Dear Editor, 

I’m a lifelong Washingtonian and went to PG county public schools.  I’ve been a FCPS parent for 16 years.  My husband and I have always been involved in our kids’ school and sports activities.  Sadly, I never paid attention to the school board.  Naively, I thought they had the best interest of educating students as their sole focus.

When the pandemic happened, I quickly became aware of the school board’s failings.  I started watching school board meetings and paid attention to everything they said and did or didn’t say and do.  I was horrified watching the school board ignore and snicker at parent’s pleas to open schools.  Five-hour school board meetings were replete with speeches and resolutions patting each other on the back.  They never showed concern for students who were suffering behind computer screens even when students came to school board meetings begging to go back to school.

Since being sworn in January 2020, the school board prioritized:

• Keeping students out of school for 1.5 years

• Changing the admissions standards for TJ High School

• Renaming schools

• Hiding sexual assault cases in schools

• Denying special education students FAPE

• Pushing mass vaccination and Covid testing on healthy kids 

• Punishing students for not wearing a mask citing a dress code violation

• Spending millions of taxpayer dollars to pursue lawsuits against parents

• Changing the school calendar to accommodate every possible holiday making it so students spend half the year going to school less than 5 days a week

• Altering grading standards making it easier to attain an A for only putting in effort

• Removing expectations like turning in timely assignments or doing homework

• Lowering graduation standards to ensure students graduate whether they are actually ready 

• Addressing learning loss from virtual learning by offering more virtual learning via

• Seeking to punish students at the same level as a sexual assault for using another student’s legally given name or not using a student’s preferred pronoun

Since Jan 2020, the school board’s priorities have been everything EXCEPT educating students and the results are in:

• 38% of fourth graders are at grade level in reading

• 42% of second graders scored below reading benchmark on 2021 PALS

• Math performance dropped 7 points more than the national average

• 45% of black third-grade students passed their 2021 reading SOL compared to 61% in 2017 

• 43% of Hispanic third graders passed their 2021 reading SOL compared to 62% in 2017

Adding to these failures, school violence is on the rise.  High schools are grappling with drug abuse and overdoses, attempted suicides, and actual loss of life of students in the care of FCPS.  I’ve never seen such a dramatic decline in educational standards or in school safety in my life.  The school board doesn’t care about the emotional or academic well-being of students. They care more about pursuing political agendas.  Parents, it’s time to fire these school board members in November 2023.  Every single one of them needs to go! 


Kim Putens

Fort Hunt

(2) comments

Jennifer Litton Tidd

A well known Republican Party operative in the area writes an article for the favorite right wing rag of the county about not being political. You really can’t make this up. These people don’t really want politics out of schools; they’d just prefer to indoctrinate children to their regressive right wing agenda, and throw Black, Brown, LGBTQ, and disabled children into the garbage can. I have two autistic sons. I particularly resent when GOP or right wingers like this woman tokenize my sons and kids like them to front a right wing very ableist and harmful agenda to disabled people.

Give it a rest lady. I don’t want my children indoctrinated in fascist right wing training camps you people want to turn our schools into.

Does Fairfax Times ever actually fact-check? Do they present both sides of every opinion? I don’t think I’ve seen any op-eds of any opposing viewpoints to this cadre of well known radicalized right wing zealots who make all the noise, whose main goals are winning elections for Republicans so they can pay lower taxes. They don’t care about children or schools. They’re exploiting children and schools for tax cuts.

It’s disgusting. It’s too bad Fairfax Times has become our county’s own version of Info Wars.



Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.