Renaming the high school: Black Lives Matter High School
1. I am assuming this scholarship would be for financial minorities and not only racial minorities? If not, why?
2. Why not replace the Super with someone who is qualified, regardless of skin tone? Discrimination is bad regardless of which side of the coin it lands on.
3. An exchange program to bring in a student from which DC school? What (social justice) purpose would this program serve?
4. Again, do you support property tax credits for financial minorities, or only racial minorities? If so, why?
5. How about TEACHING students history within its contexts instead?
6. Virtue signaling.
I have an idea – name the schools after the people who were the originators of the ideas found in our Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. Those ideas that guarantee and have inspired a 250 year movement towards equal justice under the law and liberty for all….Oh wait…..? …Well, This is what you get when a group of rich, highly educated people with no common sense get put in charge of decision making
No common sense and even less understanding of history! AMEN!!!
Oh yes! Lets not forget Letty “Anti Gunner” Hardy who would not make allowance for concealed carry holders. This after all the public outcry of the minorities. She would not move when the Jewish community pleaded that her policy would effect their safety. Cheery picking values at its finest she supports the views of minority “now” but by her actions striped minoritys rights in the past.
Got to love those facts…
Championed by Council Member Ms. Letty Hardy, a minority and first generation immigrant from Hong Kong, the ban passed despite immense opposition at first reading and against the voices of minority groups and citizens (Jewish organziations, Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking Survivors, Asians, and African American citizens.) What fine words of truth…
Hong Kong is a fine example of what happens when a population is disarmed.
The author is cramming too much in this article but I think the gist is that the leadership of Falls Church City is not listening to the constituents. If the city is a democracy and the School Board members are to represent the people, they are not doing their jobs. I can see where people feel disenfranchised.
While I understand people are emotional about names I think talking about it and allowing for discussion is better than edicts. It would have been better for the School Board to put out a referendum so it could be a legal vote by the people.
I’m very surprised and disappointed that Phil Reitinger had to bring his personal politics into the discussion of the school name change. He stooped low not high. That was not necessary and it did little to add to the discussion. I agree that the name should be changed but thought Phil’s comments were unnecessary and didn’t add to the conversation. It was on national TV and was not representative of intelligent, thoughtful and caring city that we are in Falls Church.
I dare the author to identify themselves. Dare you! Why include Councilwoman’s country of origin in her decision on the gun issue? How is that relevant? How is a decision about renaming a building comparable to the Chinese government’s actions in Hong Kong? You assail the local leaders as totalitarian. This is a representative republic, not a pure democracy. The school board members explained their decision quite succinctly. They renamed the schools for the children. Don’t like it? Run for school board. I dare you to try and change the names back to ole’ GM and TJ as a school board member, or to even run on that platform. But first, tell us who you are! It is too easy to attack from your anonymous position.
Aren’t you doing the same thing, Gordon T. ?
No Mr. Carlos, my name is right there? You know who I am right? Is it the last name? It is Theisz. Not anonymous.
My guess, because I don’t know the author’s motive, is that the person chose to be anonymous because they would be attacked for having a different opinion. Like what is being done right now. I agree, vote them out if you don’t like them!
As we have been taught in this town by the teachings of Ibram Kendi
“We can be antiracist or we can be racist.”
Letty Hardy by being the peoples champion of gun control. She by supporting a policy that disarmed all people including minority. She committed a racist act by not listing to all the minority groups that wrote in. Gun control has a long racist roots. The minority population is most at risk when passing gun control laws.
Again “We can be antiracist or we can be racist.”
She definitely did not act antiracist by this policy. She did not demand protections in this policy for minority!
Gordan T : it seems like you are more interested in doxing a person instead of addressing the author’s concerns. Everyone’s opinion and feelings are real and therefore should be given a platform. What solutions do you have to offer to this person? They are upset that their voice is not heard by their representatives. Many are mad that the survey was not used as a tool to further the discussions and find middle ground from the people. That’s good leadership. The school board failed under pressure from a few and used their power under the guise saying they are “morally superior” thinkers.
Gordon T: One whom studies history knows that we have a long tradition of puplishing works anonymously. One only has to look to our founding fathers for examples of this. The Federalist Papers were a group of essays that were published anonymously to try and persuade people to vote to ratify the Constitution.
It is widely known these papers have been labeled one of the most important documents in US history, because of the insight it gave into the Constitution. Would they have been so impactful had they not been anonymous?
This article is void of ad hominem attacks to the author due to the anonymity, one can only dispute the words written.
Well said Mr. Federalist. It’s easier to attack then give solutions.
+1, Mr. Federalist.
Gordon: This is directly from Ms. Letty’s blog site: ” I am a first generation immigrant from Hong Kong and spent my childhood in both San Francisco and Northern Virginia. “
People use labels to describe themselves. Then some people get upset when you use that label to describe them. You can’t win.
@jen during the gun ban. Counsel Women Letty Hardy brought up the fact she was a person of color and a woman. https://youtu.be/YMWKYwBb0j8
@3:29 she makes that claim.
Those are her labels she used to describe herself this year.
Anyone know how the students are doing ??? The school board seems to be foucuseing on everything else but the students…..
Will give you a pass on spelling (ugh) and punctuation (omg) but if you’ve been paying attention I think the school board has been thinking a lot about this topic. What have you done Tina?
The students are not in school. It is a lost year and greatly effects more families that don’t have the means for private tutors. My wife had to leave the workforce to stay at home with the kids because they are not in school. I agree with @Tina – the school board is focusing on school names instead of the children. What have you done Steve D?
Sorry. English is not my 1st language I do best.