Letter: FW Lillis, Leesburg 

Editor: This is in response to a letter sent by Catoctin District Supervisor Caleb Kershner to his constituents. In it, he states that the School Board has failed the students and their parents, and lost their trust. As proof, he mentions school closures and the implementation of CRT ideology. No good deeds were listed.

Mr. Kershner did not mention why the schools were closed, but some of us remember the pandemic which swept through our county recently. This was a new virus and much had to be learned about it and the treatment for it. There was no treatment, so the best advice was to avoid it, by closing crowded classrooms and other venues, a savvy move in a pandemic. This year was not squandered, as Mr. Kershner suggested, lives were saved. The closings had consequences, but so did the virus, 750,000 have died in this country. Now that the CDC has more data and we have the vaccines, it is thought safe to reopen the schools.

The matter of CRT begins with misinformation. Studies have shown that there is racism in our schools and that racism has held back those of color, limiting their opportunities. The School Board acted to remedy those findings. This is not CRT but the correction of our local problem. Teaching about slavery and the Jim Crow laws, which legalized segregation is history, not CRT: to ignore this history is to cancel it.

Loss of trust is inevitable if the whole truth is not part of the discussion.

FW Lillis, Leesburg 

7 thoughts on “Letter: FW Lillis, Leesburg 

  • 2021-12-06 at 6:41 pm
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    If truth be told, I don’t care for Supervisor Kershner. During a recent BOS meeting, he gave Chair Randall a hard time when she maintained that systemic racism affects Loudoun County. How could it not? After all, it’s pervasive throughout America. There’s no special carve-out for Loudoun. Yet at that BOS meeting, Supervisor Kershner insisted he sees no persuasive evidence of systemic racism in Loudoun. Is he living in LaLa Land? Kudos to the letter writer for providing an alternate point of the view. Happy Holidays Loudoun!

    • 2021-12-07 at 11:29 am
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      Per a June 2020 article in this newspaper in, after expressing sadness that the Confederate Statue was to be removed from the courthouse square, Caleb Kershner was asked if the statue’s presence brings up that pain for Black people walking by it, he said “I don’t know if it does or not.”
      When an elected official makes that kind of statement and then opposes measures that would allow teaching that it does in fact cause many Black people pain along with the reasons why, he is only underscoring the need for the education he is opposing.

  • 2021-12-07 at 9:07 am
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    As a resident of the Lucketts area I am supposedly represented by both Mr. Kershner and Ms. Randall. Neither one has ever answered any of my e-mails and Mr. Kershner hasn’t even responded to phone calls about the delays in progress on Route 15 north of Leesburg or the paving of Montressor Road. I didn’t see any letter he sent either but it is obvious he has not been concerned with how the school board has spent our tax dollars or operated in a fair way for all students. Bullying in LCPS is an hourly event yet there is still no outrage by BOS members for the fact that the school board does not require all incidents to be reported by school per month (obviously without student names included). There was no outrage by the request for a hybrid choice vote followed by closure or even the payment of statute prohibited bonuses to LCPS execs for merely showing up for work. Voters have lost their influence over these “representatives” because both parties know the majority of registered voters don’t show up. Maybe we can all be better off if this New Years resolutions included a commitment to VOTE in 2022 and then again in 2023 to begin fixing the inept representation we are experiencing. 🙂

  • 2021-12-07 at 9:45 pm
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    Supervisor Kershner is the only supervisor with a clue.

    1. The author cites “studies” yet knows the first “study” was a no-bid contract to a DEI firm who had templates ready to fill out (they diagnose the same “problems” in every district, ones they are ready to help “solve”). That DEI firm refused to release data about how it collected evidence of “systemic racism” but did acknowledge it interviewed no white or Asian students because …. well they cannot experience discrimination. What a crock. The second “study” was a foolish letter written by the outgoing AG who was caught in black face and promised to do anything the NAACP wanted if they wouldn’t demand his removal. Well, the voters removed him anyway. His “study” had no evidence of racism but rather recycled gibberish from the first “study” and claimed any difference in group outcomes demonstrated “racism”. Wait, he just used the mantra of CRT to “conclude” racism existed? Yeah, studies alright.

    2. The author doesn’t seem to know that virtually no kids, and practically 0 kids without serious underlying conditions, died at all during the pandemic. And many states kept schools open with far superior results. Loudoun did not. And our scores fell off a cliff. That’s why their clients (even though they won’t call them clients) left in droves despite having a $20K+/year free education dangled in front of parents. How do you lose business when it’s a free $20K/year?

    3. Newsflash: every school in America has taught about slavery and Jim Crow for at least 50 years now. In what alternate universe if this author living?

    4. No, Timmy, there is no systemic racism in Loudoun. Unless you are talking about the Democrats who (i) insisted in prioritizing teachers for vaccines over other residents given teachers are 80%+ white or (ii) giving massive raises to teachers (again 80%+ white) over giving $100s in tax refunds to poor minority families who had to leave their kids home alone to learn because those white teachers refused to enter a school, or (iii) forcing kids to remain home while watching the growth scores of poor minority kids fall so much more than affluent families with stay-at-home-parents. Were you talking about the systemic racism imposed by Democrat officials on minorities this past year, Tim?

    • 2021-12-08 at 7:12 pm
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      —>”And many states kept schools open with far superior results.”

      At what cost? You do remember that COVID was transmissible regardless of age. So if students returned to school without masks and social distancing, teachers, entire families and communities were then made more vulnerable.

      • 2021-12-09 at 11:07 am
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        Florida schools remained open throughout the pandemic and Florida now has the lowest rate of COVID in the country. You probably don’t know this because it isn’t reported by most of the media and it doesn’t fit your preconceived notions.
        It should be obvious by now that the virus spread far and wide despite lockdowns, masks, social distancing, mandates, vaccines, etc.
        Your ignorance and fear does not justify the draconian, yet ineffective, measures that hurt our kids, destroy the economy and trample on others rights.

        • 2021-12-15 at 1:54 pm
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          @paulmase

          —> “Florida schools remained open throughout the pandemic and Florida now has the lowest rate of COVID in the country.”

          Amazingly, you use Florida as an example. Florida has had repeated surges that at times overwhelmed ICUs. This is also the same place where Aug. 16, 2021 in just 24 hours, four teachers in Broward County, Fla., died from COVID-19. DeSantis continues to downplay the impact while misreporting counts from his state. He also brilliantly promoted monoclonal antibodies as a solution if you get infected with COVID when we have effective vaccines that prevent severe infections and death.

          https://www.factcheck.org/2021/11/scicheck-desantis-comments-social-media-posts-mislead-on-covid-19s-toll-in-florida/

          Florida is 14th in Coronavirus cases as of Dec. 13.
          https://www.statista.com/statistics/1109004/coronavirus-covid19-cases-rate-us-americans-by-state/

          —-> “It should be obvious by now that the virus spread far and wide despite lockdowns, masks, social distancing, mandates, vaccines, etc.”

          There are 800,000 US deaths from COVID (and counting). During the course of the pandemic, mitigation through lockdowns, masks, social distancing was absolutely necessary. These measures were effective in preventing significantly more deaths. With an IFR of .6%, US deaths could have easily approached 2M people. Spread was not contained in the US because so many people chose to ignore common sense guidelines.

          —>”Your ignorance and fear does not justify the draconian, yet ineffective, measures that hurt our kids, destroy the economy and trample on others rights.”

          COVID does not differentiate between age groups. Children serve as vectors as much as adults. Do you remember teachers balking at the idea of returning to live classrooms? Was it fair to ask them to risk their lives? There was no vaccine.
          Schools only could have been reopened had we had masks, social distancing, quarantine for outbreaks, and comprehensive, regular testing. Were these measures followed?

          The CDC said “in-person” learning is invaluable if proper safety precautions and protocols are put in place, but it also recommends schools close if they have coronavirus outbreaks.

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