What is #FCPS1KidsDeserveIt ?

Senior staff uses hashtags to promote their message

#FCPS1KidsDeserveIt is filling Twitter timelines around Fauquier County. While teachers and administrators are using it to draw attention to amazing things students are doing, many students are using it in a joking manner, using the tag in attempts to get days off from school.

“Dr. Jeck should give us a snow day tomorrow whether it snows or not,” one student wrote on Twitter. “We deserve it.”

Although the hashtag has been in use since January, nothing official ever came out explaining its meaning.

“I think students use it in a joking way because no one ever explained what it meant,” senior Erin Hogge said. “If they would have explained what it meant from the start, students would have taken it more seriously.”

The hashtag was introduced by two elementary school teachers. Amy Cackowski and Megan Howland, both teachers at C.M. Bradley, were inspired to use the hashtag after reading a book by the same name.

“We were so inspired by the book Kids Deserve It!, that we connected with the authors on social media and decided that WE wanted to highlight all of the amazing things being done in OUR county; thus creating #FCPS1KidsDeserveIt as a place for people to go to see all of the positive happenings within our schools and community,” Cackowski said.

Dr. David Jeck, superintendent, explained what the hashtag means to him and why he uses it.

“Kids deserve everything we’ve got,” Jeck explained in an online video. “These kids deserve to be taught and lead by heros. They deserve an enriching and challenging curriculum no matter where they are. They deserve to be able to collaborate, they deserve to be heard, they deserve not be underestimated.”

Dr. Jeck ended the video encouraging everyone to use the hastag, if they don’t already. Tara Helkowski, public information officer, is a fan of the hashtag and uses it often in her posts.

“When we say that ‘FCPS1KidsDeserveIt,’ we mean each and every one of our kids deserve it,” Helkowski said. “It keeps me motivated! It reminds me of my why – because our kids deserve it. Our goal is for students to feel valued, and that means each and every student, no matter their background, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Every student should feel valued and supported. We believe in each and every one of our students.”

Prashant Shrestha, assistant superintendent of business and finance, is also a big supporter of the hashtag.

“The hashtag offers a central place for teachers, students, parents, and stakeholders to have a positive place to talk about education and growth mindset,” Shrestha said.

However, not everyone is a fan of the new hashtag.

“I would rather see one that says ‘kids are worth it,’” one parent said.

The parent felt ‘deserve,’ in today’s society, can have a negative connotation.

In additon to the #FCPS1KidsDeserveIt, Shrestha has introduced #HeroNation.

“Our story comes down to a simple choice of who you want to be: Victim; Villain; or Hero,” Shrestha said.

Shrestha wants everyone, regardless of circumstances, to chose the hero.

“We won’t allow circumstances to limit us from persevering, learning, and improving,” Shrestha said.

He hopes the #HeroNation will remind students and teachers of that message.

“Our hope is that it will become a symbol of a personal proclamation to be a hero for yourself and for others,” Shrestha said.