Thursday, August 11, 2016

BrambleDirt returns, for a second

BrambleDirt has been on indefinite hiatus. (Note: We are still NOT Ashburn.  If anything, we are even more NOT Ashburn now.) But since some of you may have found your way here through Brambleton's 15th anniversary marketing, I'd like to say a few words about the recent Donald Trump rally and the arrest of LCPS School Board member Joy Maloney.  She is not my representative, but I know her, and she is great.  The rally was on August 2, at Briar Woods High School, which is in Brambleton but which only serves the small part of Brambleton north of Ryan Road.

Joy was in line like everyone else when a reporter from Voice of America started talking to her.  The line started moving behind them. Here is the video:

Posted by Voice of America - VOA on Tuesday, August 2, 2016

After the reporter wraps up, the video ends. You cannot see what happened next, which presumably is that both Joy -- and the Trump supporter who also lost his place -- tried to return to their original places in the line.  Joy's attorney said in an article that someone in line behind her didn't like that and flagged down an event organizer, who had LCSO deputies try to remove her.

Lots of people were quick to spread the story that Joy was trying to stop people from going in, including various Republicans holding elected office in this county.  And now Brambleton's representative, Jill Turgeon, has co-authored a resolution to have Joy censured by the School Board, which, like this entire situation, is ridiculous.  The majority of the School Board voted against discussing the incident, but Jill is pressing onward, adding the motion to the board meeting's agenda on September 13.

I'm just a taxpayer with children in LCPS, so who cares what I think, but you know what I'd like to see the School Board spending their time on instead of this?  How about mental health policies and procedures?  Five LCPS students committed suicide in the 2015-16 school year, including Jay Gallagher, a student at Potomac Falls High School.  Following the district's suicide prevention protocols, his friend e-mailed a school counselor in January about her concerns that he was suicidal. This should have triggered a series of escalation steps, including contacting the principal and his parents.  NOTHING HAPPENED.  Jay killed himself in February.  (The other Potomac Falls student committed suicide in the fall of 2015.) The district's suicide prevention plan disappeared from the county website.  LCPS attorneys say one thing, the superintendent says another.  Families want answers.  So yeah, stop worrying about picking a partisan fight over Joy's arrest, let the courts handle it, and address this ACTUAL ISSUE.

More about Jay's family's mission at

P.S. Thanks to At-Large representative and Brambleton resident Beth Huck for voting against discussion of Joy's arrest.