Loudoun School Board Adopts Equity Declaration

 Following months of increasingly intense criticism claiming that the school district was doing little to combat racism and ensure the equitable treatment of minority students and after weeks of work by a special ad-hoc committee to dive deeply into those concerns, the School Board last week adopted a resolution that provides much higher performance expectations. 

            The policy statement was crafted by the ad-hoc Committee on Equity during its past two meetings after receiving a consultant report that found a “hostile learning environment” where students faced no consequences for hateful actions. 

            In the resolution, the “Loudoun County School Board and its division superintendent publicly declare the condemnation of White supremacy, hate speech, hate crimes, and other hate-based acts of violence, and any instances of hate, discrimination, and violence based on race, religion, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, appearance, and socio-economic status.”

            Other elements state the administration’s commitment to ensuring the division is “respectful and culturally responsive” when teaching all students and interacting with families, providing training to mitigate the impact of implicit bias and racism, eliminating opportunity gaps, building a more diverse workforce, and to creating a safe and supportive environment for every student, family, and staff member. 

            The School Board’s debate on the resolution centered on a suggestion by Tom Marshall (Leesburg) to change the “condemnation of White supremacy” to the “condemnation of the ideology of white supremacy.” While some members said that change would make the intent clearer, Brenda Sheridan (Sterling), who chairs the Equity Committee, and Chris Croll (Catoctin), who also serves on the ad-hoc panel, said members of that committee were very deliberate in the construction of the policy’s wording, which should not be altered. 

            The resolution was approved unanimously, with Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge) absent. 

            Debbie Rose (Algonkian) said that, while she was now more aware of the challenges facing some student and teachers, she also was concerned that the school system was being painted in an overly negative light. 

            “I got a lot of feedback from some people who were very upset with the assessment and they felt … this statement was saying that somehow LPCS is filled with racists and it’s filled with systemic racism. That is not what the assessment said. The assessment actually listed a great many programs and initiatives that LCPS has undertaken to address inequities in our school system,” she said. “But the assessment is important in that it highlights … we have to do something and that it is important say this now and to say that these kind of behaviors will not be tolerated. I’m glad to be supporting this. It is not saying that this county and this school division and our schools are filled with horrible acts and horrible people. Far from it. Our schools are filled with a great many wonderful educators, teachers, programs [and] opportunities.”  

2 thoughts on “Loudoun School Board Adopts Equity Declaration

  • 2019-10-03 at 6:24 pm
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    This does nothing but give the candidates a talking point. This resolution solves nothing, lowers the cost of nothing nor does it increase grades point averages. A utter waste of time and lo and behold it is Sheridan in charge of this garbage resolution. We thankfully have a candidate in Sterling that will oust this shill for partisan politics. We have the worst, vote as now is the time for Mike Neely.

  • 2019-10-05 at 8:17 am
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    In 1965 Paul Harvey blew the doors off the messages the democrats of today pander with,
    If I were the Devil
    “If I were the devil … If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I’d have a third of it’s real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.’
    “To the young, I would whisper that ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’
    “And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
    “If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.
    “Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.
    “If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And what do you bet? I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as thee way to get rich? I would caution against extremes and hard work, in Patriotism, in moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep right on doing on what he’s doing. Paul Harvey, good day.”
    – Paul Harvey 1965

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