Letter: Michael Rivera, Leesburg 

Editor: When the opportunity came up to put my name in the hat for the Leesburg District School Board seat I thought to myself, this could be an opportunity for the School Board to show the community that it’s listening.   

I figured as a Puerto Rican, in a biracial marriage, with a special needs child, and employed as a public servant already that I might actually have a chance to get on the School Board. Besides, LCPS has been promoting equity and diversity since 2019 after spending nearly a half million dollars on an Equity Collaborative report to promote equity and inclusion.

I was wrong. 

Despite a significant number of qualified, non-controversial candidates the School Board chose yet another white male who was the only candidate who was publicly excoriated by a father from Loudoun County. Given the School Board is predominantly white and considered economically affluent it seems counterintuitive to have made that choice. I’m glad that one of the School Board members decided to table the equity policy approval to give it more thought.

However, every cloud has a silver lining. Thus far, I’ve been able to meet a lot of very morally solid parents and citizens from many demographics who care about children. I have learned that it is not enough just to go to the School Board meeting and speak passionately because all of our words are falling upon deaf ears.

I’ve learned that the only way to combat the corrupt and politicized Loudoun County School Board is through the courts and using the law. The School Board members have clearly sent the message that they are not resigning or stepping down or doing anything to respect the will of the people. 

I, like many other parents, will continue to fight for our children’s education and to restore LCPS back to its glory. Activism may be tiring and inconvenient, but I do not feel I have a choice. I need not only to defend my own children’s education but more importantly to defend the rights of the voiceless in Loudoun County who are shackled to the public school system with no options. 

The last time I checked, elected officials in the United States only have the authority that is given to them by the people and that same authority can be taken back by the people.

Michael Rivera, Leesburg 

14 thoughts on “Letter: Michael Rivera, Leesburg 

  • 2021-12-16 at 5:54 pm

    The writer emphasizes the courts & the law as mechanisms to change the composition of LCSB. What about good ole elections? That’s what I was raised to believe in. Let the people have their say via the ballot box. And may the best person win. Happy Holidays Loudoun!

  • 2021-12-16 at 6:05 pm

    It ought to be clear to everyone at this point that when the board speak they most often are lying. We have heard NOTHING but SJW choruses for a full year now. And yet the last two appointments were, wait for it, Caucasian males. You’ve been played. They are lying to you about protecting your children, educating your children, and creating meaningful diversity on the board.

    We must continue to press the rest of the board to resign or be recalled. And we must remember this foul behavior at the next election. We can do much better than what we have. That much is clear.

    • 2021-12-17 at 7:30 pm

      Hey, wait a minute. The board values diversity in its appointments. Andrew Hoyler is the first openly-LGBTQIA+ member of LCSB. That counts for something, n’est-ce pas? And Mr. Marshall is perhaps one of the oldest LCSB members. Let’s hear it for elder rights! Give credit where credit is due. Happy Holidays Loudoun!

  • 2021-12-16 at 6:15 pm

    I’m a little confused. Is Mr. Rivera saying that the school boardis not doing enough for equity and equality?

  • 2021-12-16 at 6:59 pm

    The letter was spot on in may facets, however when Mr Riveria mentioned he is “a Puerto Rican, in a biracial marriage, with a special needs child” that made me lose interest. Just be an American.

  • 2021-12-16 at 7:58 pm

    You wanted the board seat because you’re a minority, in a bi-racial marriage, with a special needs child? Those aren’t qualifications you know, those are labels, which you seem to be very much into.
    I guess every situation that came up with you on the board would have been determined by the color, marital status, etc. of the people involved?
    The school board is very screwed up and for once, maybe they made the right move and that was not picking you.

  • 2021-12-16 at 10:28 pm

    Or you know, you could vote. Because we live in a democracy and not a theocracy.

    • 2021-12-17 at 1:33 pm

      The letter writer made no mention of “god,” “faith,” “religion,” or “church.”
      Didn’t reference the “torah,” “quran,” or “bible.”

      Yet there you are finding a way to compare/contrast a shady backroom deal to fill a vacant SB position to a government run by a particular religion.

      Clearly you’re seeing ghosts.

  • 2021-12-17 at 5:41 am

    Mr. Rivera,

    Thank you for running for school board and I truly hope you will run again. Your words and insight are spot on, you speak from the heart with conviction as well as an eagerness to listen to us. We need that right now in Loudoun, more than anything.

    The selection didn’t go the way I had hoped/expected it would go and I truly don’t know what to expect anymore. Mr. Marshall indicated that there may be a new chairmanship, and I hope that happens. It is burning me out to see so many qualified candidates overlooked and insightful parents ignored. Please continue to speak up, I am listening (as well as many others).

    Things have GOT to change, what is happening now isn’t sustainable to alienate parents with a “war on parents”. Please post letters regularly – if you are able to get a column in this paper that would be wonderful! I’d like to hear you more and applaud your work in the public service protecting our community. We need to listen to you, and others, to help bring our county back on track. I have to leave, but I truly hope others stay. Loudoun was once a great place to live.

    • 2021-12-17 at 1:22 pm

      Loudoun is still a great place to live. Twelve years ago, I shared your mindset and was prepared to move due to frustrations with LCPS school board, as well as our school leadership (I live in the perpetually-challenged Leesburg district). Since then, I have been able to rediscover my love of our community thanks to a critical, life changing decision, which was to pull our youngest child out of public school completely and enroll him in private school.

      For the record, I am a pro-teacher, political moderate who has been disgusted with the shenanigans of the LCPS school board and their conniving ways long before their antics made Fox News primetime. At this point, I am hopelessly conflicted between feelings of contentment (because a growing number of constituents has finally learned, and have decided to act upon, the LCPS “anti-parent politically motivated” agenda that has been successfully hidden from public view up until this point), rage (I am aghast ‘do nothing’ Marshall was invited back) and self-loathing (for still caring too much about a fight in which I no longer have a dog). But the reality is that I love Virginia and particularly Leesburg more than ever, even more so post-COVID where I believe our devotion to community truly set us apart from the rest of the country. I agree Loudoun and its wonderful families deserve more credit and respect than the despots at 21000 Education Ct have afforded to us.

      The moral of this story is to vote — commit to replacing the ENTIRE school board during the next election cycle, as well as supporting candidates who commit to supporting school voucher legislation. In my humble opinion, that is the only solution to breaking up the seemingly impenetrable bureaucracy that is the LCPS Administration.

  • 2021-12-17 at 12:37 pm

    Good letter. Just another example of the SB giving the rest of us the democrat supervisor Julie Briskman’s Finger Lady treatment.

    History shows, fascists and leftists (one and the same), always go after the kids. They’ll do anything to maintain control over others.

  • 2021-12-18 at 8:02 am

    The letter writer focused on “labels”. We don’t care about labels. We don’t care about your skin color. The only thing that matters is qualifications.

    What is interesting and disturbing at the same time is that Loudoun IS focused on labels under the guise of “equity”.

    Loudoun casts aside King’s color blindness and they focus on checking diversity boxes which always results in selecting LESS qualified candidates.

  • 2021-12-20 at 8:40 am

    The choice was obvious – he will vote (IMHO) with the majority partisan board as long as they tell him in advance what the vote should be. Perhaps all the silliness and sadness this board has issued during its tenure the majority of registered voters will finally show up for local elections including independents! 🙂

  • 2021-12-20 at 12:01 pm

    sat·ire /ˈsaˌtī(ə)r/
    the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

    Example: “…as a Puerto Rican, in a biracial marriage, with a special needs child, and employed as a public servant already that I might actually have a chance to get on the School Board.”

    Looks like many missed the irony in the editorial. LCPS administration thrives on artificial and contrived labels.

    Labels and color are NOT what make a person who they are.

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