News that Sheriff Chapman refused to provide uniformed deputies to the August School Board meeting despite numerous threats against the members, because he was afraid it would have a “chilling effect” on free speech and exchange of ideas, is both outrageous and just plain stupid. The whole point of uniformed protection is deterrence. Deterrence not of discussion but of violence, which has broken out at the school board’s meetings, was the point of requesting uniformed, armed deputies.
The Loudoun County School Board, like others in the Commonwealth is comprised of citizens elected by the voters to represent the community in formulating school policy, curriculum, expenditures, etc. They are parents, business leaders, stay at home Moms and the like. They do not deserve the vitriol being spit at them. They do deserve the protection of our public safety officials, whose job it is to protect and serve.
Sheriff Chapman’s dereliction of duty is just one more argument for creating a professional police department. One that is devoid of partisanship (something which I suspect had something to do with the Sheriff’s decision).
This is not a criticism of the officers who serve under Chapman, but rather of the command structure. And of those few so called citizens who would threaten our elected officials.Violence is not the answer to resolving our issues , whether here in Loudoun or at the U.S. Capitol. Analysis, discussion, compromise are the hallmarks of our democracy. Let us try to remember that.
M. Maureen Skahan