Parents Submit Letter to Betsy DeVos Requesting Civil Rights Investigation into Loudoun Schools (additional context added in this article)
PARENTS SUBMIT LETTER TO BETSY DEVOS REQUESTING CIVIL RIGHTS INVESTIGATION INTO LOUDOUN SCHOOLS (ADDITIONAL CONTEXT ADDED IN THIS ARTICLE)
Parents have submitted a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos requesting a civil rights investigation into Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). These parents requested that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to determine whether LCPS violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the Constitution, as well as President Donald Trump’s “Executive Order on Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping.”
The letter alleged that LCPS engaged in discrimination when it excluded non-Hispanic and non-Black parents from federally-funded focus groups; mandated staff training on “implicit bias,” including White privilege, White supremacy, and unconscious bias; restricted disciplinary action on minority students to make data proportional; and excluded staff and student members from opportunities based on race.
It also alleged that both the dress code and staff code of conduct violated free speech due to broad language and restrictiveness, respectively.
The letter concluded its fact-finding with a statement that LCPS’s admission of continued systemic racism warrants an investigation from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) similar to the one undertaken with Princeton University.
Parents Against Critical Theory (PACT) Founder Scott Mineo and No Left Turn in Education (NLTE) Founder Dr. Elana Fishbein desired to take action on what they saw was occurring in LCPS. Last month, Fishbein appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss her concerns with CRT and discrimination in education.
In an interview with The Virginia Star, Mineo credited the creation of a formal letter to ED to a fellow parent and lawyer.
“In all honesty, it was Ian Prior. He really drafted the letter and put us in the right direction. He’s got a law degree and worked in the DOJ.”
Prior, a former U.S. Department of Justice Principal Deputy Director of Public Affairs and current Headwaters Media CEO, authored the letter.
Prior is also a repeat special guest on various Fox News segments. He informed The Star that he paid more attention to social justice initiatives after George Floyd’s death. Prior added that work done by Mineo and Fishbein were crucial in crafting the letter.
“I would argue that the Constitution allows for individual freedom and equality for all – it’s taken several hundred years to achieve that, obviously with Jim Crow and segregation – but what we’re looking at now is extremely concerning because they’re trying to indoctrinate kids with a theory, not a fact. Loudoun is Ground Zero for this kind of stuff, especially in 2021 when there’s going to be a gubernatorial election. Anytime there’s an incident involving different races, people automatically think it’s racism. I think the letter, in large part, was to bring attention to all of this in as comprehensive a manner as possible. There’s so much [more] there [at Loudoun] that’s very difficult to understand for the average person.”
The majority of new policies and practices centered around racial equity in LCPS occurred after an incident in one of their schools in which a P.E. class had students play a “runaway slave game.”
According to Prior, the letter is en route to the ED.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to email@example.com.