Red Apple Mom

June 7, 2011

Student Interrogations & Discipline Review: Your Child Needs You Thursday

As parents, we want to help our children – particularly when they are vulnerable and in need of guidance.

The discipline reform debate going on in Fairfax County Public Schools has revealed just how few rights our children have if they are ever accused of a serious school infraction.

This Thursday, June 9th, School Board members will vote on changes to the Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy – including the controversial parental notification component.

Picture school authorities interrogating your child – and pressuring him or her to sign a confession or statement of guilt – without you present in the room.

Don’t like that idea?  Then take some action.  Your chance is now.

These following School Board members are either undecided or opposed to notifying you before your child is questioned about a serious school infraction.

Jane Strauss -Dranesville District
Kathy Smith – Sully District
Liz Bradsher – Springfield District
Stu Gibson – Hunter Mill District
Tessie Wilson – Braddock District
Jim Raney – At Large

Email these members now and ask them to vote in support of parental notification.  The parent group Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform (FZTR)  is asking parents to specifically request the following points:

1.  Parental notification for infractions that could result in suspension of more than three days or a recommendation for expulsion.

2.  No  signed student statements of confession without a parent or guardian present.

3.  Advising students that they have the right to remain silent and they have the right to seek counsel.

We would all like to believe our children will never face serious disciplinary action in public school.  But the fact is, you can never really know.  Put yourself in the shoes of your child.  Ask yourself if you could handle an interrogation without an advocate by your side.

Does that idea trouble you?

Then show your kids you really care and participate in FZTR’s sponsored rally BEFORE Thursday night’s School Board meeting on June 9th at 6:30pm.  Location – Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church on Gallows Road at Route 50.  Meet in the parking lot.  Wear RED and bring appropriate signs that call for PARENTAL NOTIFICATION.

Many of the School Board members are running for re-election this year.  Your participation in this rally could help apply the pressure needed for these critical reforms.    Please get involved and advocate for your child now while you still can.

The School Board is expected to vote on discipline policy changes about 7:45pm.  If you cannot attend in person, the meeting will be televised on Cable Channel 21 and web-streamed live at

For more information, visit the Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform website at:

Here are the email addresses for all the School Board members:
Kathy Smith – Chair –
Brad Center – Vice Chair –
Elizabeth Bradsher – Springfield –
Sandra Evans  – Mason –
Stuart Gibson – Hunter Mill –
Martina Hone – Member at large –
Ilryong Moon – Member at large –
James Raney – Member at large –
Patricia Reed – Providence –
Daniel Storck – Mt Vernon –
Jane Strauss – Dranesville –
Judith Wilson – Braddock –



  1. The SR&R is actually titled “Student Responsibilities and Rights” with the “Responsibilities” first. The FCCPTA is asking that it be changed to “Rights and Responsibilities” as part of the parental notification resolution to put the emphasis back on students’ rights. We’ve been told by staff that FCPS believes that a student’s responsibility to the code of conduct comes before their rights. There’s a real problem in the fundamental way that FCPS perceives the approach to discipline.

    Sheree Brown-Kaplan

    Comment by Sheree Brown-Kaplan — June 8, 2011 @ 8:44 am

    • Thanks Sheree for this clarification. It is revealing indeed that FCPS views student responsibilities as more important than a student’s rights. Sort of fits in line with how they view parents too. We are the money supply first and client/constituents worthy of respect second.

      Comment by Red Apple Mom — June 8, 2011 @ 10:49 am

  2. How sad that these 7 board members support the status quo and with several of them basing their vote on the false choice between due process and allowing serious offenders to go free. Looking forward to November 8 for some added commonsense leadership and representation!

    Comment by pommefrites — June 10, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

    • Pardon the posting above; meant to post on the subsequent blog.

      Comment by pommefrites — June 10, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    • Me too – we definitely need School Board member who listen and advocate for parents, teachers and taxpayers. This current board devotes its time and energies to defending the Superintendent and his policies instead of defending our interests and concerns about those policies. Thanks for commenting!

      Comment by Red Apple Mom — June 10, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

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