If South Lakes High School students wanted to learn about the democratic process, they're getting their chance in the current redistricting brouhaha, as they've been on the front lines of defending their much-maligned school.
The Reston campus is diverse, they say, not "ghetto." Students don't flash gang signs in the hallways, and they don't have to walk through metal detectors to get to class.Ah, yes, last week's meeting. A definite example of democracy in action.
"I think of this school as a family. When someone talks about South Lakes, I think, 'You can't talk about my family like that,' " senior Sierra Little said. She represented the school last week in a town hall meeting at Chantilly High packed with about 2,500 anxious residents.
Courtnee Elliott, a senior, said she attended Monday's meeting at Chantilly High because she wanted to stick up for her school and because, as someone interested in political science, she wanted a glimpse of the democratic process.Others found it more difficult not to be offended.
"It didn't go as well as I thought it would," she said. "It was kind of one-sided."
She and her friends said they found themselves explaining that their school is academically challenging and socially close-knit. They tried not to take it personally when parents suggested that it should be shut down and turned into a magnet school or that their children would be "traumatized" if they had to attend there.
"It is just ridiculous. They think South Lakes is a bad school. They are scared of diversity," said Carrie Herring, a 17 year-old South Lakes junior, red-faced and teary-eyed after the first round of questions from the crowd.What would make anyone think that? Maybe comments like this:
"The last thing Herndon wants to be is the next South Lakes," said Michael Sagan, a Herndon senior and Reston resident who attended the meeting.It's a good thing they haven't been reading this online message board. Below, a few choice bits of reasoned, nuanced discussion of this complex issue, as uttered by people who didn't have to show their faces at a public meeting:
>I can't wait to see the look on my white lobbyist father's face when I bring my first black South Lakes boyfriend home. Chocolate Rain, indeed.See? It really is all about the band programs.
>See, Tyrone, it's working already. Good luck with your SATs.
>Tell them in plain direct terms, that you want to live in a neighborhood with whites and asians and a school district that reflects the same. Some of them will tell you that it goes against their policies.. thats when you walk across the street to the next broker. believe me, one of them will quickly step up and deliver.. worked for me.
>South Lakes is the most Mexican High School in Fairfax aside from the Juvenile Detention Center and Mountain View correction school, but Westfield is a bunch of out of control rich kids who are asses and all buy drugs cause they can afford them.
>>>TO ALL YOU SOUTH LAKES BLABBER MOUTHS Move on. Get out of my neighborhood. Go find another place to steal children. SCAT.. that's right, I mean all of you. Shake a leg. And, I mean, NOW!! You're a bunch of vultures. Get going. Go stalk some other kids.<<<
>i think weekly public executions of the 50 worst students with below average grades would help motivate everyone. everyone with a 90% or higher average grades would be granted immunity. additionally, all dropouts and runaways will be executed on sight. i havent settled on a form of execution, beheading and hanging are both great so i say a hybrid would be best... have a blade decapitate them as they are hanging.