Authored By Kara Zupkus
November 13, 2019
Fauquier School District has issued an apology to families and students following a lecture at a Veteran’s Day event featuring 45th U.S. Treasurer Bay Buchanan, sponsored by Young America’s Foundation.
“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,” a letter addressed from the Virginia school’s principal, superintendent, and school board stated. The letter goes on to allege that Buchanan was given talking points prior to her speech, and that she did not adhere to them.
The principal of the school told the local paper how sorry he was for an “unfortunate event” and argued that Buchanan “used several inappropriate references and personal experiences.”
The only thing the school should be apologizing for is its treatment of the conservative students who worked so hard to bring a unique perspective from one of the nation’s most empowered female leaders of the last 30 years
Most importantly, Young America’s Foundation and Bay Buchanan were never given “talking points” a “script”, or any policy that listed School Board guidelines. This statement on behalf of Fauquier schools is factually incorrect, and shows their cowardice and failure to stand up for free expression. It’s sad that the school caved so quickly to left-wing special interests, when it’s not clear how many students actually took issue with the speech.
Bay Buchanan slammed her critics in a statement to YAF. “My talk on leadership to the young people at Fauquier High this past Monday triggered an ‘official response’ from the School Board. Unfortunately this response was a pack of lies, written for the sole purpose of covering their backsides,” Buchanan said. “I was never given a ‘script’, or specific ‘talking points,’ nor was I ever introduced to any ‘School Board Policies.’ It’s an insult to even suggest I would accept some ‘script.’ In my talk I encourage students to be bold, to speak out, to stand tall. It takes courage, I tell them, something clearly lacking among the members of the Fauquier County School Board.“
Celeste Pollack, the chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Fauquier High School, said she was disappointed in her school administrators’ reaction to the event.
“We are very proud of the event we organized with Mrs. Buchanan who gave an inspiring and inclusive speech on leadership,” Pollack said. “We are very disappointed with some of the unwarranted feedback from school officials and local press. It is vital that public institutions protect and encourage free speech which includes taking measures both publicly and privately to prevent any physical, verbal, or emotional bullying, which stymies free speech. We sincerely hope that those who had the pleasure of hearing Mrs. Buchanan speak come away more empowered and emboldened to take on positions of leadership in their communities.”
Watch the speech for yourself here: