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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Back when FCPS students could be groovy

Editor’s Notebook: Back when FCPS students could be groovy

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Up through the 1968-69 school year, Fairfax County Public Schools enforced a rigid, imposed-from-the-top-down dress code for all students.

We’re not talking white tie with tails, mind you, but a degree of decorum was expected of all students. Not sure how those who ran afoul of such dress codes were dealt with; shipping a 4th-grader off to fight in Vietnam seems a little draconian even by the standards of the times.

And according to the Aug. 13, 1969, edition of the Northern Virginia Sun, the times they were a-changing.

The article noted that the school-district leadership had decided to give those running individual schools the ability to adopt their own dress codes for the 1969-70 school year. “Within reason” was the way the article put it.


Li’l Scotty was wayyyyy too young to be in school, and the ol’ family wouldn’t be in Fairfax County until the end of the 1970s, so we’ll have to wait and hear from some others how this impacted their lives. And we’ll have to search out Sun editions from August 1970 to see if Fairfax County decided to keep the policy in place or return to a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to school couture for the following year.

OLD JOKES ARE THE BEST JOKES: We had coverage recently about Hilton’s plans to expand its headquarters footprint in Tysons. Good news!

I even hear that things are going so well for the company that it’s going to buy the Leaning Tower of Pisa and repurpose it as a hotel.

It’ll be known as the “Tiltin’ Hilton.”

I’m here all week, folks — hey-yo!

TACKY, TACKY, TACKY: Now, it’s not in my nature to attack other media outlets [hold for laughter to subside …] but something caught my eye from last week’s Falls Church News-Press, and not in a good way.

On Page 23 was a photo of a woman standing outside an office building (most of us know the one) in the Little City, holding anti-abortion signage. “Pray to End Abortion” and “We Will Help You,” they read.

But instead of being about her, or the pro-life protesters, the lengthy caption below the photo instead gave detailed lists of where pro-abortion supporters could send money to ensure that, well, I guess we all know what for.

Now, if that newspaper wants to use its pages to act as an advocate for one side in this contentious debate, that’s its business. But using a photo of a woman who clearly opposes abortion and then (with barest mention of her at the bottom) spending the caption promoting the other side seems simply unnecessary.

Maybe it was unintentional, a midsummer whoopsie-doodle. Maybe it was one of the rotating band of youngsters that populates the local press corps[e] that didn’t know this really wasn’t the right thing to do. Or maybe it was intentional. Who knows, who really cares? It was, however, decidedly tacky, tacky, tacky.

SPEAKING OF WHICH: At last week’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting, one presentation actually spoke what appears to be the emerging truth: Democrats nationally are at risk of losing large swaths of their supporters, including person of color, among those in the lower half of the economic spectrum, in part because the priorities of the party these days seem elitist and out of touch with the needs of real Americans in these challenging times.

[That’s the speaker speaking, not me.]

I’ve wondered about that, myself, over the past two months, as, to cite one example, the D’s have kept talking and talking and talking and talking about unrestricted access to abortion. They know that such positions, seemingly with no wiggle room for personal moral viewpoints allowed, do not play well with, among others, the Latino community, right?

  • Scott McCaffrey
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