In front of the Loudoun County, Virginia school board headquarters Tuesday afternoon, ten police officers and two canine patrols blocked a section of road. Pouring towards them was a formidable threat: a line of cars that filled the parking lot to capacity. Stepping out of them were suburban mothers with strollers and signs that said, “Loudoun County’s worst nightmare: educated parents.”
They gathered in front of a banner with the Martin Luther King quote that said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” as a stream of parents and advocates, culminating with The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh, demanded schools free of ideological indoctrination and education officials that respect the desires of parents.
Xi Van Fleet, who immigrated from China, told the crowd that critical race theory “has roots in Marxism and Communism and should have no place in our schools… I went through the whole Cultural Revolution… The [Communist Party of China] and the Left want to sow the same seeds in our children: division and hate.”
Attendees included many people in their teens and early 20s. Payton So, a senior at a Loudoun high school, told The Daily Wire she attended because “They got rid of homecoming court. They took all the staff men’s bathrooms and turned them into transgender bathrooms. On the first day of school, they made us do pronouns… They just started a ‘colored women’s club’ at my school. I’m half Asian so I guess I could join, but I don’t see a reason to.”
They also included people of all races. Josiah Gaiter told the crowd that Derrick Bell, a father of critical race theory, said that black children might have been better off without the Supreme Court decision that ended school segregation. “Anyone here in favor of segregated classrooms?” asked Gaiter, who is black. The crowd shouted, “No!” Gaiter said parents should go to parentsknowbest.com, where his group is “training people to run for school board.
Andrea Weiskopf, a Loudoun County teacher who has bragged about indoctrinating students and said that “an educator in a system of oppression is either a revolutionary or an oppressor,” sat in the grass, leaning against a brick building. And a Washington Post reporter stared warily at the crowd as if he were a zoologist examining an exotic species.
Activist Ian Prior, wearing a shirt that said “my child, my choice,” said that “They need to start acting like a school board and stop acting like a politburo that wants to take over raising our children. If you want to take that responsibility you are going to have to pry it from my cold dead hands.
He noted that soon after Matt Walsh announced that he would travel from Tennessee to attempt to speak during the school board meeting’s public comment section, the school board changed the rules to keep out non-residents, without taking a vote.
“They say it’s to keep out national agitators, but how did they get this national attention? They have to look in the mirror. First, they kept our kids out of school for a year,” he said.
Then, when they proposed a policy on transgender students and solicited public comment, they suspended a teacher, Tanner Cross, for giving his opinion.
In June, Loudoun declared a school board meeting an unlawful assembly after so many parents noisily voiced their opposition to the transgender policy. John Tigges was arrested for allegedly refusing to leave the meeting. “That is the last time I stand and hold my ground. From now on, we’re going to take ground back,” he told the crowd Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the public was not allowed into the school board meeting. Though at least 20 rally participants secured public speaking slots, they were taken into the building ten at a time. By the door was a sign that said “Welcome Home Matt.” Walsh signed a lease to become a Loudoun resident to make him eligible to speak to the board.
Tyson Langhofer, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom who is representing Cross, said after the court blocked his suspension, Loudoun appealed to the Supreme Court, and “The Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed the rights of Tanner and all teachers to live and work according to their beliefs… teachers shouldn’t be required to promote an agenda based on radical ideologies.”
Two other teachers challenging the policy in court also spoke. “Stop pushing parents out of the picture,” Kim Wright said.
Monica Gill, another teacher, said, “They’re not protecting kids, they’re pushing radical ideology.”
Walsh told the crowd, “The days of cooperation with evil and falsehood are over,” adding that activists who have infiltrated school boards aim “to sexualize children and rob them of innocence.”
“Those perverts on the school boards tell our daughters that they’re bigots because they don’t want to change in the locker room in front of their male classmates… They seek to be like gods, not creating but recreating our children in their own twisted image.”
But parents said the actions of high-profile national commentators alone would never be enough to retake schools in their communities.
Dimis Christophe, who said he immigrated from Iran without speaking a word of English and is proud that the Loudoun County school board would now deem his children “privileged,” told parents: “You need to be involved. Don’t just let them come home and watch T.V. Talk to them. Ask them what’s going on” at school.
Looking out at the hundreds of parents, parent Scott Mineo said, “There is no silver bullet in this fight. You know what the silver bullet is? It’s us: all of us here.”