To many county residents the January 5th meeting of the Frederick County School Board now appears as no more than an apparition to an already predetermined outcome. Community members pleaded for the students to be allowed to return to sports. Only one community member was allowed to attend the meeting in person, but several comments were sent in and read to the board. It was noted by one of the school board members that although the people they represent were in favor of returning to sports, they themselves voted against the return for personal reasons. Elected members and officials are put into office to represent and speak for those they represent, not to tell them that their word is of no importance.

Although it was a tight vote amongst board members, to many residents, they saw members who already had already made up their minds before they entered the room. The other remaining area school systems that had postponed sports made the decision to allow their students to participate in VHSL-sanctioned events. On January 5th Fauquier County made the decision to move forward, and on January 7th Winchester City made the same decision. Every school in our northwestern district and region will allow their athletes the opportunity to participate in VHSL-sanctioned events except for Frederick County.

As residents of both Frederick County and Winchester watched the school board meetings, they saw how differently the two conducted themselves. The board members for Winchester City were presented with multiple options, Frederick County was given one. The board members of Winchester City had a constructive group discussion and ultimately presented a new option to meet the needs of both students and athletes. Frederick County only talked about what was put in front of them. The board members of Winchester City communicated with both the school athletic director and a committee member while the superintendent listened and provided feedback. Frederick County communicated primarily with the superintendent and only one of three athletic directors.

It appears that Frederick County as a whole was not properly represented. Why was every school principal and athletic director not in attendance or asked their views? Was it because they were against the proposition? Were coaches and student voices heard or even asked for when making the decision? Was factual youth sports data ever really examined or discussed? Where is the evidence for the statements made? Apparently some of the statements made by those who are supposed to represent Frederick County did not hold any truth.

From what has been seen and said, it appears that things happened behind closed doors.

Chris Joy is a resident of Frederick County.

(10) comments

JP Claypool

Ms. Joy has done a good job articulating her case. Decisions regarding school issues should be made with the involvement of the members of the community at large. The decision to participate in sports and other activities should be made by the students and their parents. Perhaps, as is done in other instances, with a swab and a pre-screening to keep everyone safe and comfortable.


Plain and simple. Let the teams compete. Let the parents' make the decisions for their children whether to compete or not. The mental health of participation is important and so is the fact that schools are much safer than the everyday population. I don't shop without a mask and do not frequent businesses that do not enforce mask wearing. That said, I fully support their decision to run their business their way and will not hold it against them in the future. I am a low risk person, do not want the virus, and avoid indoor crowded situations. My children are grown; my choice would have been to put them in school, in sports, and support their decision. Science does matter. So does common sense.


If sports is your only issue with how the county schools are running, you're concerned for a very small portion of the county students as a whole. The schools keep seeing spikes in COVID cases, which means they are not as secure as they could be. Sports would only serve to move those numbers higher.

Think about the big picture.

Steve Cunningham

Hey Bryan are you one of the 'follow the science guys'? Check out the science and why other school districts who are following the science are allowing athletics to continue following strict COVID guidelines.

Do you believe the science?!?


Has Frederick County been following the science? the number of unmasked people and social gatherings that are still happening would say no

Muh freedumb!.


This is what happens what you elect people that think they know better than their constituents they are supposed to represent.


So the school board should let the masses make all decisions? You do realize how representative governance works, right?

Steve Cunningham

We sure do Bryan. The elected representatives work for those whom elected them, we are not their feudal servants!!!


Who said they said anything like that, strawman? However, the board is tasked to make the best decisions possible for the most people.


That's why we elected them, to do our bidding, not for us to do their bidding.

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