Letters to the Editor: March 17 – 23, 2016
F.C. Schools Not Initiated Due to Bigotry, Racism, Fear
I am writing in response to a letter published in the March 10-16, 2016 edition of the News-Press, titled “Why Support a Costly & Outdated School System?” In particular I would like to address the question, “Why support a school system that was initiated due to bigotry, racism and fear?” That statement represents a common misconception about the creation of the City of Falls Church, and its school.
My father was chair of the committee that wrote the original Charter for Falls Church. My mother was president of PTAs before and after the creation of Falls Church, and an early school board member. They, and other residents of the then town were dissatisfied with the quality of education their children were receiving, and with the dismissive tone of the Fairfax School administrators at that time. They broke away from Fairfax County, a fully segregated school system at that time, in order to create quality public schools for their children.
When the City of Falls Church was incorporated, the boundaries followed the boundaries of the Town of Falls Church, which were set in 1887. While the 1887 boundaries were established to exclude “the colored settlement” south of Lee Highway, there was no racial motivation in the establishment of the City of Falls Church in 1948. Falls Church attempted to integrate its schools during Virginia’s Massive Resistance, but was blocked by the State Government. In 1961, the schools were among the first in the Commonwealth to integrate. In 1963, the senior class voted overwhelmingly to move the senior prom at the last minute, when they discovered that their venue would not allow a black student to attend.
The City no doubt has its share of problems with “bigotry, racism and fear” but the school system has never been a part of that problem. Suggesting that the City and its schools were initiated due to “bigotry, racism and fear” couldn’t be farther from the truth.
New F.C. Pub Owner Insults Former Patrons
I would like to respond to the article in last week’s News-Press regarding the Seven Corners Pub which refers to the previous customers at Public House No.7 as “drunken buffoons.” This is insulting to those who patronized the old establishment not to mention the previous owner and staff.
Public House No.7 was not for everyone, but it was friendly, the food good and it had a nice atmosphere. The previous owner went out of his way to accommodate his customers by opening at 5 a.m. for the royal wedding, Sunday brunch, New Year’s Eve celebrations, etc. Our local civic association met there for informal “fish ‘n’ chip” evenings. Does this sound like a bunch of “drunken buffoons?”
I wish Mr. Cooley all the best with the new Seven Corners Pub…
Something Must Be Done to Close Gender Pay Gap
On April 12, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will recognize Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day when women’s earnings finally catch up to what men earned in 2015. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median earnings for women working full time, year-round is only 79 percent of the earning of men working full time, year-round. And, it’s even worse for women of color. Latina women make only 54 percent of what white men make, and African American women make just 63 percent. In Virginia, the statistics are only slightly better: median earnings for women are 80 percent of men’s.
The pay gap is not caused solely by women’s different career and lifestyle choices. AAUW’s 2012 report, Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation, controlled for many factors such as college major, occupation, industry, region, workplace flexibility, parenthood, and hours worked. The study found that one year after graduating from college, women still earned seven percent less than their male counterparts.
This wage gap isn’t just a number; it’s an economic issue for many families. A 2013 Pew Research Center study found that in 40 percent of households with children, the mother is the sole or primary wage earner. Pay equity is the key to families making ends meet and moving working families into the middle class.
Something must be done to close the gender pay gap. The Paycheck Fairness Act, introduced on March 25, 2015, in the U.S. House and Senate, is an important step in that direction. The measure updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by creating stronger incentives for employers to follow the law, enhances federal enforcement efforts, and prohibits retaliation against workers who ask about a company’s wage practices.
President, AAUW Falls Church
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