News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Flashback Monday: When Bratz ruled the world

The local media recently ran a wacky retrospective of last year's uneventful redistricting decision that led to an inexpensive lawsuit, civil discourse in public forums, and the use of a popular children's doll as a socioeconomic barometer. It seems like it was just yesterday!

It has been over a year since the Fairfax County School Board voted in favor of a controversial redistricting plan that placed more students at South Lakes High School due to smaller enrollment numbers at the school.

With the dust settled, members of the South Lakes High School community said the addition of the new students has made the student body noticeably larger and the process made the students, faculty and administration stronger. "I just think it's been a wonderful school year," said Principal Bruce Butler. He said the new students have transitioned well and truly become Seahawks.

Sofi Cahoon, the parent of a South Lakes freshman who was redistricted, said she was happy about the school board's decision at the time. "I was relieved it was over," she said. Though waiting for the outcome of the lawsuit supported by FairfaxCAPS also created tension, she said. Cahoon said at the time she and her family were anxious about not knowing where her son, Evan, might go to school, and many stude

Since beginning his high school career at South Lakes, Cahoon said her son is happy, involved, playing lacrosse and is doing well academically. "Things are going well for him," she said. Cahoon said many other parents she has spoken with who visited the school said they had a positive experience even if they chose to have their children attend other schools. She said while the redistricting was heated and there were uncomfortable situations, her family's experience has been positive.

Grace Bauer, a senior at South Lakes, said the experience last year was positive because of what the students were able to learn. She said the student body had to deal with pressure and criticisms of something they strongly believe in. "The students love the school," she said. "Dealing with that and being able to stand up to the parents that were saying things that were wrong or misconstrued was really cool and a leadership experience and a learning experience," Bauer said.

Butler said he agreed with the learning aspect of redistricting. "It was a leadership opportunity for students, and to have several hundred tours come through, it actually is very healthy for any institution but schools especially," he said. He said though many schools go through redistricting last year's was more unique. "It was a great opportunity to have the community rise together to welcome students that are now Seahawks, 100 percent Seahawks," he said.
Of course, it's all a memory now. After all, Barbie maker Mattel won its own frivolous lawsuit against the makers of Bratz last year, the end.

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