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November 12, 2019

Buchanan’s FHS remarks prompt official apology

Angela “Bay” Buchanan spoke to Fauquier High School students Monday.
I completely understand your concerns and I apologize . . . . The intent of this assembly was student leadership and community service and our speaker used several inappropriate references and personal experiences. I do not approve or condone these actions and believe they were inappropriate for our students.
— Principal Kraig Kelican
The school board and administrators Tuesday apologized for remarks that former U.S. Treasurer Angela “Bay” Buchanan, a conservative political commentator, made during a Veterans Day assembly with the student body at Fauquier High.

A barrage of complaints from students and parents followed Ms. Buchanan’s remarks about abortion and feminism.

Young Americans for Freedom sponsored her half-hour speech Monday morning in the FHS gym.

> Video at bottom of story

At 6:14 p.m. Tuesday, the school system issued a statement that reads in part:

“During an assembly at Fauquier High School yesterday, the invited speaker, Bay Buchanan, former Secretary of the Treasury, made several highly partisan and politically controversial comments to students and staff. Although Ms. Buchanan was requested to speak on the many aspects of leadership and civic responsibility, she chose to go “off script” and made comments that made many feel uncomfortable and, in some cases, angry . . . .

“This event was not a Veteran’s Day assembly. The goal of the assembly was to encourage students to become young leaders and to find ways to give back to their community. Due to scheduling issues, the speaker was only available on November 11. The intent was to provide a message that was positive and appropriate for all. Moving forward, Fauquier County Public Schools will ensure that guest speakers adhere to School Board Policies. We offer our sincerest apologies for the outcome of this assembly and its impact on some of our students.”

Principal Kraig Kelican began apologizing Monday afternoon, saying:

“I can only apologize for the results of this assembly this morning. The intent of the assembly was to encourage leadership among our students and to have them become involved in their community.

“I wanted a positive message to be brought forth and leave our students with a good feeling. My belief was that the message was to be sincere and appropriate for all. That did not happen and I wish it were a positive event.

“I am deeply sorry for the outcome of this event and will make every effort to avoid any such issues in the future.”

Tuesday night, Mr. Kelican sent this email to parents who had complained:

“I completely understand your concerns and I apologize for the events of Nov. 11.  The intent of this assembly was student leadership and community service and our speaker used several inappropriate references and personal experiences.  I do not approve or condone these actions and believe they were inappropriate for our students. I am happy to meet with our students to discuss their concerns and will take all necessary actions to prevent similar situations from occurring.  Again, my apologies for this unfortunate event.”



The school system statement:

Letter to FHS Community 11.... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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Tell It Like It Is · November 26, 2019 at 7:43 am
What "edwardlfox" said,
"What has our public school system come to. We are now the word and thought police. If there was a legal way I could divert my tax dollars away from our schools, I would do it. I have no confidence that they (school administrators) could produce any critical thinking young adults. Our public school system is a money pit for leftist, progressive beliefs."
AFNMN
JDwarrenton · November 20, 2019 at 5:42 pm
I recently learned that Fauquier public schools are incorporating propaganda thought teaching into their curriculum. To see for yourself, goole Tucker Carlson and Fauquier county, and read the articles and/or video. Or search youtube for the same.

The company creating the Deep Equity school material is Corwin.

Then google Corwin and Deep Equity to see what this instsructional materials and methods are all about. It is leftist propaganda.

Look around their website for yourself. I clicked on textbooks and found this example:

High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice
First Edition

So I ask, who is using propaganda in our schools?

Jim Griffin · November 18, 2019 at 11:48 am
DF: Agreed. Jack is a good guy and shows good teamwork with Sheriff Mosier. We are fortunate to have them working together.

Also, agreed on the assumption about Best Interests. I've heard some guesses, too.
DonkeyFarmer · November 18, 2019 at 11:33 am
Yeah, I saw the posts by Best Interests. I ignored them because it was evident is was someone just looking for a reaction. Probably someone associated with the schools somehow and was drunk posting.

I've met Jeck, actually met his whole family. Nice guy. Nice family. Comes off to me at least as a calm, reasoned guy.
Jim Griffin · November 18, 2019 at 9:37 am
DF:

I am not aware of any method by which a poster can delete (or edit) their comment.

The comments seemed defamatory in their reference to our good school superintendent. Apparently they were posted by someone who concocted an account ("Best Interests of the Division"), someone with a grudge against Jeck, someone who claimed (falsely) the story was headed to local NBC4, said they had "personal experience" with him.

You could infer the person works or worked for the schools or interacted with them in some way.

I would not be surprised to learn this site deleted either the comments or the account or both. It could be that deleting an account deletes the posts associated with it, and it could be that a poster could delete their own account, but I do not know. I found the posts offensive, which is why I replied to them; The replies from me and Tony reveal some of what was posted and deleted.
DonkeyFarmer · November 17, 2019 at 10:25 pm
I have noticed a few times now that comments disappear. Who is deleting the posts? Does the paper delete them or is it the poster?
Tony Bentley · November 16, 2019 at 8:16 am
Best Interests - What the __________ are you talking about with your "faved about as much sniper fore"? Is that a threat against David Jeck??
Jim Griffin · November 15, 2019 at 11:34 pm
We're fortunate to have Dr. Jack as superintendent of our schools. Fauquier High School is run as are all schools: By their principal. No doubt this will prove a learning experience for all.

As for "Best Interests," that you profess "experience" with a "hamster on barbiturates" tells us all we need to know; This good county abhors animal mistreatment. Sorry you've a bone to pick with Jeck but clearly you're someone bitter and willing to snipe our top educator; That marks you as special and aggrieved in your own unique way. Your familiarity with which stories are going where suggests more than a passing familiarity with journalism, eh?
Linda Ward · November 15, 2019 at 2:37 pm
fauquiermeow - Agreed. Normalcy has take a backseat to chaos.
fauquiermeow · November 15, 2019 at 8:03 am
In what convoluted world is what she talked about Leadership skills? Maybe cult leadership. Most leaders are not good leaders if their main focus is building and maintaining their own opinion while trying to spread it to everyone they meet.
DonkeyFarmer · November 14, 2019 at 10:57 pm
Jim- I think anyone that is making a speech that lands on Veteran's Day would acknowledge Veterans Day during their speech. My point was that her speech was not about Veteran's Day. And I don't think the family dinner table is the place to raise these topics you mention. I don't think these topics belong in our schools at all. But the reality is they are there. I was in High School in Los Angeles in the 1990s and we had people from Planned Parenthood that would come into our classrooms and instruct on sexual matters. All of my teachers were Democrats. My history teacher had a bumper sticker that read "when god made man, she was joking" I still remember that. She had it displayed on a corkboard in the classroom. White straight males were made to feel they were the problem in this country. It has gotten out of control when conservatives are attacked in restaurants, run out of universities, their jobs and families threatened simply because of their viewpoint. This lady did not say anything that would warrant this reaction from probably one mother of a student that is still mad that Hillary lost the election. They tried to make it seem that she said some outrageous things. I guess they didn't expect there would be a video.

Jim Griffin · November 14, 2019 at 8:31 pm
Not directed at anyone in particular.

I favor speech but doubt public schools are the best venues, nor Veteran's Day the time, for these topics.

As for its Veteran's Day propriety, let Buchanan's own words (at 2:52 in) tell it: "What a day to do it. Veteran's Day. The day we honor the brave men and women who serve this nation in uniform."

Which is my point, exactly: What a day to do it, to raise topics like abortion, feminism, racism and guns. These themes are inconsistent with the day, the context, the setting. Better for the family dinner table than a public gymnasium with metaphorically locked doors.

Agreed with you: It is not okay to shut down opposing views, not okay to silence Buchanan. However, as we often say as parents, there is a time and place for everything.

This was neither the place nor the time. In addition, involuntary exposure to speech is not freedom nor something we celebrate. Mandatory attendance is inconsistent with moral suasion, more appropriate for Moscow on May Day.

In the right place and at the right time, I'd happily choose to attend a Buchanan talk with you, DF. No doubt we would both applaud her forthright nature and much if not all of her message.

P.S. Hollywood, music, comedy, sports -- all have a very wide scope of views. Consider Kanye's church services, Kid Rock's rebel nature akin to Ted Nugent, etc. Some of the Nats were eager to visit the White House, others not. Again, it's context, and from where we sit -- all of us -- the grass is greener on the other side.
DonkeyFarmer · November 14, 2019 at 8:00 pm
Jim- I don't know if your post was directed at me but I will respond. First, this was not a Veterans Day assembly, don't know if you caught that in the article. Yes, it was on Veterans Day but the speech was about Leadership.
And no, I would not have a problem with any of those people you listed speaking at a High School if it was done in the same manner as this lady. It was a very mild speech in terms of ideology.
I think whoever complained was just upset there was a conservative speaker at her school. The groveling apology by the principal made it sound like some outrageous things were said.
Considering all of Hollywood, Music Industry, comedians, and even now sports stars spout off liberal views, where can high school kids even hear a conservative viewpoint anymore? All of pop culture is liberal. It is sad that these kids are being trained that it is okay to shut down opposing views.
Jim Griffin · November 14, 2019 at 7:30 pm
I watched the video.

Context is everything. Would you feel the same if the speaker were, say, Ellen DeGeneres, speaking in the same open style (make your choices, stand up for them, just like I did, nothing wrong with that, eh?) about the choices she's made to a mandatory attendance student crowd, discussing as did Buchanan traditional Veteran's Day topics such as feminism, reproductive rights, racism and guns?

How about Billy Jean King? Colin Kaepernick? Virginia Senators Tim Kaine or Mark Warner? Bernie Sanders? Mitt Romney? Dennis Rodman? Bibi Netanyahu? All brave leaders in their own unique way.

We favor free speech, right, so let's hear from them all. Or, rather, none at all -- and certainly not with mandatory attendance -- because this is a public school ill-suited for moral missions better pursued with family.
Mark House · November 14, 2019 at 5:55 pm
DonkeyFarmer - I said "IF" I found it offensive I would have walked out and "IF" she is another meathead blathering out her personal opinions. I wasn't there, and while she went off topic, what she said was a nothing burger to me.

As the Principle of any school it would behoove them to vet any speakers coming to an event at their school. They should definitely have talking points that are off limits based on the age of the students.
DonkeyFarmer · November 14, 2019 at 4:33 pm
Mark House- You asked to see a video of the speech, did you watch the video? If you did can you point out the offensive remarks?
Mark House · November 14, 2019 at 3:59 pm
FalconDad- This has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton or Trump or snowflakes (such a overused term). This is about the appropriateness of the speech presented to the audience, under mandatory conditions. Was she speaking to the subject of leadership or just blowing her own horn about HER opinions to a "CAPTIVE" audience. Personally, I would have walked out if I found it offensive. If she is just another meathead blathering out her PERSONAL opinions it was a waste of the students time, we can all hear that on Cable news.
FalconDad · November 14, 2019 at 1:18 pm
Yep, see the video. Nothing to see here. Some folks report based on hearsay like a lot of other reporting in the national news nowadays. She consistently says to make your own decision and be heard. Good lesson.
DonkeyFarmer · November 14, 2019 at 9:44 am
Does somebody want to point out the part of the speech where she said something wrong? It was a speech mostly about having different opinions and how important free speech is. What was all the outrage about?
Gunner · November 13, 2019 at 10:22 pm
@Mark House, that is my point exactly. Now, @Gretchen Deitrich, I am not suggesting anything be "fabricated". In fact, I am suggesting the opposite. Provide the facts and allow the community to interpret the meaning and intent of the presentation. If there is truly inappropriate dialog in the presentation and not just conceptual points or examples taken out of context, then (as a parent) I will stand with any parent if that content is inappropriate for the age group. However, what I seeing in the article is merely suggestive through a series of apologies. I want facts before passing judgment. As to your point of legality, please cite the Title within the Virginia code or CFR which prohibits the recording of the comments of a public speaker in a public forum from being broadcast to the general public after the event through a media outlet. I would be very surprised to hear there are no recordings of the speaker given today's technological footprint. At one time, young Gretchen, we had these devices called video recorders that used VHS tapes which Fauquier High used about 28 years ago to record visiting speakers. I know because I was there. If we were using them at that time, I can only imagine the capability now. That is all I am asking for before passing judgment. Now I will not refer to you as a snowflake, but I must say that your comment is very disturbing. It is clear through your post that your ideology is in conflict with the speaker. But, regardless of your opinion, how is it justifiable to remove a speaker simply because you disagree with their position? That is a very dangerous and slippery slope. The First Amendment exists as the First Amendment for a reason. What you have just described is called Cancel Culture. If you cannot bring yourself to listen to opposing viewpoints, you have a hard road in your future.
Mark House · November 13, 2019 at 7:31 pm
With all the cell phones that were most likely present, there has to be a recording of this "speech" on leadership. I'd like to see and hear it for myself before I opinion a reaction.
Gunner · November 13, 2019 at 5:48 pm
So for those of us who don't attend high school, will there be a transcript of the comments made provided as part of the article? All I see are a bunch of apologies. Accurate reporting would grant the opportunity for the rest of us in the community to see what exactly was said and make our own judgments.
CHSofMarshall · November 13, 2019 at 5:45 pm
I am a student at Fauquier High School and voted in the most recent election. I had the displeasure of being an audience member to Buchanan's rant.
She was tasked with speaking about leadership. The first ten or so minutes of her speech were about standing up for what you believe in and not being intimidated by opposite opinions, which was perfectly fine. . But when she brought up her pro life beliefs as an example of having controversial beliefs, it rapidly derailed into a series of misguided pieces of advice and unwarranted opinions. I myself am pro life. But I recognize that a supposed apolitical mandatory assembly in a public school with 14 year olds is not a place to voice those views. She said that she thinks feminism is a failure. She told all of us not to support free trade because it was bad for the US.
Her speech quickly turned into advice on debate tactics. She admitted that as a talk show host she often changed the subject when she was "losing", and said it was a problem that you cant always do that. She ENCOURAGED students to start debates during instruction time whenever a sensitive issue was brought up. Her example of this was voicing your views on Roe v. Wade if it is brought up in math or English class. I cannot make this up. Again, she encouraged children as young as fourteen to star political debates in the middle of class instructions. People say that this offends a few snowflakes in the school, but I was in a corner of the gym hall, and I could the entire student body buzzing and turning to each other and murmuring.

Probably no one else from the school will bother commenting here, so I feel the need to make this crystal clear on this website, as an eyewitness. She said nothing that can be viewed as advice on leadership. She DID teach us about debate tactics. She DID tell children what to think in what was meant to be a non-partisan veterans day assembly. She spoke FAVORABLY of slinking away from issues when valid points were brought by an opposing party. The majority of the school found her remarks divisive instead of unifying, and as a conservative myself, I am strongly disappointed that the school allowed a political organization to organize a mandatory event.

The people commenting below me were not there, and are saying the school is going against free speech. The first amendment of the US constitution goes both ways; nobody can stop me from talking, but I can't force anyone to listen to me. Buchanan is free to state her opinions at her own events, and interviews. But we were not there at our own will. The school is not censoring conservative views, otherwise the Young Americans for Freedom would never have organized this event for the entire school. Again, Buchanan was invited by this small political group to lecture the ENTIRE school. As a conservative,I believe in less partisanship in our day to day lives and thus, I do not believe this is correct. To anyone who thinks I'm wrong, would you be happy to have Elizabeth Warren speak about why universal health care is perfect? This isn't about stopping public debate,managing views, or censoring conservative views to not offend liberal students. It's about keeping school an apolitical bastion of learning, free from political bias, and partisan advertisement.

Oh, the Young Americans for Freedom (the political group that made the school sit through all this) has already published an article on their site about all this. The call Fauquier High School and its principal, Kraig Kelican(who has worked at the school for decades) liars and cowards. They have a DIRECT LINK from their article to here, so expect an uptick in new accounts from out of state IP addresses!

Carter Stoecker. Senior Class of 2020, Fauquier High School
edwardlfox · November 13, 2019 at 5:16 pm
What has our public school system come to. We are now the word and thought police. If there was a legal way I could divert my tax dollars away from our schools, I would do it. I have no confidence that they (school administrators) could produce any critical thinking young adults. Our public school system is a money pit for leftist, progressive beliefs.
rrowand1 · November 13, 2019 at 5:12 pm
As a citizen and taxpayer of Fauquier County, and someone who had a son at FHS, I find it completely irresponsible of Principal Kelican to accept a speaker sponsored by Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) and not know what she would speak about. Mr. Kellican should have been there, in the room, and stopped the speaker when she began to RANT about her own political agenda. Would a Neo-nazi have been just as acceptable? The event should never have occurred; or provide a balanced perspective with a panel of speakers.
JustCurious · November 13, 2019 at 2:28 pm
"partisan:
a strong supporter of a party, cause, or person.
prejudiced in favor of a particular cause."
OK - whatever she said was in the context of strong support for a party, cause, or person. Or else 'partisan' isn't the proper word.

Apologies for the effect on some students? --> implying a negative effect. Was it a positive effect for ANY student(s), too? Do we focus solely on not offending a few at the expense of others?

Debate opinions - don't suppress them The latter leads to insurrection at one level or another.

Jim Griffin · November 13, 2019 at 1:13 pm
I favor free speech. The answer to speech with which you disagree is more speech.

Would the opposite POV receive a fair welcome in our Fauquier County public schools?

At some point, time and resources are limited; Heading down this road might distract from time devoted to mandatory education elements. I would not object, however, if a "speaker's corner" was a regular feature in our schools.
AngryBob · November 13, 2019 at 10:13 am
So what did she say?
molly33 · November 13, 2019 at 10:05 am
I think the worst example made to the students was the way the school board/administrators said people should not be allowed to express themselves freely even if you disagree with them. Open debate should be encouraged especially in an academic environment. Shame on you school board for trying to "manage" speech. For those interested here is a link to the salaries we are paying the school board to supress free speech.
https://www.fauquiercounty.gov/home/showdocument?id=24564
Bekemp · November 13, 2019 at 9:48 am
While I probably don't agree with Ms. Buchanan's "partisan" and "controversial" comments, I think in a society that values freedom of speech, that values non-violent dissent, that values diversity (including diversity of opinion), apologies are not warranted. Education is about exposure to ideas, even ones we don't agree with.
FalconDad · November 13, 2019 at 9:38 am
I wouldn’t call them ignorant, they just need to get over the Hillary loss.
jpebbets · November 13, 2019 at 4:41 am
Falcon dad. Good to see there are still a few ignorant people still left in the county
FalconDad · November 12, 2019 at 10:32 pm
I heard we were going to see some snowflakes today and yes the liberal parents did not disappoint. I don’t blame the kids though, I just hope they don’t join Antifa and break bank windows. Now I know who the people are that were crying when Hillary lost.
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