Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has announced a final determination that the administration of Loudoun County Public Schools’ gifted and talented program allegedly discriminated against Black and Hispanic students who applied to advance placement classes.
“Having found reasonable cause to believe that LCPS’s policies and practices resulted in a discriminatory impact on Black/African-Americans and Latinx/Hispanic students, the division of human rights requests that the charging party and respondent engage in a post-determination conciliation process in an effort to resolve this matter,” Herring wrote in a letter dated Nov. 18.
It’s the conciliation process that has angered Scott Mineo, founder of Parents Against Critical Theory (P.A.C.T.).
“When you go through and look at how slanted the terms of conciliation are and what their demands are, I find it absolutely reprehensible,” Mineo told West Nova News. “The terms of conciliation is supposed to be an arbitrary way for two parties to collectively work together to iron out some differences and have a pathway forward. If you can’t come to terms on an agreement, then the next phase would be a lawsuit.”
As previously reported by West Nova News, the NAACP’s Loudoun branch filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office alleging Loudoun County Public Schools’ gifted and talented program discriminated against Black and Hispanic students. It is demanding it be a stakeholder in the school system.
“The problem I have with them being a stakeholder is they use race as a means to get what they want and they are casting a wide net on the 93% of students who are not Black that they are racist and belong to some sort white supremacy,” Mineo said in an interview. “If we disagree with what they want or what they suggest, we’re labeled as racist.”
Terms of conciliation presented in the attorney general’s final determination include:
Develop equitable Academies of Loudoun admissions criteria to include eliminating high-stakes testing, eliminating letters of recommendation and offering admission to qualifying applicants on a random basis.
“What I find reprehensible is for the NAACP to come in and demand that the standards be lowered,” Mineo said. “I personally find that insulting because you’re saying that these kids can’t do it on their own merit.”
Facilitate the process required to change the names of two existing LCPS academic programs – Hillsboro Academy and the Academies of Loudoun.
“People are going to look at these terms of conciliation and wonder how does an initial complaint of discrimination lead to you needing to have a seat at the table to be able to change the names,” Mineo said.
Develop avenues for providing additional coaching to teachers and staff who are resistant to racial literacy training and mandate African-American history as a course requirement for new teacher orientation.
“I have animosity towards the NAACP for making a lot of just really flagrant charges that put people on the defensive,” Mineo said. “When you have a homogenous school system and you have a bunch of different flavors of people out there, you should not be able to come in and make these demands that impact everybody.”