December 8, 2020
(Fairfax, VA) – The Fairfax Democrats organization this evening announced a resolution praising the “all-Democratic Fairfax County School Board” despite its failure to open schools, and despite the recent, troubling news that large numbers of students with disabilities, students of color, Hispanic students, and English learners have been failing classes at an alarming rate. In its statement, the Fairfax Democrats also take the opportunity to roundly condemn the #OpenFCPS parent group, falsely claiming in a transparent attempt to deflect blame that the group is being run as a “coordinated Republican misinformation and harassment campaign.”
It is unfortunate that the Fairfax Democrats organization is politicizing the harm being done to school children in the county, as well as politicizing the school board itself–the members of which are supposed to serve in a non-partisan manner. Importantly, we continue to note that OpenFCPS remains a bi-partisan group of parents. It is an entirely volunteer effort that has never received funding or support from any political party or other organizations, unlike the well-funded teachers’ associations and now apparently the Fairfax Democrats bureaucracy in Fairfax County who oppose allowing children to attend school in person.
OpenFCPS parents have figured out something that has largely been forgotten in our very acrimonious and politicized DC world: that we can set aside political party preferences to work together on the shared goal of supporting our children and their education at a time when political organizations appear more interested in promoting their political influence. We urge those who support the statement by the Fairfax Democrats to take advantage of the opportunity to keep their children in virtual learning, and to consider for a moment that other parents, regardless of their political party preference, have the right to stand up and say that their children need a choice to have access to in-person education because virtual is insufficient, ineffective, and harmful to them. Scores of medical, educational, and mental health organizations have supported returning students to in-person education for months, frequently noting that the mental, emotional, academic and social costs of not attending school are greater than the impact of the virus itself on children.
Unfortunately, the Fairfax Democrats machine, which we know does not represent the position of all county parents who consider themselves Democrats, has chosen to ignore the harm being done to students after having been silent for nearly a year as the children in the county suffered. While we understand that the political party as a machine is supported by the county teachers’ unions and has a stake in repeating their talking points, we are sorry to learn that the members of the Fairfax Democrats bureaucracy would rather attack parents than be a part of a workable solution for thousands of county students who desperately need one.