CRT town hall: We all listened to each other and discussed our differences –

To the citizens and parents of Prince William County:

I am writing in regards to the Town Hall meeting that was held Tuesday night at Patriot High School. Congratulations to Mac Haddow, Erica Tredinnick, and London Steverson of the Prince William County Racial and Social Justice Commission for giving parents the opportunity to discuss current issues affecting education and our county.

School Board members and the rest of the Racial and Social Justice Commission, as well as the Board of County Supervisors should take a lesson in how a successful conversation with parents and constituents should be handled.

This was a meeting that allowed attendees to share the concerns of taxpayers and parents without hatred, division, intimidation and armed guards. When you give respect to your constituents, you receive respect in return.

Everyone, on both sides of the argument, was heard. We all listened to each other and discussed our differences and concerns regarding the public education system.

Although there were differing opinions, the majority of the group realized we have more in common than not. We believe that schools should teach real history, math and English and stay away from political agendas, racial divide, culturally responsive teaching and get back to the basics of educating our kids to succeed. While school systems around the nation are busy arguing about pronouns, bathroom usage and racial labeling, China has taken over the world in STEM.

Isn’t it time to start putting education first and stop America’s downward free fall in education and the world?

There were multiple articles by the press criticizing this meeting and the brave individuals hosting it. Shame on the press for trying to intimidate those who only have our children’s best interest at heart. Shame on the press for furthering the divide instead of working to pull us together. We have seen them misrepresent the truth on so many occasions, and therefore, their slanted reporting is of no surprise to most in Prince William County.

We saw a blaring example of this when Jared Fortek of InsideNova and ABC anchor Carl Willis edited out portions of their reports and video, showing Tonya James, DNC chairwoman and chief of staff to Andrea Bailey, disrupting a school board meeting. She blatantly yelled F—K You and Go to Hell, to parents and vets in the room. Security and armed guards, purposefully hired to control the room, did nothing to remove her for this incitement of violence, but blamed parents.

Teachers of Prince William County were witnessed outside heckling a fifteen year old boy, respectfully speaking to the crowd. Is this really the type of behavior we condone and allow to move forward? Video proof has now come to light and yet not one apology or correction from the press, security or police.

The misrepresentation of the truth and purposeful denial of citizens to have their God given right to speak to their elected officials is appalling. Even more surprising is the lack of concern from the majority of the Prince William County School Board, Racial and Social Justice Commission, and Board of County Supervisors regarding the offensive behavior, perpetrated by the very people they employ.

I believe the majority of citizens left the town hall meeting last night feeling heard instead of disappointed, intimidated, hated and shut down. This is how the government should work. We all need to listen to each other and work together to make the state of Virginia and Prince William County a better place for our children and all its citizens.

We are, after all, a hugely diverse, yet cohesive county.

One political party has dominated education and the media for decades. That same political party is now decrying the state of our education system, that true history has not been taught, and pushing a divisive education framework as the solution. The same political party decrying town halls and public speaking. We can agree there are problems within education, but the solution is not further division and a lack of communication.

I hope the School Board, the Racial and Social Justice Commission and the Board of County Supervisors will take a lesson and hold more town hall meetings in order to work with the citizens of Prince William County. We need communication instead of the demonization we have witnessed this past year. We should all be allowed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


Leigh Bravo

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