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Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of Maryland at College Park.

An occasional panelist on Roland Martin's “Washington Watch” and Denise Rolark Barnes' “Let's Talk” weekly news analysis cable-TV programs, Mrs. Simmons has also appeared on BET's “Lead Story,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” and Mr. Maher's “Politically Incorrect,” “America's Black Forum,” Fox News' “The O'Reilly Factor,” “The Right Side with Armstrong Williams,” C-SPAN's “Washington Journal,” and “This is America with Dennis Wholey.” She also has been a guest radio commentator on NPR, WAMU, WMAL and WOL.

Mrs. Simmons attended the University of the District of Columbia and Trinity College. She and her husband, who live in Washington, have four children and two grandchildren. Contact Mrs. Simmons at [email protected].


Articles by Deborah Simmons

Sara Fitzgerald, left, and Michael Martin, both with the group One Virginia, protest gerrymandering in front of the Supreme Court, Wednesday, March 28, 2018, in Washington where the court will hear arguments on a gerrymandering case. The Supreme Court is taking up its second big partisan redistricting case of the term amid signs the justices could place limits on drawing maps for political gain. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Gerrymandering America's elections

Purse your lips, place one index finger perpendicular to your lips, both fingers if you're a bully. Now shake your head. Published January 14, 2019

FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2018, file photo, a vendor sells fresh juices and fruit at a Farmers Market in downtown Los Angeles. A law signed Sept. 20 by Gov. Jerry Brown makes California the first state to bar full-service restaurants from automatically giving out single-use plastic straws. Dine-in restaurants may only provide drinking straws at customers' request. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File) **FILE**

Straw Nazis on the march

What's City Hall doing? Preparing to enforce a law that bans plastic and other noncompostable drinking straws and stirrers. Published January 10, 2019

FILE - This Sept. 11, 2018, file photo shows blankets of frost known as trichomes on a budding marijuana flower at an artisanal cannabis farm SLOgrown Genetics, the coastal mountain range of San Luis Obispo, Calif. Liberal California became the largest legal U.S. marketplace, while conservative Utah and Oklahoma embraced medical marijuana. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File)

Marijuana gangs are hippie-dippie happy

Advocates have long sought the authority to sell and tax marijuana, and they are hoping the 116th Congress makes their dream come true. Published January 8, 2019

District of Columbia Police Chief Peter Newsham, joined by District of Columbia Council member Charles Allen, left and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, speaks during a news conference at One Judiciary Square in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. District of Columbia officials say they won't appeal a court ruling against a strict city gun law, setting the stage for it to become easier for gun owners to get concealed carry permits in the city. City officials announced their decision not to take the case to the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

D.C. to probe crime stats

A D.C. lawmaker wants to probe crime statistics, and he wants "snitches" to spill the beans. Published January 7, 2019

Deborah Simmons

Community service as a civics lesson

Perhaps the problem rests with the fact that much of the teaching and learning in schools rest in the abstract. A generation of teachers is trying to teach things they themselves never experienced. Published December 31, 2018

President Donald Trump hands a pen to Sen Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, after signing criminal justice reform legislation in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Washington. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C, front row, second from right, watches. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) **FILE**

Reforming criminal justice: Now what?

Something seems amiss, though, with the first step in criminal justice reform. It's annoying because the endeavor seems to have no end goal. Published December 27, 2018

FILE - In this July 13, 2015 file photo, visitors wearing safety vests and hardhats begin a tour of the Destiny Charter Middle School in Tacoma, Wash. The school opened later in 2015. All told, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given about $25 million to the Washington State Charter Schools Association, and since 2006, philanthropists and their private foundations and charities have given almost half a billion dollars to similar groups, according to an Associated Press analysis of tax filings and Foundation Center data.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)

Public school conundrum

Overseers of public charters tighten the screws on accountability. Are overseers of traditional public schools doing the same? Published December 13, 2018

Daniel Snyder, majority owner of the Washington Redskins

Let's go Dan Snyder, let's go!

The key to any new stadium, as you know, is the owner, and in the case of the Washington Redskins that owner is Dan Snyder, who was reared as a Redskins fan. So, with the 'Skins making so many blunders on and off the field, it's time to wonder: Does Mr. Snyder dream the big dream? Published December 10, 2018

Deborah Simmons

After the blue wave, a new push against school choice

Chris Van Hollen, the junior senator from Maryland, appears to have volunteered himself as the water bearer for education reform. The Democrat already has synchronized strategy with the teachers' unions and other progressive groups that want to rewrite the narrative on school choice. Published December 6, 2018

Deborah Simmons

What's going on at D.C. Fire and EMS?

Now, I don't know about you, but it struck me as odd that one of the first things out of the mouths of the media and fire officials was that Miss Annie' home did not have working smoke detectors. Published December 5, 2018

Deborah Simmons

D.C. hires school scandal fixers

Well, unless you were a D.C. parent or a D.C. leader privileged enough to have had a sitdown with either of these gentlemen, you haven't a clue as to who they are and what their agendas are. Published December 3, 2018

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster, right, leaves the Santa Clara County Superior Court, with his attorney Joshua Bentley after a preliminary hearing stemming from domestic violence accusations against Foster Thursday, May 17, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. Foster's ex-girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, recanted allegations Thursday that Foster physically assaulted her. She testified that she lied to authorities about the domestic assault to get back at Foster for breaking up with her. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) **FILE**

Redskins and the Reuben Foster roller coaster

It falls to Foster and his true family and friends to ensure he walks the straight and narrow. Such character reform doesn't fall into the hands of a jail, prison or correctional institution. Critics of the Redskins-Foster deal miss the point when they focus on the domestic abuse aspect. Published November 29, 2018

In this photo taken in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., smiles as as new members of the House and veteran representatives gather behind closed doors to discuss their agenda when they become the majority in the 116th Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Thank Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a valuable lesson

Most Americans expect public schools to teach children the basics of the United States of America, and a great place to start those lessons is the U.S. Constitution -- the rock-solid foundation under which it still stands. Published November 26, 2018

Deborah Simmons

California wildfires strike Jacob

The face of Jacob Saylors is an eye opener, a teary eye opener for the devastation that fires can cause. Jacob lost his home in a huge blaze that happened a decade ago when it swept through Paradise, California. His family lost their home that year, 2008. Then, like a cruel, cruel joke in a place called Paradise, Jacob lost his home again this month, when wildfires swept through Paradise. Published November 19, 2018

FILE - This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo, shows the Amazon logo in Santa Monica, Calif.    Amazon Inc. is in "advanced talks" to open its second headquarters in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, The Washington Post reported Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018.  Amazon, based in Seattle, is apparently seriously considering an area known as Crystal City. It's a large residential and office complex in Arlington, Virginia, just south of Washington, the Post said, citing unidentified sources.  (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Driving a hard bargain for Amazon

It's unbelievable, but consider this premise: The commonwealth of Virginia, Arlington County and Jeff Bezos should ban motor vehicles from Amazon's future National Landing site and surrounding commercial neighbors. Published November 15, 2018

Broward Supervisor of Elections Joe D'Alesandro, right, shows voting materials to campaign representatives, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, at the Broward Supervisor of Elections office in Lauderhill, Fla. (Joe Cavaretta /South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP) **FILE**

Recount the voters and recount the ballots

You would think fair and free elections would be one of America's most treasured treasures, considering it's a hallmark of our democracy and we like to spread facsimiles of our democracy around the globe. Well, think again. Published November 12, 2018