Tag Archives: Dave LaRock

A Step Forward to End LGBTQ Discrimination

Ayala Sherbow

Ayala Sherbow

Several years ago, Lovettsville’s Ayala Sherbow said she “made a commitment to [herself] and to [her] children (one of whom is gay and one of whom is transgender) to work toward tolerance and understanding.”

Ayala has been part of a coalition of parents and teachers and community leaders to make that difference in our school system where teachers must conceal who they are if LGBTQ persons and students who may be bullied for the same reason.

Ayala is the first to say that many people from Lovettsville and across the County have been pulling and pushing to favor tolerance and understanding.

At the outset of this push to recognize and protect LGBTQ teachers and students, Holly Patterson came before the School Board, waved her iPad, and said her 16-year-old transgender student tried to commit suicide, because the School Board did nothing to protect him from bullying.

The highly regarded “Journal of Adolescent Health,” after a survey of almost 32,000 students, concluded the failure to include LGBTQ persons in an anti-bullying school policy meant a 225% increase in the likelihood that they would attempt suicide.

Another study found that LGBTQ students hear derogatory slurs, on the average, 26 times a day.  Some of this happens in front of school staff who stand by doing nothing. These children therefore can’t trust the staff to protect them.

Finally, last week the Loudoun County School Board approved a new policy – in a 5 to 4 vote – to protect LGBTQ persons as follows:

“The Loudoun County School Board is committed to providing for an equitable, safe and inclusive learning and working environment.

“The Loudoun County School Board affirms a commitment to this principle for all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, age, or genetic information.

“It is the intent of the School Board of Loudoun County that every policy, practice, and procedure shall reflect this commitment. Behavior that is not unlawful may nevertheless be unacceptable for the educational environment or the workplace. Demeaning or otherwise harmful actions are prohibited, particularly if directed at personal characteristics, including, but not limited to socioeconomic level, sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Ayala said, “It’s a pretty complete victory, hard fought, and will have to be played out in policy.  But it’s a big step.”

Ayala said, “When I started to work toward this outcome, I had a transgender daughter who was in school system.  The principle that concerned us, however, remains.  What this policy does is affirm the dignity and humanity of LGBTQ persons and guarantee to them the same rights and protections as everyone else.  Without this policy, you could have been fired as a gay teacher.  There have been plenty of Loudoun students who have testified over the years who had heard homophobic statements from faculty as well as students.  Now, with this policy, you can hold people responsible and accountable for any inappropriate remarks.”

As for the objection to such a policy, Ayala said, “It’s mostly fear and misinformation.”

Dave LaRock spreads fear, misinformation

Dave LaRock spreads fear, misinformation

Among the most prominent elected official to object to this policy reform was the Delegate from the 33rd Delegate District, David LaRock.

In 2016, Mr. LaRock introduced legislation against the designation, transgender, in HB 431 and HB 397, insisting a person’s sexual designation was restricted to what a birth certificate said, and the only discrimination, including what a transgender person might suffer, could only be based on that same certificate.

Last year, Mr. LaRock said, “If you create a right for people on the basis of their sexual behaviors, then you are taking away the right of someone like me  … to say, ‘I choose not to rent the place that I have to homosexuals…”  Mr. LaRock added that he thought transgender people have a mental disorder and should not hold “role-model positions” in schools.  Mr. LaRock fears “social contagion.”

This year, anticipating the School Board’s new policy, Mr. LaRock circulated a petition against any change to what was the current policy.

Dave LaRock's petition

Dave LaRock’s petition

Ayala said, “Mr. LaRock has made no effort to hide the disdain he has for LGBTQ persons.”

Dave LaRock at the School Board meeting

Dave LaRock at the School Board meeting

On his FB page, Mr. LaRock objected that the new school policy recognizes “homosexual and transgender behavior as normal and healthy.”

Ayala said, “But it is normal and healthy for LGBTQ persons.”

Candidate Mavis Taintor, hoping to challenge Mr. LaRock in the General Election, has objected that he has “spoke[n] … gainst equity, dignity, and inclusion for all in Loudoun schools.”

Delegate Dave LaRock no show for Farm Bureau

Tia Walbridge In the past, Delegate David LaRock, who represents the 33rd District in the General Assembly, has failed to show for political debates and joint forums with his general election opponents.

Off to a shaky start this political season, Delegate LaRock is a no-show for the Farm Bureau’s Candidate Forum scheduled for September 19, 6PM, at Harmony Hall at the Hamilton Fire Station; he first committed to participate and then said he wouldn’t.

Mr. LaRock apparently doesn’t want to be in the same room at the same time as his Democratic challenger.

Tia Walbridge is a farmer herself.

By contrast, Mr. LaRock is a builder.

Chris Van Vlack. the President of the Loudoun Farm Bureau, said, “the Candidates Forum is part of our Loudoun Farm Bureau Annual membership meeting.”

Asked if Mr. LaRock said he would appear at the forum, Mr. Van Vlack said, “Initially both Tia [Walbridge] and Dave [Larock] had confirmed their attendance, but after learning that the state AgPAC committee had not solely endorsed him, Del. LaRock had decided to drop out.” Continue reading

Lighting the fire

[John P. Flannery appeared before the BOS on St. Patty’s Day to argue for full funding - https://youtu.be/QChPkkF0xo0

John P. Flannery appeared before the BOS on St. Patty’s Day to argue for full funding

There was an Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, who wrote that education is “not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of a fire.”

What should we spend as a government to spur a child to learn, and perhaps to “catch fire?”

Last year, we had a public discussion about full funding for our schools, and yet, here we are again, after an election, seemingly surprised that it’s going to cost us more again to get it right, and we are debating, once more, “Should we fully fund our schools?”’

Of course, we should. Spend the 2 cents!

We are prepared to fully fund everything else in the budget, at $1.15, but we’re hesitating about spending the funds on education, at $1.17, begrudging the 2 cents.

Our County invited families from far and wide to come to live with us in Loudoun County, and promised services if they did so.

Are we now going to say, forget it? Continue reading

When is a wage rate a moral offense?

minimumWageDelegate Dave LaRock, from Loudoun County, one of the wealthiest Counties in America, opposes setting any minimum wage rate to pay employees, and, more than that, he also wants to compromise an employee’s right to work for more pay and benefits by reducing even further any effective way to bargain with his employer.

Delegate LaRock’s recent op-ed begs the question what measly rate of pay is too low a rate for the Delegate – so that we are not endorsing some variant of the old South’s peculiar institution?

We have resisted past predatory practices by employers – forcing children to work in sweat shops, and working employees for so many hours they dropped from exhaustion.

We’ve also had to regulate employers too willing to short change workers, to take advantage of their desperation, increase their profits while causing the workers’ misery, by denying them a decent wage.

In 1891, Pope Leo XIII admonished employers that “workers are not to be treated as slaves.” He decried how it was “shameful and inhumane … to use men as things for gain and to put no more value on them than what they are worth in muscle and energy.”

Pope Leo said, “the rich and employers must remember that no laws, either human or divine, permit them for their own profit to oppress the needy and the wretched or to seek gain from another’s want.” Continue reading

LaRock Undermines Transportation

Since being elected to the General Assembly in November, Delegate David “Tax Pig” LaRock has been doing exactly what we would have expected of the man opposed to Rail to Dulles: Proposing bills to kill off badly needed transportation projects in Loudoun and Northern Virginia. LaRockBills-2014 Though couched as legislation to correct funding injustices (“injustices,” it must be noted, that were discussed, debated, legislated, and adjudicated through proper small “d” democratic processes over the course of many years), the practical impact of these bills would be to kill all the life that has been breathed in to transportation fixes in Loudoun over the past few years. Life only made possible by the painstaking, difficult, bi-partisan, efforts of leaders like Mark Herring.

Perhaps most egregious are his bills to arbitrarily reduce the allocation of funding to mass transit in favor of more roads. (Bacon’s Rebellion has a right-leaning, but generally evenhanded analysis of these bills.) That’s right, roads over transit, because conservative.

It had been my plan to try to compose a few more paragraphs of analysis of the bills in question. But really, the impracticality and obstinacy of the philosophy underpinning them can only be summarized thusly:
Facepalm

It is equally exasperating to note the only other bills LaRock has sponsored are to codify a tax credit (not a deduction, a credit) for home and private schooling, which serves to gut public education funding, and bills to simplify the process of transferring ownership of guns from one person to another.

Notably absent from Mr. LaRock’s list of sponsored bills? Any bill helping maintain open space in his District. Or helping farmers. Or addressing the unique needs of small school communities in the west. Or dealing with the water issues his constituents in Raspberry Falls have faced. Or, frankly, any bill not directly birthed by some narrow-minded, right-wing talking point.

Because conservative.

No Representation

In Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize winning book The Color Purple, Celie refers to her abusive husband as Mr.______. He doesn’t have a name because he beats, abuses and neglects her. He treats her like a piece of chattel property. To him, she isn’t a human being. She’s subhuman. The Mr.______ name is one way of fighting back.

My legislators are like Celie’s husband. Politically, they beat, abuse, and neglect me and thousands of other citizens. I’ll be parsing the words beat, abuse and neglect in future posts to show these behaviors in the public square. This post is an introduction.

Continue reading

Etch-A-Sketch Dave LaRock

Blue Ridge Leader:

Editor: Recent letters by supporters of Dave LaRock have unintentionally revealed why their candidate is so afraid of public debates. In one letter responding to an account of a disturbing tirade about “Sharia law” made by Mr. LaRock at a Back-to-School night, Kristen Kalina first tries to claim that the conversation was “made up,” then offers the sorry admission that it must have taken place in a previous year, “when people were more focused on terrorism.” Her argument seems to be that while it was acceptable to spout off such extreme and ignorant rhetoric back in 2012 or 2011, now that he’s decided to run for public office Mr. LaRock would keep such bigotry to himself – and therefore his intemperate words back then shouldn’t be brought up.

Continue reading

Trick or Treat – another election

Halloween_Trick_or_TreatWe Irish know in our genetic sinews, no scholarship need be considered, that Halloween, or all Hallows’ Eve, springs from the medieval Gaelic Samhain, marking the end of harvest and the beginning of the darker half of the year.

It is little wonder then that we have most of our elections as the natural light dims and darkness grows.

In one tradition of All Hallows’ Eve, souls wander the earth until this evening for their one last chance to gain vengeance.

This election season we have the feeling our candidates are making the holy day’s danse macabre their inspiring motivator, calculating a revenge comprised of how they may get theirs — at our expense.

The right to vote that we “enjoy” is a forced choice made before the primary or caucus is held, the product of back room paper and power shuffling that pre-selected whom we may consider.

The districts themselves are drawn not rationally but by the force of numbers in the line-drawing state legislature with one clear purpose – to pre-determine each election’s outcome.

Our voting discretion is “informed” by tall yarns, name calling and distracting issues that make the blood boil.

One clamoring voice outshouts another with high cost hard copy and electronic propaganda that muddle or drown out any contrary fact or opinion.

The election “trick” is the threat of how bad it will be if you don’t choose the imperious “me.”

Continue reading

Sterling hate descends on Purcellville (Updated)

Warner Workman stands in front of a Telos sign at the Sterling Teen Job Fair 2013

Warner Workman stands in front of a Telos sign at the Sterling Teen Job Fair 2013

Reveling in the unapologetic hate of Supervisor Delgaudio’s inner circle, supporter Warner Workman is working Purcellville social media for the LaRock Campaign. LaRock is a close confidant of Delgaudio. Here’s Workman’s latest comment on the Gazette Statement on LaRock Campaign Claims article, emphasis mine.

I got plenty of time with the obummer and socialist slimdown…

The problem with healthcare is government involvement. There was never a healthcare problem, just a government involvement problem. It is much worse now…part-time employment, mass cancellation notices…all so little Mary can get laid and not pregnant….and if she does…we’ll pay for the abortion as well.

The solution is, as it always should be, is free market solutions…not goose-stepping socialist mandates.

Posted by Warner Workman | October 25, 2013, 7:57 pm

[Update] Conservative activist and former Reform Commissioner Barbara Munsey commented that Mr. Workman resides in Lovettsville. So why does he spend so much time and energy working for Supervisor Delgaudio?

Workman’s LinkedIn page confirms a Lovettsville, VA residence and a position of “Senior Program Manager–Senior Systems Engineer–Electrical Engineer at Central Intelligence Agency”, currently working for beltway bandit ETG. His prior job was in the CIA’s Directorate of Administration.

Initially, I thought his online comment demonstrated he’s mentally challenged. I was wrong. There’s no excuse. He’s seething with hate, and the politicians he supports appear to approve of his behavior.

Election news bites

In recent election news…

The Purcelle Gazette caught Dave LaRock bending the truth to explain his debate no show. While the LaRock campaign refused to commit to a date before the debate, afterwards, LaRock’s campaign website said “the Gazette went ahead with promoting and holding their event knowing that Dave could not be there.

The Gazette wasn’t having it.

To come out after our well-attended public event and suggest we misled readers about Mr. LaRock’s participation, is unfortunately consistent with his campaign’s behavior regarding public debates. As with the Berryville forum, in which he refused to attend at the last minute claiming it was a “set-up,” and also with the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce’s forum, in which he refused to even contribute written answers to the Chamber’s standard Q&A, Mr. LaRock has shown contempt for the basic mechanisms of the democratic process. Continue reading