A PASSIONATE MISSION

No matter what your political persuasion, no matter which party you’ve sided with over the years, no matter what side of the aisle you may currently be on, it’s really hard to argue against putting a guy like Steve Stuban onto the Fairfax County school board. Why? Well, because this really isn’t about politics at all. This is simply about a father’s quest to find a way to make sure no family goes through what his family went through, which ended in the ultimate tragedy.

Sure, no denying it, Steve Stuban’s had his share of hard luck. Heck, you could argue that he’s had ten people’s share. If it isn’t enough that his wife Sandy has (luckily) lived longer than expected with the debilitating incurable disease that is ALS, if that’s not enough for one man to bear, his only child Nick, his pride and joy, committed suicide last year. But that’s not only why you should care about a guy like Steve Stuban. It was Nick’s suicide in the aftermath of a high school disciplinary system gone awry that has put Steve on a tremendously honorable and passionate mission to try and right the wrongs that he feels strongly contributed to his son’s death.

You see, Steve, along with Sandy and others that cared deeply for the Stubans, watched painfully and helplessly as his son, after a relatively minor infraction, was raked over the coals, treated like a convicted felon and ultimately held hostage and ruined by a school system’s archaic disciplinary system that had no understanding of the chaos and confusion they were causing by not doing one simple thing: giving Nick and the Stubans a fair shake. Sure, you could argue that when you play, you pay, and perhaps there needed to be some form of adequate punishment meted out here. But that’s just it: the punishment meted out was not adequate, it was not measured properly against the infraction, frankly, it was carried out without basic understanding and common decency. The process that preceded the implementation of the punishment was, in a word, and perhaps even understatingly, horrendous. A simple balance between cause and effect was ignored here, and as a result, a young boy is dead, a father and ailing mother are forever devastated. And nothing can make that right. Nothing can ever erase that pain.

But as hard as it may be, don’t feel too sorry for Steve Stuban. Sure, he has grieved agonizingly for Nick, and he will grieve for the rest of his life, every second of every day in fact. But he has taken that grief and channeled it into action, specifically, into a tireless and passionate campaign for a seat on the Fairfax County school board, in order to work on ways to right the wrongs that he feels directly contributed to his son’s confusion, sadness, depression, and eventually, to his death, and that of other kids who met the same fate for largely the same reason. Steve saw first hand what was broken with the system, and instead of screaming and yelling and stomping his foot in anger and then retiring into a bottomless pool of sadness to waste away, he decided he wants to do something about it. Personally, he wants to make a difference. He has made it his goal and the platform of his campaign, if elected to the school board, to insure that other families and specifically other children, aren’t subjected to the same medieval process of discipline and lack of good common sense that he witnessed happening to his own flesh and blood. And no matter who you may support already, simply just understanding where Steve Stuban is coming from is a way to understand a deep love of family, and most importantly, the innate and driven desire to fix a broken system by becoming involved in that system itself.

Sandy Stuban wanted to live long enough to see her son graduate from high school. But Nick is gone, and that will never happen. Now, she wants to be around long enough to see her husband become a passionate advocate for kids and their families so that, once again, no one goes through what her family has endured. And if we’re lucky, we may all be around to see Steve Stuban become just that.

Steve Stuban doesn’t want your sympathy, he’s got plenty of that all around him. He just wants you to know that he’s on a sincere, honest and very personal mission to fix something that is clearly terribly broken.

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2 Responses to “A PASSIONATE MISSION”

  1. Steve Stuban is knowledgeable, passionate and cares deeply about students. Not just their education, but their well-being. He’s a well-qualified candidate for Fairfax County School Board.

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