We recently read a letter from Babur Lateef in the Potomac Local asking us to reelect him as chairman of the Prince William County school board. In his statement, he said:
“I believe we have one of the greatest school systems in the country, and I’ve been proud to serve as chairman of the school board. We have made significant improvements in student success, safety and security, space and infrastructure, and salaries.”
But, has he and the other Democrats on the PWC school board actually made significant improvements to Prince William County Public Schools?
In terms of graduation, the division’s on-time graduation rate dropped to a new six-year low. His COVID policies led to a learning loss that sent math scores tumbling farther than others in elementary and middle school and seemingly lasting into high school. Last year, just 50% of the division’s graduates met college readiness benchmarks in math, down 54% from the previous two years.
We watched Babur Lateef shut down parents’ concerns and tell us exactly who he believes has the preferred pecking order:
“God, Teacher, Parent….in that order.”- Babur Lateef.
Parents come last. Hear his comments (8) 6/21/21: Prince William County School Board Chair Babur Lateef “God, TEACHER, Parent in That Order” – YouTube
When a FOIA request was processed regarding text messages from the School Board, the findings were disturbing. In tweets with Katie Olsen-Flynn, Babur Lateef said:
“Well, I have always said that, and I have maintained CRT is what we are doing here. I am trying to get to the vote as quickly as possible. I don’t believe in transparency or public discussion.”
When Lateef was asked about his comments, he replied:
“It was a joke,” and as far as the parents who attended the school board meeting expressing concerns over what their kids were being forced to learn and mask mandates, Lateef replied:
“I think a lot of people just wanted a YouTube moment of them getting dragged out.”
Does this sound like a leader who is interested in working with parents?
The school board, led by Lateef, also tried on several occasions to limit public comment time at a point when parents began objecting to the new policies pushed by the Democrat-led school board.
Lateef did not hesitate to support mask mandates in schools under Governor Northam (D), yet when a Republican Governor changed the policies, he joined forces with other Northern Virginia school boards to obtain restraining orders in order to maintain mask mandates in schools.
Now, when Governor Youngkin has changed policies on boys in girls’ showers, bathrooms, and sports, Lateef chooses to ignore the new policies. Why did Lateef and his fellow Democrats on the Prince William County School Board only decide to follow orders from a Democratic Governor? I thought the school board was supposed to represent our schools in a nonpartisan manner.
Babur Lateef, chairman of the Prince William County School Board, tells WTOP, “We are looking at the legal implications of the new VDOE rules. But let me make one thing crystal clear. All students come first in Prince William County Schools regardless of their race, religion, or gender, or sexual orientation.”
While Lateef would not go so far as to predict his jurisdiction — or a group of Northern Virginia school boards — would sue the Youngkin administration, this would not be the first time they had joined forces. In February, an Arlington County judge granted seven Virginia school districts a restraining order against Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s ban on mask mandates.
And of course, we cannot forget the comment made by Maria Burgos, Director of PWC Office of Equity and Inclusion, when asked about Critical Race Theory and Marxism in Prince William County Schools: (8) VDOE: “Understand a Marxist framework and you’ll understand how it’s used in education” – YouTube
“When You understand a Marxist Framework then you’ll understand how it’s used in education.”
Isn’t it time to change leadership on the Prince William County School Board? Shouldn’t parents be partners in the school system? Yet under the so-called leadership of Babur Lateef, it has become obvious that he and the other Democrats on the board are determined to shut parents out when it comes to the education of their children.
It’s time for change.