VSDB Movement Rally

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Pocahontas Building at 900 East Main Street, Richmond, VA. VA State Capitol building seen on right side.

July 19-20, 2023 Rally meets at the Pocahontas Building located at 900 East Main Street, Richmond, VA. The meeting will be inside the building in the Senate Room A on July 20.

Parking spots shown on map near the Pocahontas Building.

Parking spots shown around the Pocahontas Building in Richmond, VA. According to Dave Tester, free parking is available at the Library of Virginia located on the other side of the state capitol. Transportation from Staunton, VA is provided – see below.

Lowe's Hardware Store logo

Albemarle Bus and Limo - shows a black bus/limo that can seat 47/55 people.
There will be a FREE bus transportation from the Lowe’s parking lot in Staunton leaving between 6:30a-7a on Thursday, July 20, 2023 if interested. Contact Dave Tester, VSDB Movement Committee or VSDAA to reserve a spot as the free bus ride is provided by VSDAA and limited to 46 people. SVCD (Shenandoah Valley Club for the Deaf) donated $300 and one anonymous person donated money to help out. They will be using Albemarle Bus and Limo services (see picture above).

Taglines to use (in social media): #vsdbmovment #vsdaa #vsdb



Cancel contract renewal or Fire VSDB Superintendent Patricia ‘Pat’ Trice which expires June 30, 2023 or so.


Why? Why is this happening?
ASL version produced by the current VSDAA President Michele VanBoxlaere can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/918180401533791/permalink/6720576441294129.

  1. Poor Leadership
  2. Audism* behaviors
  3. Employee Morale going downhill
  4. Safe Environment is not happening
  5. Board of Visitors Reform overdue as they are not hearing us
  6. Education quality declining
  7. Lack of deaf teachers as many left
  8. Lack of Accreditation still not resolved since 2017 or so
  9. Lack of student freedom of expression and rights
  10. Lack of transparency
  11. Lack of due diligence
  12. Lack of empathy for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Blind students

* = Audism is the act of making hearing (ability to hear and understand sounds) superior to deaf/hard of hearing (those with difficulty hearing and understanding sounds). Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines audism/audist as discrimination or prejudice against individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Project Easier also goes into more detail on audism (a project of Europe’s).

** It should be noted that the VSDB Mascot change highlighted issues with Pat Trice’s performance and is not the only factor in this movement. For more information, see our Mascot Page. **


What you can do now:

  • Join rallies highlighting VSDB Leadership
  • Write letters to DOE Secretary and VA Governor along with BOV (Board of Visitors) and such. Templates available for DOE Secretary (Word Doc version) and VA Governor (Word Doc version) to use.
  • Write ‘opinion’ articles in newspapers
  • Attend meetings impacting or relating to VSDB like BOV, DOE, EHDI, etc.



    1. What are some words to use for our banners/rally signs?
      • Pat Trice needs to go
      • Deaf education matters
      • Accountability? Transparency? Boot Pat Trice/Superintendent!
      • Audism exists here! Its gotta go!
      • Deaf Students come 1st!** SVCD has a number of banners that you can use if you do not want to make your own banner. They will bring several to each rally.
    2. Who do I contact if I have questions?
      1. Dave Tester, Wes Arey or use our contact us page instead
    3. Where are the rallies located?
      1. The first rally was on June 23-24, 2023 by SVCD’s building in Staunton, VA. The second rally is during VSDB’s BOV meeting on July 20, 2023 in Richmond, VA.

      Google view of Augusta St and East Beverly St showing where SVCD and VSDB are

      June 23-24, 2023 Rally meets at the SVCD Building in Staunton, VA.
      Rally spots are the intersection of East Beverly St. and Augusta St.

      Pocahontas Building at 900 East Main Street, Richmond, VA. VA State Capitol building seen on right side.

      July 19-20, 2023 Rally meets at the Pocahontas Building located at 900 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219. The meeting is in the Senate Room A on July 20. The Virginia State Capitol Building can be seen on the right side.

    4. I cannot make it in person. Will the meeting be live streamed?
      1. Yes, you can watch it via https://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3. However, public comments cannot be made via video/live streaming as it is limited to those in person. In other words, you can only watch – no comments allowed. The only way to comment remotely is to email BOV@vsdb.k12.va.us or attend in person.
        ** Please note that meetings at VSDB usually are not live streamed as they do not have the capability to do so – only in Richmond is this an option. **
    5. I want to comment in person. Can I?
      1. YES! You can. At the end of all public meetings is a public comment period. According to VSDB BOV Bylaws Article VIII: Public Participation, if time allows, the BOV may allow you to speak. However, to guarantee time to speak/comment is to send a request at least 10 days before the meeting. Otherwise, there may not be enough time for all comments.



June 4, 2023 – VSDB Movement (Deaf Alumni) announce rally/parade/protest plans on Beverly Street and Augusta Street in Staunton, VA on sidewalks on June 23 (Friday) and 24 (Saturday) at 9am. Meet at the current SVCD building is, not by VSDB. SVCD will act as a ‘headquarters’ for the rally. More details to come. Talk about a rally/protest started months ago and is not new. This is to make noise about VSDB about Pat Trice’s performance, not just about the mascot mess.

June 10, 2023 – A new petition ‘Calling to terminate Superintendent Pat Trice’s Contract’ can be found at https://www.change.org/p/calling-to-terminate-superintendent-pat-trice-s-contract?recruiter=1297794636&recruited_by_id=5e838770-b8ab-11ed-a977-6995eda38be6&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=petition_dashboard. Screenshot 1 (top part), Screenshot 2 (bottom part).

June 13, 2023 – Newsleader published a story about the petition to fire VSDB Superintendent Pat Trice. See https://www.newsleader.com/story/news/local/2023/06/13/petition-started-to-fire-vsdb-superintendent/70319143007/?fbclid=IwAR34yPuj_o7mHDYHTwQiY7B86a5G8dIRbwieZpsgwg8Y4NetCIyeZPKtpqQ or this print/PDF version.

June 19, 2023 – Newsleader published ‘Amid controversy, VSDB chooses new mascot’ – see https://www.newsleader.com/story/news/local/2023/06/19/amid-controversy-vsdb-chooses-new-mascot/70329666007. (Print/PDF Version)

June 23-24, 2023 – Rally at SVCD (Shenandoah Valley Club for the Deaf). TV crew is present.

WHSV3 News publishes ‘Protest demands new leader for VSDB’ at https://www.whsv.com/2023/06/23/protest-demands-new-leader-virginia-school-deaf-blind/?fbclid=IwAR0KunZPam8YKByRep_H-QCz_ayWkAQAd2jBgh9lYwkyqJn5CaA0LqXINms.

News Leader publishes ‘VSDB alumni, students protest in downtown Staunton to oust Pat Trice’ at https://www.newsleader.com/story/news/local/2023/06/24/vsdb-alumni-and-students-protest-in-downtown-staunton-to-oust-pat-trice/70353739007 (PDF Version here). Additional pictures exist there also.

The next rally date is July 20, 2023 during VSDB BOV’s meeting which was postponed from June 2023 date. Tentative plan is to rally at VSDB’s entrances on East Beverly Street – similar to how it was done by SVCD’s location.

July 6, 2023 – VSDB BOV announces change of venue from Staunton to Richmond. See https://www.vsdb.k12.va.us/article/1165098.

July 17, 2023 – VSDAA is providing bus transportation from Lowe’s parking lot in Staunton, VA to the Pocahontas Building in Richmond, VA. Courtesy of SVCD ($300 donation) and one anonymous donor. Albemarle Bus and Limo is our ride this time.

News Leader publishes ‘Superintendent, new mascot still a source of friction for many VSDB alumni’ – https://www.newsleader.com/story/news/local/2023/07/17/vsdb-superintendent-new-mascot-still-a-source-of-friction-for-many-alumni/70421389007. (Print/PDF Version)

September 10, 2023 – BOV announces its next meeting.

September 11, 2023 – BOV cancels the next scheduled meeting for September 21 due to having had 4 BOV meetings (January 5th – postponed mtg from 2022, March 8th, March 31st – emergency mtg, and July 20th) already, which is the limit set by VA Code/Law.  See reference link.



Here are some letters shared with us (please note that additional letters can be found on the mascot page regarding the mascot change) ….

After July 2023 BOV meeting:


Links of interest: