“I wanted to pass along my comments submitted in response to a request from the school board on their proposed equity plan. Here they are in their entirety:
“The moment I feared has arrived in our backyard. While I laud the LCPS Board’s efforts to recognize and respect the diversity of our student body, I am concerned that this plan is an overall effort to introduce concepts of critical race theory and post-modernism into the learning experience. Particularly troubling are references to implicit bias and systemic inequities, which are loaded terms that indicate a preference for promoting antiracism theory and so-called “social justice” in the classroom. (See, e.g., Principle 5.4.) Rather than reaffirming self-esteem, and respecting all students, this plan will divide them into groups and promote grievances. Inevitably, those in some groups will feel marginalized and guilty, which is the opposite of what I think you are trying to achieve in the classroom. It is the duty of the public schools to teach students how to think, but not to indoctrinate them with ideas that are politically controversial and socially corrosive.
The current state of division in this country demonstrates the need for more unity in instruction, not less. We cannot hop on the diversity bandwagon and highlight injustice without also explaining what is right and good about the United States, Virginia, and our community. Teach the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the assimilation of populations into the American way of life. Teach our history, the good and the bad, in a balanced manner. Promote civics. Foster critical thinking skills and debate on issues of the day, including race relations, police reform, and economic inequities. Our students already study Native Americans, African-Americans, and others. (For example, my sons spent an entire month on a Black History Month project in the third grade. I viewed it as a highly rewarding educational experience, and learned a thing or two myself.) The school libraries also make available many books dealing with social justice. Why the need to adopt and foster policies that are clearly designed to introduce and teach controversial topics as truths?
The floodgates have opened, and I am sure that my comments will only generate minor changes, if any. However, I urge the LCPS Board and Administration to re-think where you are headed in an effort to satisfy the most vocal constituencies in our community on these social issues. Healing America starts with the local level. Think before you act. The only way this country improves and unites is by stressing our commonalities, our freedom, and our civic virtue. You plan is a step down a slippery slope.”