News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Redistricting Fever: Of Bratz and Legal Billz

FairfaxCAPS, the awesome group that's suing the Fairfax County School Board to re-re-re-redistrict South Lakes High School so no one ever has to go there again, except maybe for people who can't afford the modest, entry-level $750,000 homes in their own neighborhoods, has reached something of a crossroads. And by "crossroads," we mean "running out of money."

The legal action resulting from the School Board’s decision on the West County Boundary Study has come a long way. We submitted a petition to Fairfax County Circuit Court on behalf of the petitioners. The School Board’s attorneys responded, denying nearly everything and stating that the petitioners do not have standing and the court has no authority to make a ruling on the redistricting. The petitioners’ brief was recently submitted and the School Board’s attorneys will respond shortly. The final activities by the petitioners’ attorney includes reviewing the School Board’s brief, preparing for the hearing, and lastly, appearing at the hearing.

In addition, more than $100,000 has been raised for legal fees. We need to raise an additional $15,000 by June 20th to cover the remaining costs. If we do not receive the funding, we will not be able to go to court and the School Board will win by default — just the way they wanted.
Guess that awesome Stu Gibson dunking booth and delicious Indian takeout weren't enough to pay the bills. We still think they should have taken our advice and raffled off a guaranteed pupil-placement at Langley High School, but bygones are bygones. Ask not what your nuisance lawsuit can do for you, ask what you can do for your nuisance lawsuit:
I am confident that you will make a contribution of $500 or an amount that you feel represents your financial means and your commitment to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability in the Fairfax County School Board.
Wow. Five Benjamins will buy a lot of Bratz.

Meanwhile, at South Lakes High School, the Ground Zero of Bratzgate, they had the gall to actually celebrate the elaborate disinformation campaign students and parents used to bamboozle the school board into allowing the boundary change--obvious lies involving silly, IB-influenced concepts like "school pride" and "dignity." The nerve!
Members of the South Lakes High School Community gathered in the school’s gym on Tuesday, May 20th to celebrate the hard work of the parents, students and faculty who supported South Lakes during the boundary process.

The South Lakes leadership class was also honored for their involvement. Leadership teacher and South Lakes graduate, Lindsay Trout, said of her students at the hearings, “they displayed the most class and dignity of any group involved.” Speaking about the hearings themselves, Trout continued, “I was shocked with the intensity of the negativity and the falsities; the perceptions people had, based on zero truth, of some of the parties involved.”

Senior Leadership student Sierra Little felt it was important to attend the meetings and have the students’ voices heard. “I came here my sophomore year and when I first came here I called this my family. I live in Loudoun County and pay to go here, the opportunities and the classes and the people; I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. It’s just like someone bad mouthing my mother,” said Little.

The students were shocked at what they witnessed at the meetings. “We’d expect for adults to be more mature, they were attacking us,” said Senior Leadership member Fatima Ellitinay. “It was like a big jungle, there were parents stomping, shouting; they knew we were there and they were still acting that way,” said Junior Leadership student Roya Zaka.
That just couldn't be true!
Of the experience Principal Bruce Butler said, “It helped pull the greater school community together, when kids go to bat for their school like that, it’s really special.” Speaking about the hearings Butler continued, “Change is always difficult especially when it relates to our kids, I never saw it as sides, it’s a process.”
It's a process, all right. A legal process which, at this point, will only serve to better the attorneys whose own kids go to Langley or a private school.

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