by Kendall Tietz
“We are still here” even though the election is over, about 150 parents reminded the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) school board outside its Tuesday meeting.
Concerned community members, parents, grandparents and students spoke out during the meeting to tell the school board that although Glenn Youngkin won the gubernatorial race last Tuesday, the problems at LCPS still remain.
“We’re Still Here,” Parents Remind The School Board
“They need to know that we’re not celebrating, we’re not spiking the ball because Youngkin won,” Scott Mineo, co-founder of Parents Against Critical Theory (PACT) told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We’re not going away because every day something else has been uncovered with what they’ve done or associated with or are not willing to do. We’re just gonna keep letting them know, we’re still here.”
Many continued to call for LCPS board members and Superintendent Scott Ziegler to resign over allegations that they covered up instances of sexual assault in its schools to pass the district’s gender policy, which requires teachers to call students by their “chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence” and allows transgender students to participate in sports and use bathrooms that correspond to their chosen gender identity.
On May 28, a ninth-grade girl was raped by a boy wearing a skirt who entered a girls bathroom at Stone Bridge High School. The same student was then transferred to Broad Run High School, where he allegedly sexually assaulted another girl on Oct. 6.
Ziegler “should be removed in handcuffs,” Mineo said. “He should just be dragged out of here. He obviously doesn’t have any ethics and morals because the things that he’s tied with and associated with, he just doesn’t care. They only care about the radical woke agenda. Period.”
Patti Hidalgo Menders, president of the Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club, issued a stark warning to the school board.
“Don’t worry, our new Attorney General Jason Miyares is requesting an investigation into the cover up of these sexual assaults for the betterment of our students and our community,” Hidalgo Menders said. “Please take Beth Bart’s lead and resign. And Mr. Ziegler, you should be fired.”
Parents have come to the school board meetings to express their frustration with a variety of policies, whether it be the district’s gender policy, Critical Race Theory (CRT), mask mandates or vaccine requirements for LCPS teachers and student athletes, Hidalgo-Menders said.
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
“All of these issues is got one thing in common. This school board is implementing them. And we’ve got to keep pushing back,” Hidalgo-Menders added.
Multiple students took the stand during the public comments section of the meeting to condemn the actions of the LCPS school board.
“We all know what happened in our schools over the past few months. Loudoun County has repeatedly made national news and isn’t nothing good,” said Sarah Virts, president of the Turning Point USA Loudoun Activism Club. “As a direct result of Policy 8040, that you passed earlier this year, Loudoun County has become a laughing stock of the nation. It’s not just one bad person, it’s the policies that you’re implementing that have allowed this and will let it continue happening.”
Michael Rivera is a LCPS parent and the only candidate to publicly come forward to announce he is seeking appointment to the vacant school board seat, which was formerly held by Beth Barts, who recently resigned after becoming the target of a recall campaign headed by LCPS parents.
He has decided to “actually do something” about his unhappiness with what is happening in LCPS schools and throw his hat in the ring, rather than “sit home and complain,” Rivera told the DCNF.
I want to represent the people,” Rivera said. “In fact, I feel like I’m not being represented right now. I’ve met a lot of really good solid, salt of the earth people. They’re not terrorists, they’re not violent, they’re not looking to cause anybody any harm. They just want to be heard and they want to be part of their children’s education, which is completely reasonable.”
If he is appointed to Beth Barts position, Rivers said he wants to look at what power school boards actually have, according to the Code of Virginia.
“Apparently, the board can do whatever they want by virtue of the fact that we’re standing out here talking,” Rivera said. “We need to figure out somewhere the system broke down. The school board is not working for us anymore, so we need to flip that back so that they’re working for us.”
LCPS Spent Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars On Equity Consultants
“We tell you that critical race theory should not be in our schools. You lie and tell us that it is not being taught here,” Menders said. “We have proof of invoices that your equity consulting firm, The Equity Collaborative, is indeed pushing critical race theory.”
LCPS paid The Equity Collaborative LLC $242,000 in 2019 for various “equity” consultancy services.
The district paid for a “Systemic Equity Assessment” that uses LCPS student data for a “quantitative analysis,” along with an eight-day in person “qualitative assessment,” where consultants are paid $5,000 per day, according to the contract obtained by Parents Defending Education (PDE). Other services include a “District Equity Plan,” which reviews challenges to diversity, equity and inclusion and analyzes “disproportionalities” in student discipline and specialized education programs.
Other services The Equity Collaborative teaches include an “Introduction to Critical Race Theory” lesson, which says “CRT analyzes the role of race and racism in perpetuating social disparities between dominant and marginalized racial groups,” according to the lesson slides.
It also teaches the idea of “counter-storytelling” to “critique the dominant (male, White, heterosexual) ideology, which perpetuates racial stereotypes,” and says racism is “an inherent part of American civilization.” It describes “whiteness as property” as “the right of possession, the right to use and enjoyment, the right to disposition, and the right of exclusion.”
Another $34,167 was spent on June 9, 2020, which includes coaching on “Critical Race Theory Development,” according to the contract obtained by PDE.
Petition To Remove LCPS’s School Board Chair
Fight for Schools, a non-partisan political action committee fighting against politicization in schools, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in a Loudoun County court to remove School Board Chair Brenda Sheridan from office with a petition signed by nearly 2,000 individuals, which asked the court to remove her “on the basis of neglect of duty, misuse of office, and incompetence in the performance of her duties.”
Sheridan did not leave “The Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” private Facebook group, even though a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the group was underway, according to the petition. She and two other school board members were in the group while it discussed the suspension of LCPS teacher Tanner Cross for his opposition to the district’s gender policy and his subsequent lawsuit against LCPS.
The petition also alleged that Sheridan had “at lease general knowledge” of the May 28 rape.
“As Chairwoman, Brenda Sheridan has overseen and personally contributed to a complete breakdown in trust between the community and the Loudoun County School Board,” Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior said upon filing the lawsuit. “From violating open meetings law to ignoring the school board’s code of conduct to neglecting to keep our children safe, all for her activist causes, Sheridan has been nothing short of a disaster as the so-called leader of Loudoun County Public Schools.”
“Let this serve as a message to the rest of the board and Superintendent Ziegler: if you thought that this was all about an election, then you have once more failed to properly judge the resolve of your constituent,” Prior added. “We’re still here and we’re not going anywhere.”
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Kendall Tietz is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “LCPS SB Meeting 11/9” by The Daily Caller.