News and notes from Reston (tm).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Redistricting Fever: You pick the headline -- a) Funnier than a Dickens novel, or b) You mean it really wasn't about the band programs?

So after months of wailing, gnashing of teeth, feigned concern about band programs, IB and Bratz, not to mention quality Indian takeout, it comes to this: The awesome lawsuit against Fairfax County Schools and its evil plan to redistrict South Lakes High School, whose backers said was never about socioeconomics, is really all about socioeconomics.

[Plaintiff attorney Steven] Stone fired back, saying, “Those coming from poverty require greater economic needs? Who says? There is no proof of that. That's the social engineering of the board and it's insulting. There are great examples in this country of those coming from poverty who achieve great things. They never got any special treatment.”
Wow. He sounds like the stock character in every Dickens novel who, after being visited by ghosts/urchins/crazy women who live in attics unexpectedly learns the Error of His Ways. Except that in IB, they probably make people read Das Kapital instead of right-thinking literature like Dickens.

Anyhoo. Now that they've had their day in court, we weren't really expecting the plaintiff's attorney, who apparently cares about this case so very deeply that he was ready to drop it like a hot potato unless the awesome, not-concerned-about-socioeconomics booster club FairfaxCAPS coughed up an extra $15,000, to play the race/poverty card so quickly. But what of the hapless defense attorney? Did he just give up and promise to send every kid in the county to Langley?
[Tom] Cawley questioned the standing, or legitimacy of the suit, saying that Virginia code defines the power of a local school board and that not everything a school board does can be taken to Circuit Court. “No Virginia law says someone has a personal right to go to a particular school,” he said.
Just don't tell the Saxons that.

Actually, after what amounts to nearly a year of this nonsense, the person we really feel for at the moment is the judge -- and not just because his first name is "Gaylord."
“This is a very important case, not only for those in the courtroom but also for many not here,” concluded Judge [Gaylord L.] Finch Jr., who said he will take the case under advisement and asked for additional briefs from each side to be provided by July 22. The judge expects to issue a written decision in the case by July 28.
Yeah. Good luck with that.

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