Daily Caller: Loudoun County Forces Parents To Sign NDA-Style To View CRT-Inspired Curriculum
Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) is requiring parents to sign a form comparable to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to view a portion of the district’s new curriculum inspired by critical race theory, according to documents reviewed by the Daily Caller.
As part of LCPS’ broader equity agenda, the district spent approximately $7,700 to become a “licensed user” of Second Step Programs, a branch of the left-leaning non-profit organization Committee for Children. According to a copy of the NDA-style form reviewed by the Daily Caller, “eligible parents” at LCPS must sign the document to view the Second Step curriculum.
Curriculum presentations can only be given in person and parents cannot broadcast, download, photograph, or record “in any manner whatsoever.” Downloadable files of part of the curriculum are available on LCPS’ website, per Second Step’s copyright policy.
“I understand that the Authorized Presentation of Second Step Materials I am about to view is not a public event, and that copying, broadcast or recording of any kind is not permitted,” the form reads. “I agree to comply with the terms of the above Special License.”
According to the district’s agreement with Second Step obtained by the Daily Caller, the curriculum is not subject to traditional Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws.
Scott Mineo, ring-leader of Loudoun County’s Parents Against Critical Theory (PACT) organization, told the Daily Caller that he finds the copyright laws suspicious as similar curriculum packages are readily available for parents to review.
“LCPS is partners with Southern Poverty Law Center, Racial Equity Tools, and Learning for Justice (SPLC), all of which have copyrighted material, however, LCPS freely provides access to these materials,” Mineo said. “Why is there such a double standard when parents want to review Second Step SEL material in its entirety?”
Loudoun County Public Schools did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.
Second Step’s programming revolves around the concept of “social-emotional learning,” which is linked to the core tenets of critical race theory. According to Committee for Children, the non-profit behind Second Step curriculum, SEL is “fundamental to achieving social justice.
The non-profit is also dedicated to “diversity, equity, and inclusion” and becoming an “anti-racist organization.” Part of Second Step’s curriculum addresses “anti-racism,” a term coined by activist Ibram X. Kendi. It also creates a “common language” to “create lasting systematic change.”
“When we all use the same words — for emotions, situations, and behavioral dynamics — it promotes empathy and understanding between students, teachers, staff, parents, and the community,” the curriculum reads. “Second Step provides a shared emotional vocabulary that can create lasting systemic change.”
Second Step curriculum borrows from Learning for Justice, the education arm of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as well. In July 2020, an LCPS spokesman told the Washington Free Beacon that Learning for Justice resources would be “optional” in the district.