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Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Aw, quit yer whinin’!

Editor’s Notebook: Aw, quit yer whinin’!

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With the exception of those of us snivelers in the news media, who absolutely are at the top in this category, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger group of gripers than those in public education.

Not all, of course, or maybe not even most. But there are plenty out there whose litany of whine-whine-whine-moan-moan-moan-b#tch-b#tch-b#tch is, in the immortal and frequently quoted by me words of Casey Kasem, “ponderous man, [bleep]ing ponderous.”

But at least teacher complaints are not a new phenomenon, as a perusal of the yellowing and increasingly brittle pages of the Northern Virginia Sun archives proves.


Let’s head back 73 years ago this coming week, to June of 1949.

It actually was good news for Arlington teachers, as they’d be getting a nice pay raise during the coming year.

So why were they moaning? Because the School Board had decided that, to merit the chunk of change, they’d need to work slightly longer hours. The horror.

If only they’d had a union! (Oh, wait, back then they did, only to later see collective bargaining abolished for local governments by Richmond, and now to see it come back again. Lather, rinse, repeat …)

In that same edition of the paper there were several other Arlington school items:

• The School Board had determined that Bible classes for students could continue, as long as they didn’t occur during regular class time.

• And in a foreshadowing of things to come, the School Board hired its first psychologist. One presumes it was for students, although anybody who wants to serve on a School Board – anywhere, anytime – really should have his or her head examined by a professional.

HIGH-HO, PARKINGTON, AWAY! Here’s one from a mid-June-of-1958 edition of the Sun.

Guess who stopped by to visit the Hecht Co. store at the Parkington Shopping Center in Ballston? None other than TV’s “Lone Ranger” himself, Clayton Moore.

One presumes he was there on a promotional swing for the show, rather than just checking out the sofas and other items.

– Scott McCaffrey

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