News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, February 22, 2008

Redistricting Fever: In That Amount of Time, We Could Have Read 'War and Peace'

This week's awesome -- and perhaps final -- redistricting public hearing, which was supposed to take into account the two new awesome boundary proposals floated a week or so back to make South Lakes High School a classless utopia where newly redistricted children from affluent neighborhoods will be taught from Das Kapital and forced to hold hands with their less fortunate classmates and sing mid-1970s Coca-Cola commercials, apparently lasted six freaking hours. How many ways can people say "It's all about the band programs" before everyone starts losing interest and wondering if Bratz dolls and IB and whatnot maybe aren't so bad after all?

Well, apparently not.

The School Board had established a rule that if people wanted to speak at the hearing their message must pertain to the two new boundary options, which were made available last week. "Unfortunately that was not what most of the comment was about," said Gibson, who represents Hunters Mill. There were 125 people who spoke and most of the comments were similar to what the board had already heard, he said. "The main focus of this was to give people who were newly affected by the proposals from last week a chance to speak," he said.
FairfaxCAPS, the positive, not-gonna-sue anti-redistricting group was also on the scene.
The group FairfaxCAPS, which opposes the redistricting, held a protest in front of Jackson Middle School prior to the hearing. Jay Frost, a member of the group, said the protest was very similar to their last one, held on Feb. 9, drawing about 100 residents from West Fairfax County.

"It was pretty much the same kind of package in terms of people, the things they were saying and where they were walking," Frost said. The only message the group wanted to emphasize was "no redistricting," he said.
It turns out that if they're not successful, it's because they're being too darned nice about this whole spot of bother.
Frost said FairfaxCAPS wanted to respect the School Board's wishes by being less visible and less vocal at the hearing but he thinks it was a mistake and lessened the group's impact.

"Our cause wasn't well reflected last night," he said. "In the future we won't make that mistake again."
The Fairfax County School Board will supposedly vote on this whole sordid mess Feb. 28, so in the spirit of being positive and proactive, maybe they'll break out paisley T-shirts instead of black ones for that hearing.

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