Parents File Petition Vs. F.C. Schools Alleging ‘Unlawful Policy Revisions’



CORRECTION: (The News-Press’s initial report of this, posted last night, identified it as a “law suit,” and it should have characterized it as a “petition.” We apologize for the error.)

A petition filed in the Arlington Circuit Court by four parents with students in the Falls Church City Public Schools last week alleges a late-August revision of an citizens advisory committee (CAC) policy has unlawfully restricted the access of citizens to such groups, specifically the Local Special Education Advisory Committee (LSEAC).

“Revised policy 5.12,” according to the petition, “dilutes the expertise and focus of the LSEAC by adding new membership classes, denied appointment of otherwise qualified parents of children with disabilities, or individuals with disabilities, who do not have arbitrarily defined ‘skills or background;’ restricts the ability of parents and community members to interacts with the CACs, particularly with the LSEAC, by placing burdensome restraints on the conduct of advisory committee members in the performance of their roles and responsibilities, adds to and reprioritizes the listing of LSEAC functions; and imposes restrictive operating procedures which ultimately thwart the purpose of the CACs.”

The four citizens who submitted the petition as Daniel and Kristina Rice, William Royce and Becky Smerdon. Smerdon is currently a candidate for the School Board in the November election.