April 28, 2005
By Tim Buchholz
Dick Black has got to go. The consequence of his recent attack on Stone Bridge High School’s Sabrina Jess and her brave play about human acceptance has created an unconstitutional environment of thought suppression and censorship in Loudoun County Public schools. Even before the School Board weighs in on Mr. Black’s over-reaction to this student’s creative output, teachers and the administration are censoring students’ work.
My daughter, Nikki, is a senior at Stone Bridge. She is a writer and the editor-in-chief of the school’s student newspaper. She has been published in the Loudoun Connection’s Children’s Connection 2004 (Dec. 30, 2004). Nikki had submitted this same article, “Ava Lynn’s Fear,” for publication in the school’s literary annual, Spiritus Mundi. It was submitted before Dick Black created this controversy. Now, the teacher advisor wants Nikki to edit out important text having to do with sexual abuse. The presentation of this subject is important to the story line and is not graphic or inappropriate. She has refused to allow censorship of her work. As a result, this work will not be published. During her last year of high school, she will miss out on the experience of having her best work published in her school’s only literary magazine.
I am angry. I do not blame the teachers or administration of Stone Bridge for the stifling of creative expression. Mr. Black is guilty of this through an abuse of his elected power. To advance his warped, personal, moral agenda, he has succeeded in manipulating the Loudoun County Public School System through intimidation and the fear of another public controversy. Careers, after all, are on the line.
As a life-long Republican, who has always turned a blind eye to the social engineering agenda of the party’s religious right, I am supporting Dave Poisson for delegate. And I have even recently joined the Loudoun County Democratic Committee. All of this is a direct result of Del. Black’s attack on these high-school students’ freedom of expression.
I encourage your readers to let Mr. Black know that there are consequences for his extremism. Speak up. Let your friends and neighbors know this is unacceptable behavior. Speak out at the Loudoun County School Board meetings. Vote this November. Vote Dick Black out of office. Loudoun County’s youth deserve a life free of Dick Black.