Fight for Schools held an “Education, not Indoctrination” protest rally outside of the Loudoun County government center Saturday to oppose anti-racist curriculum in the school system. School Board member John Beatty (Catoctin) was among the attendees.
Critical Race Theory, or CRT, is an academic concept examining structural racial inequality. Over the past 18 months, it has become a lightning rod issue in the county and across the country. Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler has repeatedly assured the public that Critical Race Theory is not being taught in county schools.
Parents and activists insist that the school district’s equity work, including a report presented earlier this month documenting the racial inequity in schools, is part of a divisive guise to implement the academic theory.
The rally was attended by approximately 150 people who heard speeches from local activists, politicians, and a county teacher who condemned CRT and the School Board. Monica Gill, a teacher at Loudoun County High School, called equity a “poison.”
“Equity is not about equality of opportunity. It is about equal outcomes, which is foundational to Marxist political ideology,” said Gill.
A counter protester an carried a sign through the crowd that read “White Privilege Exists.” Liz Carroll said she was ashamed when she saw that there was going to be an anti-CRT rally in Loudoun County.
“I thought it was important to say that not everyone is on the bandwagon of rejecting the ideas of white fragility and white privilege,” she said.
While speakers were highly critical of the School Board, member John Beatty (Catoctin) was in attendance and interacted with members of the public, although he didn’t speak.
One mother, Heather West, of Purcellville, said Beatty is a neighbor of hers and lauded his efforts to oppose CRT. West has six children and said she will never send them to public schools, although she is a regular attendee of School Board meetings.
“We’re paying a lot of money in tuition to escape CRT,” West said.
Ian Prior, executive director of Fight for Schools, said the objective of the rally was to push forward with an effort to recall the School Board.
“I don’t think being a parent and fighting for your kids is a political agenda,” Prior said.
Prior, a Department of Justice spokesman during the Trump administration, is a parent of two students in the district and a vocal critic of the School Board.
Prior incensed the crowd when he said that kids are learning about age-inappropriate topics. He pointed to Christopher Columbus being vilified in second grade classes as someone who murdered and enslaved people.
“You have kids coming home and telling their parents they’re afraid to speak up and express their opinion, because they’re going to get canceled, they’re going to get shamed, they’re going to get disciplined,” Prior said.