Letter: Jenny Couch, Leesburg

Editor:   On March 26, Loudoun School Board member Eric DeKenipp posted a link on Facebook to a recent piece he penned entitled, “We Need to Stop Sanctuary Policy: The Rockville High School Attack.”

I’m writing now, not to engage in a discussion on sanctuary city policy, but rather to discuss Mr. DeKenipp’s responses to constituents who left comments on his post from March 26.

By posting on a controversial topic, Mr. DeKenipp must have anticipated some rancorous responses. Indeed, I would hope that Mr. DeKenipp would encourage responses from across the political spectrum. After all education, and the role of sanctuary cities is not a Republican or Democratic issue, but a community issue. Crafting a solution to best serve our community would require input from residents across the political spectrum, and compromise from our elected officials.

But it seems, Mr. DeKenipp was in no mood to take pointed responses to his post that day. In response to a comment from a member of the community, he wrote, “I expected more from you but apparently your [sic] just another liberal with no common sense.”

Regardless of Mr. DeKenipp’s personal feelings on this topic, he is an elected official and should be a role model for our community. Instead, he has chosen to take the lowest road possible, and use personal insults to deflect any criticism or debate on his views.

This is not Mr. DeKenipp’s first offense. Continuing to rely on personal insults and attacks on his constituents demonstrates that Mr. DeKenipp is no longer capable of respectably representing the Catoctin District on the School Board.

We live in divisive times, and none of us are innocent of using partisan rhetoric to make a point, but Mr. DeKenipp’s swift turn to personal insults on this post underscores his unwillingness to work across the aisle to improve the community for all residents. Instead, he relies on petty name-calling to attempt to justify his opinions.

We need elected officials, and leaders who sow seeds of respect, common courtesy, and unity within the community. Mr. DeKenipp has proven yet again that he is not the right leader for that job.

Jenny Couch, Leesburg

10 thoughts on “Letter: Jenny Couch, Leesburg

  • 2017-03-30 at 12:18 am

    Jenny Couch, I guess you would prefer other board members like Joy Maloney, Eric Hornberger or Debbie Rose who when questioned why they knowingly violated federal NCLB waivers, banned a critic from ever commenting on their LCSB Facebook page. Is that the type of respect you were thinking of? Have you ever spoken out against one of these “respectful” school board members or does your criticism reserved for those with whom you disagree ideologically?

  • 2017-03-30 at 1:33 pm

    Stop, SGP. It is not up to you to interpret this letter for everyone one else.

    Your proposition that your position is the only possible alternative to the letter writer comments seems to be intended to make this letter about you, not about the actual subject. Your getting banned from the schools and FB has nothing to do with what this letter writer wrote. One can be opposed to many SB members, only some of them, or none. One does not have to speak up against all the SB members to have a valid point. Any person can write or not write. It is not up to you to decide if a person is admirable. If you disagree or agree with this write, then say it. Criticizing her for not coming to your defense is wrong.

  • 2017-03-30 at 2:37 pm

    Mr. DeKenipp is outstanding. If you liberals want to bury your heads in the sand, go right ahead. But, when you want to put other people’s children in harms way to make political points, then you need to be stopped.

  • 2017-03-30 at 7:22 pm

    Ms. Couch — Do you reside in the Catoctin District? Mr. DeKenipp is my school board member. I’m completely satisfied with his performance thus far.

    The sudden propensity of leftist being offended by everything and anything has become a standing joke among rational people. I miss the days when lefties were fun, interesting, and enjoyable to be around. Now most are morphing into scowling, uptight, stuffy prigs, desperately searching for some self perceived affront from any person or object they come in contact with.

    Perhaps the old adage of “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” should be revisited… along with a good bottle of wine or three.

  • 2017-03-30 at 9:50 pm

    I support Mr. DeKenipp as well and it appears that Ms. Couch is the Vice Chair of the Young Democrats so I’ll take this letter with a grain of salt. It appears the Democrats are attempting to tee up their next candidates but good luck with that in the Catoctin District 🙂

  • 2017-03-31 at 9:56 am

    “I expected more from you but apparently your [sic] just another liberal with no common sense.”

    I mean, should we really be surprised that our resident LCPS bashers are on board with Dekenipp’s divisive Facebook language? I’m not- the supporters of Dekenipp on this thread talk like this every day on these forums…. and this is the sanitized version.

    This sort of banter might be ok in the Marine Corp barracks or on the ‘Marine’s United’ FB page (you know- the one that shares nudie pictures of their female coworkers that were taken against their will) But this sort of language has no place being written or spoken in public by a member of our local school board.

    The fact that our tea party affiliated Loudoun Now frequent fliers support this sort of deplorable rhetoric comes at no surprise. Perhaps the residents of Catoctin will consider electing a person with a specialty in education to the Loudoun County School Board rather than a grandstanding career warrior who’s using our schools as a political stepping stone?

    I know I will, but I’m under no illusion that those who make daily sport of bashing our school system will follow suit.

  • 2017-03-31 at 2:16 pm

    Good comment AFF. Thank you for acknowledging that Catoctin makes the choices of who sits for us, vice some democrat party hack who’s selectively offended by double dog dare meanie- wienie words on juvenile FB.

    I want individuals on the school board who strive to ensure the system is run effectively for the students, and spends efficiently as possible the large amounts of tax money lavished on the system.

    Don’t you?

  • 2017-04-03 at 2:19 pm

    I think it’s quite clear that the Liberal Left are “liberals” in name only. They once cherished free speech and public discussion. Now, they shut down a mere information item on the school board agenda. This was not a vote opposing a policy, mind you. This was a vote to bar discussion of a safety issues in LCPS!

    We have seen LCPS administrators take sexual harassment by employees very lightly in the recent Damron scandal. And now, when 3 members are asking to get out in front of an issue, you and the statists on the school board (Tom Marshall is clearly a liberal but also values free speech and public transparency so he voted to allow discussion of DeKenipp’s motion – thus I use the term “statist” for those who silence all dissent) want to prevent LCSB and citizens learning more about the various options and facts. I guess if we had refugees flooding in from Syria, where ISIS had openly called for their terrorists infiltrating, you would want to put your head in the sand as well. Newsflash, children as young as 12-14 are used as soldiers and gang enforcers. How could you possibly oppose a discussion unless you simply want to protect a class of individuals openly flaunting the law?

  • 2017-04-04 at 8:45 am

    I’m glad you liked my comment Chris. Granted, I didn’t think my calling out Mr DeKennip for shamelessly grandstanding at a school board meeting not to mention my implication that career military men most likely aren’t qualified for overseeing our public schools was going to find common ground with you, but if so, great.

    It should go without saying that those people who live in the Catoctin district are the people who get to vote on the Catoctin districts representatives. I don’t think you’d find any disagreement there. However, I do think you’d find many a person who would believe they have the right under the 1A to criticize a politician they can’t vote for or against.

    Free speech doesn’t end at the district boundaries. I personally have and will continue to exercise my 1A rights towards politicians I can’t legally vote against as I would expect my neighbors to. Eugene Delgaudio would be a perfect example of a politician who was shamed by thousands and thousands of people who don’t live anywhere near Sterling, myself included.

    With that said I’m a little confused why you think Ms Couch, who you refer to as a “democrat party hack” isn’t entitled to an opinion on Mr DeKenipp’s divisive language and antics? Ms Couch has every right to be “selectively offended by double dog dare meanie- wienie words on juvenile FB” from a supposedly non partisan member of the school board, just as you have the right to apparently welcome and celebrate such language.

    Lastly, I’m pretty confident that if you surveyed your Loudoun County neighbors, blue and red and shades of purple alike, you’d find consensus- every person wants their tax dollars wisely spent. The Dickinson’s of the world think they have a monopoly on the idea that their tax dollars are wasted- perhaps on something they find morally objectionable? I submit to you that this belief is about as common as sphincters on mammals- they ain’t that special.

  • 2017-04-05 at 5:05 pm


    A little off topic question here.

    Are you the ‘Chris N’ who comments on the Loudoun Times Mirror site? I ask because that person replied to a BobOEsq aka Robert J. Ohneiser comment indicating they didn’t know he’d been on the school board or was a lawyer.

    You know who he is right?

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