[Sun Gazette editorials represent the viewpoint of Sun Gazette Newspapers, which provides content to, but is otherwise unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]
UPDATE: Since this editorial was written, Fairfax County Public Schools changed the date of the start of the civic-engagement policy referenced below. It is now effective Jan. 21.
As one of its parting gifts on the way out the door, members of the outgoing Fairfax County School Board have approved a new policy that allows students to claim excused absences for engaging in the somewhat nebulous concept of civic activism.
Fine, whatever. We keep falling behind other nations in STEM and other subjects and political leaders seem not to care; what’s another day out of class?
Interestingly, the new policy takes effect Jan. 27, the start of the new grading period. After that date, Fairfax’s pubescent protesters can get their activism on without fear of an unexcused absence on their record.
We use the word “interestingly” because the start of the new free-range protesting policy comes just after the Jan. 24 “March for Life,” which will bring a huge crowd (including, one presumes, Fairfax students who hold a pro-life position) to Washington.
One might argue the timing is purely coincidental. Those who have been around the block a while know there are never, ever coincidences in politics. Ever, ever, ever.
We take no position on this page on the issue of abortion or the politics surrounding it. But the timing of this new FCPS policy seems aimed at disenfranchising one segment of the student body, and that’s wrong.