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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


Articles by Deborah Simmons

FILE - In this June 7, 2020, file photo, visitors watch sunrise from the Lincoln Memorial steps in Washington, the morning after massive protests over the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Key messages, messengers of Get Your Knee Off Our Necks Rally

If you're keeping even the mildest interest in disruptions these days, weeks and months since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, then you probably know that the Get Your Knee Off Our Necks Rally is scheduled for Aug. 28, the 57th anniversary of the peacefully successful March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Published August 3, 2020

Student's chairs are stacked on top of desks in an empty classroom at closed Robertson Elementary School, March 16, 2020, in Yakima, Wash. (Amanda Ray/Yakima Herald-Republic via AP)

COVID-19 unmasks NEA smoke screen

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many U.S. vulnerabilities, from dependence on China for health and medical raw material to such major industries as movies, clothing and household items. Published July 27, 2020

Des Moines Public Schools custodian Joel Cruz cleans a desk in a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. School districts that plan to reopen classrooms in the fall are wrestling with whether to require teachers and students to wear face masks. In Iowa, among other places, where Democratic-leaning cities like Des Moines and Iowa City have required masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus, while smaller, more conservative communities have left the decision to parents. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)  **FILE**

Coronavirus upends one-size-fits-all public schools

For decades, the playbook for K-12 public education has been titled "One Size Fits All," with academics and elected politicians on the East and West coasts and in the blue states in the Midwest making the calls to uphold the status quo. My, my how things are changing. Consider the COVID-19 pandemic as the game-changer. Published July 23, 2020

Philadelphia Phillies Didi Gregorius hits a double during the first inning an exhibition baseball game against the New York Yankees, Monday, July 20, 2020, at Yankee Stadium in New York. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) is behind the plate. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Americans want and need live sports -- now

According to the survey of 1,000-plus, self-identified American sports fans, about 66% feel it important for live sports to return before September. Published July 20, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2018, file photo, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder walks the sidelines before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in Tampa, Fla.  (Jeff Haynes/AP Photo, File) **FILE**

Redskins' Dan Snyder takes a quantum leap. Will D.C. schools?

Who would've thunk that it would be easier to pick a new name for owner Dan Snyder's beloved Washington Redskins than for parents and caretakers in the nation's capital to know when the first day of school for the 2020-21 academic year would be? Published July 16, 2020

In this April 9, 2020, file photo, Lila Nelson watches as her son, Rise University Preparatory sixth-grader Jayden Amacker, watches an online class in his room at their home in San Francisco. Teachers across the country report their attempts at distance learning induced by the pandemic are failing to reach large numbers of students. Hundreds of thousands of students are still without computers or home internet access. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)  **FILE**

Taxpayers hoodwinked for schooling and no schooling

Around mid-March, schools around the country began closing because of the coronavirus scare. Now as the 2020-21 school year approaches, parents want definitive plans for reopening them. They also should be asking what's happened to the money. Published July 13, 2020

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces the "Forward Together, Building a Stronger Chicago" report from the city's COVID-19 Recovery Task Force at the South Shore Cultural Center, Thursday, July 9, 2020. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP) **FILE**

Madam mayors, save the Black children

At the risk of sounding sexist, I've put Miss Bowser and a few other female mayors on the spot because of the violence this past holiday weekend -- a weekend when family, food and fun posed what? A triple threat? Published July 9, 2020

Flags line the beach in Belmar, N.J., on June 28, 2020. With large crowds expected at the Jersey Shore for the July Fourth weekend, some are worried that a failure to heed mask-wearing and social distancing protocols could accelerate the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry) **FILE**

Happy Birthday, America! Are you in?

Though America has not declared war on another country and another 9/11 has not caught us napping, America is nonetheless at war. Published July 2, 2020

High school students unfurl giant banners on the steps of Tweed Court, during a rally near City Hall calling for 100 percent police-free schools and defunding the NYPD, Thursday June 25, 2020, in New York. The rally is part of a week of action from the Urban Youth Collaborative and coalition of grass roots organizations calling for police-free schools. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  **FILE**

Sanctuary cities pull the trigger on school security

The cries for police reform are justifiable, especially when the daily and nightly news constantly replay lives permanently quieted by the questionable actions of a few law enforcers. Legislating too quickly, however, could unwittingly put students, their families and school faculty at risk. Published June 29, 2020

 In this Jan. 12, 2017 file photo State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, smiles as she is applauded by members of the Virginia House of Delegates during a warm send-off from the chambers at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. McClellan announced Thursday, June 18, 2020 that she's launching a bid to be the state's next governor, which if successful would make her the nation's first ever African-American woman to ever lead a state. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)  **FILE**

Virginia Democrats may move the needle

If she were to win, Ms. McClellan would become America's first black female governor, Virginia's first black female governor and the second woman elected to a statewide seat in Virginia. Talk about breaking glass ceilings. And to do so in Virginia, of all states, would be a democratic, er, Democratic stunner. Published June 18, 2020

Protesters gather in Philadelphia on Thursday, June 4, 2020, during a protest over the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 after being restrained by police in Minneapolis. (Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)  **FILE**

Latchkey generation unveils what's going on

The children born to the latchkey generation want a reason -- any reason -- to be released from purgatorial COVID-19 lockdown. Teens and young adults were given free reign to play hooky from school for protests -- and parents went along with the schools' permissive policies. And they know they risk being arrested for breaking curfew but do not care. Police will let them go, and they know it. Published June 15, 2020

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, second from right, is shown testifying in a state legislative hearing on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Brian Witte) ** FILE **

Montgomery County should follow the people's lead

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has a lot of explaining to do. He has been shouted down by residents and other stakeholders who have been protesting his heavy-handed lockdown. In fact, he has been shouted down by his own constituents every time he attempted to make a point at one of his press conferences. Published June 11, 2020

Ward Six Councilmember Charles Allen speaks during the District of Columbia Inauguration ceremony at the Convention Center in Washington, Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) **FILE**

D.C. gets voting rights wrong

On June 3, the day after the presidential primary, D.C. lawmakers and officials under the direction of the mayor made a confession: Caretakers of D.C. voting rights had screwed up big time. Published June 8, 2020

Students wearing face masks take a class at Kim Song Ju Primary School in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, June 3, 2020. All the schools in the country start their lessons this month after delays over concern about the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)  **FILE**

Back to school, back to basics

Politicians and unions are mostly focusing on what school facilities should look like when faculty and students return, mostly proposing the same health and safety mandates that have been followed since the COVID-19 lockdown. Published June 4, 2020

A demonstrator holds up a drawing depicting George Floyd in Albuquerque, N.M., Sunday, May 31, 2020. Protests were held in U.S. cities over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Systemic racism didn't kill George Floyd

The day the world learned that Martin Luther King became a martyr has left an indelible mark, April 4, 1968, on the soul of humanity, because he reached out to the minds and hearts in America. Published June 1, 2020

In this Jan. 9, 2019 photo, guests watch a show near a statue of Walt Disney and Micky Mouse in front of the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, part of the Orlando area in Fla. Officials from SeaWorld and Disney World say they hope to open their theme parks in Orlando, Fla., in June and July. A city task force approved the plans on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)  **FILE**

The 'new normal' is coming. Are you ready?

The press for the "new normal" means local and state governments locked us down so they could lock up the keys pegged to fiscal responsibility. Published May 28, 2020

The Care19 app is seen on a cell phone screen, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Sioux Falls, S.D. Care19, a contact tracing app is being pushed by the governors of North Dakota and South Dakota as a tool to trace exposure to the coronavirus. But tech firm Jumbo Privacy points out the app violated its own privacy policy by sharing location and identification information with third-party companies like Foursquare, BugFender and Google. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)  **FILE**

Contact tracing: Siri, Alexa meet the new kid on the block

You needn't be a hi-tech hipster to be familiar with Siri of Appleland or Alexa of the Amazon, the artificially intelligent ladies at your beck and call now hanging out with a new kid on the AI block. Its name is contact tracing, and it's being deployed in the battle to rein in COVID-19. Published May 26, 2020