Local Commentary

Letters to the Editor for September 4 – 10, 2008

Letters tot he Editor for the week of September 4 – 10, 2008




Parents Needs to Be Heard by City Schools

I am writing to publicly express my disappointment at the way I was treated when I went to speak during the public comment time at the most recent school board meeting last Tuesday night. The chairman tried to stop me from speaking and at one point he requested that the camera be turned off. I believe that the public comment time should be for everyone and no one should be censored even if the school board is afraid of what someone might say.

After years of what I found to be intolerable treatment towards me and my family, I have finally filed a complaint with the State Department of Education against the Director of Special Education Barbara Baditoi. Perhaps that was what they didn’t want me to say publicly.

I have grown tired of her “Committee of One” attitude, as I see it, towards me as a parent. Parents in fact, according to the law are an equal member of any IEP or eligibility team. Perhaps parents do not know that the law requires that the decisions made need to be by a consensus. The parents, as full members of that committee are supposed to be afforded an opportunity to be heard, their questions answered and information they bring fully considered. Information that does not support Dr. Baditoi’s position can not just be minimized or ignored entirely.

There is a perception by the school board and others that our family is the only one that has had that experience. In fact a school board member told me that he/she had never heard from any family in this regard. I would encourage those who have had difficulties in getting services for your child to contact the school board. I know I am not the only one but I understand why others have not come forward. They have told me. They are afraid of retaliation.

I am not afraid. I am disgusted and appalled. I understand that the school board is addressing this matter. It can not be soon enough.

Alison Kutchma

Falls Church

FCNP Football Coverage ‘Like the Old Days’

Editor,

I want to thank the Falls Church News-Press for publishing the excellent high school football preview by reporter Quinn Casteel.

It reminded me of the good old days when local papers went out of their way to support the high school football teams in their coverage area. With the downturn in the newspaper business, you don’t see as much of that anymore.

There was a time when the teams in Falls Church were football powerhouses.

Marshall won their first regional football championship under legendary coach Ed Henry in 1970. The Statesmen had resurgence in the late 1980s under Coach Neil Callahan, winning the Division 6 regional title in 1986 and the Division 5 regional title in 1987.

J.E.B. Stuart won their first regional football championship under legendary coach Jerry Fauls in 1974. The football stadium at Stuart is named after Fauls, who was the school’s first football coach, serving from 1959 to 1979. Stuart won their only other regional title in 1989, taking the Division 5 crown under Tom Arehart.

Falls Church High School won their only regional football championship in 1976 under Coach Jim Dick. They made it all the way to the state title game but lost to Bethel of Hampton, Va.

But times have changed. The demographics of the Falls Church area and the Northern Virginia region have changed drastically. The glory days for these schools are long in the past. But the players at these schools today are still participating in the All-American tradition of high school football.

They deserve to be respected for that, even though they lack the resources of their predecessors decades ago.

Gregory G. Paspatis

Alexandria


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