Virginia School District Roiled with Ongoing Controversy Over Radical Education Agenda

Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) has dived headfirst into radical and sexualized education for children. Over the past few years, the school district has purchased sexually explicit and profanity-laced library books for children; partnered with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on curriculum; and required teachers to attend trainings by a California-based group that helps organizations create “educational equity and social justice by addressing bias and oppression.” 

Loudoun County, not far from Washington, D.C., in Northern Virginia, is listed by U.S. News and World Report as the richest county in the U.S., with a median household income of $142,229. The embrace of these ideologies has created controversy, and parent groups are pushing back.

The latest fracas occurred after news outlets exposed a video of an English class where a student was badgered into discussing the race of two girls in a photo.

The student was shown a picture of two girls, one with pale skin and red hair, the other with black hair and olive skin, with the caption “What is race?” The teacher asked, “Tell me what this seems to be a picture of? The young man answered, “It’s just two people chillin’.”

The teacher asked again, “Right, just two people. But nothing more to that picture?”

The student responded again, “Nah, not really. Just two people chillin’.”

The teacher basically accused the student of telling a lie, “I don’t believe that you believe that. I think you’re being intentionally coy about what this is a picture of.”

The student asked, “Well I’m confused. Are you trying to get me to say that there are two different races in this picture?”

“Yes, I am asking you to say that,” the teacher replied.

“Well, at the end of the day, wouldn’t that just be feeding into the problem of looking at race instead of just acknowledging them as two normal people?” the student asked.

The teacher responded, “No, it’s not. Because you can’t not look at, you can’t look at the people and not acknowledge that there are racial differences.”

Parents were upset to learn that high schoolers in the English class were being taught to analyze literature through the lens of critical race theory (CRT), as The Daily Wire reported.

A school board member, Beth Barts, explained that the student was enrolled in a “dual enrollment college level English course,” where students gain both high school and college credits at the same time. She said students in this course learned different theories that could be applied to literary criticism, such as CRT, structuralism, deconstructionism, and feminism – also known as FemCrit, but she then stated, “LCPS is not teaching CRT nor has our staff been trained in CRT.”

The school district has been embroiled in numerous controversies over its education agenda.

  • In 2018, LCPS contracted for training sessions hosted by The Equity Collaborative, a California-based business that works with organizations “to create educational equity, to further social justice, and to stand up to bias and oppression” (their emphasis). The group offers titles such as “Intro to Critical Race Theory,” “Equity-Centered Coaching,” and “Adaptive Leadership for Equity.” The Washington Free Beacon wrote in September 2020 that LCPS had spent $422,500 “on diversity training inspired by critical race theory, which claims racism is inherent in nearly every aspect of America.”
  • In February 2019, the school board added “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to its equal opportunity policy, as the organization Parent and Child Loudoun (PCL) reported. The organization was initially formed to review the district’s Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum.
  • While the state requires FLE to encourage abstinence, PCL notes that ninth graders in LCPS discuss “How Far Will You Go” and “students are instructed they can obtain birth control at the health department without parental permission/notification.”
  • Later in 2019, school board meetings were packed with parents upset with the purchase of sexually graphic and unsuitable books as part of a “diverse classroom libraries program.” PCL said that “many books incorporated LGBTQ themes in grades as early as kindergarten, including the promotion of Queer Theory concepts.” Books in other grades had “sexually inappropriate and even explicit language” and included “descriptions of underage drinking, fondling, masturbation, orgasms, oral sex, sexual intercourse, sexual abuse, statutory rape, incest, and rape.”
  • The LCPS Division Superintendent announced, in June 2020, “LCPS calls for all students, staff, families, and other members of our community to engage in the disruption and dismantling of white supremacy, systemic racism, and hateful language and actions based on race, religion, country of origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or ability.” For critical race theorists, “white supremacy” includes all of Western Civilization and classic literature, American history, and all the systems and institutions that need to be overthrown, including Christianity and the church, marriage and the family, the education system, science, business, politics, and law. CRT can be traced back to the 1930s and Critical Theory, which was rooted in Marxist revolutionary ideology.
  • In July 2020, LCPS announced it would be teaching elementary school students about “social justice.” The district partnered with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) education program “Teaching Tolerance,” recently renamed, “Learning for Justice.” Kindergartners could now learn about “gender expression,” “gender identity,” and LGBT activist symbols like the pink triangle and the rainbow pride flag.
  • LCPS introduced its “Culturally Responsive Framework” in June 2020. It calls on current staff to build “equity literacy and racial consciousness” and mandates training for all new teachers on “equity, mitigating bias and creating inclusive spaces for students.” While Interim Superintendent Scott Ziegler said the district has not adopted curriculum that includes CRT, its new framework is rooted in CRT, as are the required teacher trainings and the lessons teachers can access for elementary students through the SPLC.
  • In October 2020, the school board considered a professional conduct policy for teachers which prohibited teachers from criticizing the district’s equity plans. Teachers unions objected to the suppression of speech, so the board is revising the policy.
  • Early in March, 2021, “the Loudoun County School Board voted to censure board member Beth Barts (Leesburg District) for violating its code of conduct, the second time she has been publicly rebuked by the board since joining last year,” said the Loudoun Times-Mirror. A parent said that Barts’ used social media posts to “patronize, insult, belittle, mock, intimidate, and attempt to manipulate Leesburg parents (and now her colleagues).”
  • “A group of current and former teachers and others in Loudoun County, Virginia, compiled a lengthy list of parents suspected of disagreeing with school system actions, including its teaching of controversial racial concepts – with a stated purpose in part to ‘infiltrate,’ use ‘hackers’ to silence parents’ communications, and ‘expose these people publicly,’” The Daily Wire reported in mid-March. The private, 624-member Facebook group, Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County, allegedly included school staff and elected officials. The Virginia Project sent a cease and desist letter to the organization, noting that it was illegal to hack and hijack websites and to engage in fraudulent activity online to harass others.
  • Responding to the “Anti-Racist” group’s efforts to harass and dox parents, Ziegler defended their free speech rights, saying, “LCPS recognizes the right of its employees to free speech, but does not condone anyone targeting members of the community for their viewpoint.” Ziegler had presented the policy to the school board that would have forbidden teachers’ criticisms of LCPS equity plans.
  • At the end of March, 2021, LCPS’ Minority Student Achievement Advisory promised to work to “silence the opposition.” The group also “emailed the district’s Superintendent, School Board Chair, Equity Committee, and the NAACP asking that teachers not be allowed to speak out against diversity training, even in private feedback surveys.” The letter stated, “While much of the push back came from parents and other community members, from what I understand there was also a great deal of negative feedback from LCPS teachers. That simply cannot and should not be tolerated by anyone employed by LCPS!”

As the district implements policies that sexualize children and teach Marxist ideology, parents are joining together and pushing back. While Parent and Child Loudoun County formed several years ago to push back against sexualized and inappropriate classroom materials, the group Parents Against Critical Race Theory (PACT) works to explain concerns with CRT and to fight it in LCPS.

LCPS provides a cautionary tale for parents with children enrolled in public schools, as a highly-rated district succumbs to radical ideology. It’s not an isolated story. Concerned parents will want to be aware of what’s happening in their local school and district and get engaged in these issues.

Related articles and more resources:

The Family Foundation of Virginia works to protect children and fights on behalf of parental rights.

Focus on the Family’s resource, Back To School – For Parents, explains many educational concerns and provides guidance for safeguarding children in public schools.

Focus on the Family Education Resources

The National Education Association Wants to Indoctrinate Children Across the Country

New Tool Helps Parents Fight Education System’s Indoctrination of their Children

Resources When Your Child Encounters LGBT Ideology at School

Sex Ed Identity Crisis

What Can You do About Bias in Your Child’s Classroom?

Photo from Shutterstock

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