Editor: With respect to the article titled “Battle for Equity Continues Before Loudoun School Board,” equity for everyone involved in the school system is necessary. For children to come to school and feel safe being there, equity for all students, as well as teachers, needs to be established. No one should have to change how they present themselves to feel safer in the school environment or fit into rigid social categories. I think the school board is moving in the right direction with the equity proposal recently drafted.
However, given the current framework of the school system, I am not sure full equity can be achieved. The established system has been founded on certain ideals that are deeply ingrained in the workings of the system. In the words of Michelle Thomas, “the back was broken when desegregation happened almost 60 years ago.” To change the structure of the current school system, radical reforms would need to be made.
There is a growing rate of suicide among school-age children, especially those who identify as LGBT, and feeling safe in the school environment could contribute to this pattern. Although they are still children, they are suddenly being treated differently for being themselves while other children who are considered “normal” are still treated the same. They are being forced to choose between being themselves or feeling safe at school.
As a former student of Loudoun County Public Schools, a lot has changed since I have graduated in 2016. The inclusivity and diversity within schools is continuing to grow and the reforms laid out by the school board are supporting this growth. It is important to make employees and students feel comfortable and safe in an environment where they spend so much time.
Fallon Choinski, Leesburg