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What do Fairfax County Parents Want?

If you Google “Fairfax County School Board Meeting’ and select “Images”, you will find the FCPS School Board seal along with professional images of School Board members at the dais.

You will also find no shortage of images like these:

Angry parents. Screaming parents. Obscene parents. Headlines across the country decry the behavior at school board meetings, including this opinion piece, “When parents scream at school board meetings, how can I teach their children?” by New York State Teacher of the Year.

Who are these parents that have claimed the podium, microphones and sidewalks? We are not these parents.

They are not the voice of all parents. Hate sells headlines, so media follows and these sensational but misleading images fill up those Google search results.

Respect, civility, truth, even common decency have left the building. Intimidation rules the day. What can be done?

4 Public Education was born from this cry. We can reclaim the podium with meaningful conversations that can challenge and question while honoring differences and ensuring equity.

We can show up with truth and not get shouted down. We can engage parents who champion public education as the core of democracy. We can uphold free speech. We can replace fables with fact. We can combat fear and chaos with information and empowerment.

To do this, we will stand together. We start by uniting, empowering with information and engaging. We show up at the podium, in the room, on the sidewalks, at the bus stop, in living rooms and in all our digital communities. Every call to action- from postcard writing to calling an elected official is another brick in the foundation in the path to restoring civility and decency.

We will listen, we will speak up, we will welcome voices and engage in thoughtful, fact filled discourse to work for an inclusive, safe, uncensored, and welcoming environment.

Our result? A sustainable and fully supported 21st century system of education that cultivates thriving individuals and communities in our society. Democracy demands nothing less.

That’s what parents want.

Unite with us to take action. Together we will champion public schools:

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