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Posted at 6:48 PM ET, 02/23/2011

No second chances at Fairfax schools

By Robert J. Guerra, Ashburn

Having read the Feb. 20 front-page story "Student's suspension furthered his despair," I add my unfortunate experience with Chantilly High School in Fairfax.

The fundamental problem with the Fairfax County Public Schools is that the system treats itself as more important than the students it is supposed to serve. My son made one mistake and had to endure the antagonistic "guilty until proven innocent" attitude of the county's disciplinary officials. From the first minute of our hearing, it was clear that they had made up their minds and
that there was no such thing as acceptable levels of remorse or commitment not to repeat. Not one Fairfax representative involved in berating my son showed the slightest concern for his well-being. All they talked about was how "embarrassing" his conduct had been for the school.

We are fortunate that we were able to extricate our son from that debilitating environment into the healthy, student-focused and supportive Stone Bridge High School in Loudoun County. He is now a successful freshman in college, no thanks to the Fairfax school system.

By Robert J. Guerra, Ashburn  | February 23, 2011; 6:48 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax County, Virginia, child services, education, schools  
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Mr. Guerra, Your comment: "The fundamental problem with the Fairfax County Public Schools is that the system treats itself as more important than the students it is supposed to serve" - is spot on!

This focus of serving themselves with "Gatehouses", highly paid lawyers, P.R. departments, unquestioning arrogance and their continued thirst for unbridled power (e.g., FOIA story) is the fundamental problem. After the tragic loss of life, Maryland is reviewing their school policies, but FCPS remains "right".

Perhaps one day we will see a documentary: "Escape from Fairfax" - it is good to hear the truth coming out even though the reality is far from pleasant. Thank you for your story.

Posted by: RubyBridges | February 24, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

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