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Loudoun Democrats plan protest against Perdue visit to Leesburg school

Protests are planned outside a Leesburg elementary school during U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue's visit Monday.

Perdue is scheduled to unveil a new school meal program during the visit to Catoctin Elementary. According to the Secretary of Agriculture's office, he will sign an interim rule designed to provide flexibility for school meals.

Details of how school meal regulations will change under the rule have yet to be published, but some Trump administration critics believe it will have a negative impact on nutritional standards.

Under current legislation, The National School Lunch Program provides nutritionally controlled, reduced cost or free lunches to children. Former first lady Michelle Obama's campaign against obesity led to stricter nutritional standards being placed on the program across the nation.

According to its Facebook page, Leesburg Democrats are organizing a rally in front of the school field at Catoctin Elementary to coincide with Perdue's visit.

Phillip Thompson, president of Loudoun County's NAACP branch, shared an email with the Times-Mirror sent to the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) School Board.

“I am wiring in my position as the President of the Loudoun County NAACP to express our concern with allowing our Public Schools to be used a political 'prop' for what many consider as a 'controversial' decision to relax nutrition standards in school meal programs nationwide,” Thompson said. He went on to ask why the visit was announced one school day before the planned date and questioned LCPS' stance on the current school lunch program and proposed changes to the program.

County Supervisor Kristen Umstattd (D-Leesburg) said she'd sent a similar message to the principal of Catoctin Elementary and to School Board Member Tom Marshall (Leesburg).

“As the mother of a former Catoctin student, I sincerely wish Catoctin had not been selected by USDA for Monday's announcement of reduced federal standards for school meals,” Umstattd said. “It would reassure some of us tremendously if LCPS were to refute the negative impact of this announcement by publicly committing to maintaining the previous higher standards that USDA is now undermining.”

LCPS Board Member Eric DeKnipp (Catoctin) shared his disappointment about the planned protest.

“I fully support their right to protest and freedom of speech, but to interrupt the kids school day is completely inappropriate. With that said, I call on the Loudoun County Democrats to immediately cancel the planned rally or hold a rally elsewhere so that it will not interrupt our children's education,” DeKnipp said in a written statement.

Wayde Byard, LCPS public information officer, said they would be addressing the planned protest.

"Our safety and security office is coordinating a plan with the Leesburg Police Department,” he said Sunday.

Following the visit to Catoctin Elementary, Perdue will visit C.S. Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg and connect with six Future Farmers of America chapters via YouTube Live. Monday's visit be the former Georgia governor's first official appearance as secretary.


Ketchup is a fruit sauce.

Dude shouldn’t be visiting a school. If you want to put nutrition in the hands of the state, do so..but don’t visit schools with an agenda that’s unhealthy…how about just visit for the sake of a visit?

usda site suggests sec of ag owes “responsibility to our shareholders” -

another win for lobbyists for sugar, salt & fat food industries

Lawman, kids were throwing away a great deal of the food “choices” foisted on public school systems by the previous administrations policies.  Care to redefine the term “crap” you used in your comment:  “Aramark or some other food service company that has invested in the Republican serving crap to the kids.”

@BobOEsq. Bob, thanks for reminding us of your failures on the school board.

As usual, key Democrat activists make irrational arguments.

It costs MORE money to buy whole grains and there are higher profit margins. Why do you think Whole Foods makes so much profit from the organic/chic crowd. Businesses make MORE money from the Obama regulations. Yet, demonstrating a basic lack of economic knowledge, we have Democrat leaders claim this is a plot by Trump to help their agri-business friends.

But trying to force feed kids what a bunch of yuppy moms want never made sense anyway. Kids won’t eat it. And many kids need the calories. I went to school with athletic kids who were often thin. Because of these “obesity” regulations, those kids must buy extra food to supplement their calories. In other words, because some sedentary kids can’t control their diet, we have the nanny state preventing others from getting what they need in an attempt to control everything and everybody including kids’ food.

First, think through your reflexive attack before posting. Or not as Dems don’t seem to mind being irrational hypocrites.

Lawman, if you don’t like the food program at school—pack your own lunch for your kids—problem solved…glad to get rid of that disaster of a program Michelle Obama forced on school districts…another win for the people and Trump!

Please go back and look at 8 years of votes. With a few exceptions like introducing Mandarin to LCPS, revising the Superintendent’s contract, upgrading LCPS school camera system after the Broad Run H.S. fake bomb debacle, expanding the bidding tactics to cut costs I was in the minority most of the time.
Bob O__ Esq.

BobO - Why didn’t you do something about all of these things you’re complaining about during your eight years on the school board? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Bob you running for something or just running your mouth, because some of us remember when you and your crew controlled the school board.  tenure. It wasn’t the panacea you might want to think it was.

A great Republican tactic, hide the wolf among the sheep.  Sit there smiling act like you care and then screw their meal programs until you have McDonalds or even better Aramark or some other food service company that has invested in the Republican serving crap to the kids. Continued Republican assault on public schools.

After 8 years on the school board including chairing the health safety and wellness committee which included food services I could not even eat the food served to my three children attending LCPS schools. I challenge all parents to come to their childs’ school and eat one of the USDA provided hamburgers cold! Check how much food remains on the plates when dumped in the garbage before you believe all the “nutritious” pablum. Kids don’t have enough time to get breakfast as buses are timed to get them to school on a last minute basis and there is no food service in the afternoons for the hundreds who stay after for activities. Stay back the 40 feet and protest all you want but instead of some political federal BS agenda how about actually looking at the SOL’s your children have to take, eat the food they have to eat, look under the “CLEAN” tables they have to sit at and eat on, calculate how much play time they are denied by having what should be taught during class time assigned as homework, ride the bus they are forced to endure where the driver is not responsible to insure no bullying occurs, check that gym teachers go into the locker rooms after every class to make sure there is no bullying etc. Its a relatively good school system that could be great but food provisioning (quality and timely service) could REALLY improve!
Bob O__ Esq.

Only Democrats would intimidate elementary school kids for their own political gain. Disgraceful!

Typical Trump sort of thing…get the photo-op in before anyone reads what’s in the law.  Imagine this will do for children’s lunch program what their repeal-replace plan did for health care (or would have done had they succeeded in implementing it): make some people rich and stick it to everyone else all the while talking about how good this plan is for the working man…

“... to interrupt the kids school day is completely inappropriate”

It’s not clear to me if Mr. DeKnipp is saying that ironically or not. Or if he’s referring to the visit from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who will be bringing his interuption inside the building?

Democrats have another protest which none of them know why?  Crazy behavior by these “so-called” adults…the big question is - will Joy Maloney be arrested again!

Let’s review:

1. Obama administration used schools routinely as props for their policies and announcements (disclosure: I supported several of those policies)

2. When LCPS and VDOE defrauded the US Dept of Education regarding NCLB waivers and refused to even review student growth scores as required by their waiver, not a single word was heard from NAACP Chairman Thompson, Leesbury Mayor/current Supervisor Umstattd, Chair Phyllis Randall, or any of the other activists now creating a scene.  That only dealt with whether all students were taught by effective teachers so I guess a quality education and outright fraud by local pols doesn’t rise to the dignity of our local Dems.  No request for clarification, no request for a statement, no condemnation for violations of federal reqts.  Not a peep.

3. But now that the Trump administration is implementing its policies using local schools as props, we get all the grandstanding Dems (yes, I use that term for you Smith) pop out of the woodwork.  This has little to do with the policy and all about currying political favor with their radical leftist base.  One might think Dems would at least wait to hear the changes announced before protesting but that would mean their protests were grounded in legitimate policy differences.  Obviously, they are not.

The ACLU used to defend civil liberties of all.  Now it just defends leftists pet projects.  The NAACP used to try to defend the interests of its students including school choice.  Now it just serves as a mouthpiece for the Democrat party.  I guess the breakdown of local politics is no different than the national scene.  But at least we know who the shameless pols are:  Hello Kristen Umstattd!


I received the phone call from my kids Principal a while ago. It seems that they were expecting the “protesters” as they seem to move freely between the Comstock office, Antifa clashes across our Country, etc. I guess it will be 8 full years of rejecting the entire Trump Administration.

Why are people protesting what we don’t yet know?  Either this is bad reporting with statements like ” Details of how school meal regulations will change under the rule have yet to be published, but some Trump administration critics believe it will have a negative impact on nutritional standards”’ which says to me that we don’t know what we don’t know, or people just want to find another excuse to protest, without facts, and potentially set a bad example to our kids.  I am all for protesting when needed, but let’s get the facts first.

Who pickets the Secretary of Agriculture? Time to pick your battles more carefully, folks.

I’m not surprised that the Loudoun County NAACP has thrust themselves into the middle of this, as they have been searching for relevance for quite some time. But I expected more from the LCDC. Yes, I get the Dems are still ticked that Hillary lost. But venting their frustration on the Secretary of Agriculture?

Mr. Deknipp… A rally outside the school will interrupt the school day but a visit to the school by the Secretary of Agriculture will not? Give me a break, hypocrite.

A protest is being planned, according to the article, for a meal plan that has yet to be unveiled. Isn’t that a bit premature?

As for Kristen Umstattd being worried about the “negative impact of the announcement” - she should be jumping for joy. It gives the Supervisors an opportunity to raise taxes under the pretext of providing our poor starving children with the nutritional lunches that big bad Trump is taking away.

School children should just shut up and eat their ketchup. Errrr I mean vegetables.

The Loudoun School Board pulls this stunt, and thinks it can get away with claiming someone else is disrupting things?  How many parents were told about this visit ahead of time, and had the ability to either explain to their children that the Loudoun School Board would use them as a prop for a photo op (or tell the principal that their children could not be used a props in a photo op)
or even keep the children home that day, and keep the children from having to face the disruption of the School Board antics.

So the ones who complained that the kids should be able to disturb the school with a ‘merica Day protest are now going to just as throatily support adults disturbing the school day?

I used to be a Democrat but found my pro-capitalism, pro-life, pro-second amendment, pro-first amendment, support of military and police,  and pro-LEGAL immigration stances made me an outsider.

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