LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (June 2, 2021) — A group of Loudoun County parents have filed a federal
lawsuit against school leaders for violating students’ free speech rights. Over the past two years, the
board and administrators have incorporated controversial and radical political theory into school
curriculum. Now they are asking students to be vocal supporters of these political views or face being
excluded from school leadership positions and reported through a new “bias reporting” system.
The parents are represented by the Liberty Justice Center, a national public interest law firm committed to
protecting free speech. In the lawsuit, the parents say that the “Student Equity Ambassador Program” and
bias reporting system are illegal and undermine students’ free speech.
“Not only are Loudoun school leaders telling students what they can and can’t say, they are imposing
controversial political views on students and punishing those who don’t agree,” said Daniel Suhr, senior
attorney at the Liberty Justice Center. “Loudoun County’s policies are extreme and divisive. Every
student has a right to express his or her views and to engage in a respectful, robust conversation about
real issues without fear of retribution.”
Loudoun County Public Schools serves over 80,000 students from kindergarten through high school in
Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C. To implement a new equity curriculum, the Loudoun County School
Board has instituted a set of initiatives that censor free speech and discriminate against students based
on their race.
“The school board has been trying to pretend discrimination and suppression of free speech isn’t
happening in our schools, but we see it in class lessons, in the books being promoted or banned in the
library, and in the creation of new school programs,” said Patti Hidalgo Menders, mother of an LCPS
high school student.
Only “students of color” or those who expressly attest to being “allies” are eligible for participation in the
Equity Ambassadors Program. The program is paired with a “Bias Reporting System,” essentially
converting students into the speech police, with the power to name and shame peers for expressing
viewpoints inconsistent with extreme racial political ideology. Selected students report to a “Supervisor of
Equity” to expose those who have been detected of straying from the program’s strict ideology.
“Our kids have the right to develop their own opinions, free from indoctrination and school-sanctioned
bullying,” said Scott Mineo, parent of a Loudoun County high school student and founder of
Parents Against Critical Theory. “Instead of opening young minds, Loudoun County school leaders are
policing them. This is not education; it is coercion.”