Top school officials in Loudoun County, Virginia, are defending Loudoun County Public Schools, following complaints that the district is implementing “racist” critical race theory in its schools. The allegations of critical race theory have now spurred a lawsuit.
“We are not teaching critical race theory to our students,” interim superintendent Scott A. Ziegler insisted at a school board meeting on Tuesday, according to a report by the Washington Post.
Instead, Ziegler claims the school system is about two years into racial “equity” education, adding that he understands why some families are perplexed by the fact that what he calls “culturally responsive instruction” shares certain keywords with critical race theory.
Critical race theory is an academic movement transpiring at schools across the country, teaching children that the United States is fundamentally racist, and they must view every social interaction and person in terms of race in order to be “antiracist.”
“All of us in this work [of equity and diversity] are using this common vocabulary because it defines this work,” Ziegler said, adding that the overlap is unavoidable.
Some parents, however, remain unconvinced that the school district is not teaching critical race theory.
On Wednesday, the advocacy group Liberty Justice Center filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of concerned parents, alleging Loudoun has violated the U.S. Constitution, the report adds.
The lawsuit specifically takes issue with the school system’s “Equity Ambassador Program,” alleging it violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal treatment before the law, because it is open only to minority students.
The suit also claims the program violates the First Amendment, alleging it “discriminates on the basis of viewpoint.” The lawsuit also takes issue with Loudon’s “Bias Reporting System,” claiming it “chills” free speech.
The lawsuit asks for the Loudoun school system to be barred from operating both initiatives, reports Washington Post.
Fight for Schools, a political action committee combating critical race theory, launched a recall effort last month against six members of the Loudoun County School Board, who were found to be part of a private Facebook group, called, “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County,” which had created and shared a list of parents who opposed critical race theory.
The PAC says that critical race theory was implemented in Loudoun County Public Schools after backlash over a woke “underground railroad simulation” derived from critical race theory.
After that, the school district began “doling out taxpayer money,” Fight for Schools said, adding that the Loudoun Freedom Center — run by the head of the Loudoun NAACP — then received a long-term contract for “consultation in curriculum review.”
Loudoun County Public Schools had also executed a no-bid contract with the Equity Collaborative — a consulting firm in California that specializes in critical race theory — which ran focus groups, coached and trained teachers, and produced an equity assessment that was submitted to the school district.