It is a truly inspirational, if unfortunately virtual, half-hour video introduced last weekend and available now on the Falls Church Public Schools’ YouTube channel. It serves as the ceremonial ribbon cutting for the City of Falls Church’s new $120 million high school — name to be determined — that is being occupied by students for the first time this week. The video can be viewed by the public at any time and yesterday it topped 1,000 views.
It represents to us, and appropriately we think for all that was behind it and went into it in the Falls Church community, not only a highly functional public school brilliant in myriad ways, but a symbol, a veritable monument honoring the value of public education itself. Free public education represents a democratic society’s best guarantee and defense of its combined values of a science-based and freedom of thought-based social order.
It was fitting that the City’s leading political figures, beginning with U.S. Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. and including State Sen. Richard Saslaw, State Del. Marcus Simon, Mayor David Tarter and many others who played roles in the singular achievement of constructing what surely has to be one of the nation’s premiere high school facilities.
We add the News-Press to those taking their bows for this important inflection point in the City’s history. Since its founding 30 years ago, the News-Press has been an unwavering advocate for the City’s public schools, repeatedly making reasoned and compelling cases in its editorials for seeing to the school system’s needs even at times when in conflict with the wishes of City Hall, and distributing those ideas weekly to every household in the City. We didn’t just report or advocate, we pitched into the civic discourse at the highest level without fail to back the City’s schools this whole time. This is not to claim credit but to inform the community of an important aspect of the whole story and so it can recognize better the importance of a thriving local newspaper to any community.
As avid students of the best of Western Civilization’s long march toward science and freedom, we take note of the ways in which, as the Renaissance began to flower, great public buildings grew up alongside mighty cathedrals, and both with their very architecture and visual artworks serving as public testaments to the power of creative and scientific thought.
Falls Church’s new high school structure, with its state of the art technology and remarkable ambiances for open-minded discourse and learning, is a modern version of such highly functional and beautiful structures.
Truly, the entire Falls Church community, past and present, deserves many mighty pats on the back, once social distancing constraints allow, for bringing the community to this historic moment.
Going forward, we propose a mighty clock tower be added to proudly display this project to the wider world and to serve it, too (as long as it tells the right time).