Youngkin, Carson Spotlight Public School Concerns at Loudoun Campaign Rally

Loudoun teachers and parents shared a stage with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin last night at the Save Our Schools rally at Lansdowne Resort.

The rally drew 1,000 people, including School Board member John Beatty (Catoctin), and was presented by Fight for Schools and 1776 Action. The event aimed mobilize Loudouners to push back against the school division’s progressive teachings, and to highlight Youngkin’s proposed plans for the commonwealth.

Parents aligned with Fight for Schools resist the school district’s initiatives to eradicate racial inequity, which, according toa report produced by the Equity Collaborative, permeates every layer of the district, from hiring of staff to treatment of students.

During a panel discussion,Monica Gill, the high school history teacher who joined the high-profile lawsuit against the school district’s transgender student protections, said that teachers are being indoctrinated with Critical Race Theory, and the ideology is trickling down to students.

“Our kids are being indoctrinated in our schools. They’re not being taught how to think. They’re being taught what to think,” Gill said. “We are being told that we have to disrupt and dismantle white supremacy. The reality is that this is being extremely disruptive to our community. Our kids are being encouraged to discriminate against each other and it is heartbreaking to watch this take place.”

Gill, who teaches at Loudoun County High School, had been outspoken about her disapproval of the school district’s equity work long before she took issue with the transgender protections.She has made appearances on various conservative media outlets.

“This is earnest, I love these kids. … I pour my life into these kids,” Gill said of her motivation to speak out against CRT.

The panel was moderated by the one-time congressional candidate for VA-10 and Youngkin surrogate Aliscia Andrews.

During his 20-minute speech, Youngkin promised to ban Critical Race Theory if elected. Although similar bans have been implemented in some states —including Florida, Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho, Tennessee, and Oklahoma—it is unclear the extent to which the ban would limit discourse on race in schools.

He also pointed to the school accreditation process that his opponent, Terry McAuliffe, changed in 2018. McAuliffe changed the requirements for accreditation to permit schools that “do not meet accreditation benchmarks but have significantly improved their pass rates.” Prior to the change, only 78% of Virginia schools were fully accredited. Since McAuliffe’s change took effect, no Virginia school has failed to achieve accreditation, which Youngkin argues has lowered standards for public education throughout the state.

Youngkin also vowed to make school choice a priority, pointing to Virginia’s eight charter schools in comparison to neighboring North Carolina’s 200.

“So, a child’s destiny is not dictated by his or her ZIP code, we’re going to give parents choice in Virginia,” Youngkin said.

His speech also touched on the cost of living, which he said he would improve by eliminating the sales tax on groceries and doubling standard tax deductions to the state income tax.

During his speech, Carson lauded Youngkin as a candidate.

“He is a man who has a great faith in God. We need leaders again who understand the Judeo-Christian values that allowed this country to ascend from nowhere to the pinnacle of the world,” Carson said.

Many of the speakers minimized the coronavirus pandemic—one Loudoun parent and panelist calling it a “plandemic”—met with laughs from the maskless crowd.

Carson himself had a severe bout with COVID last November and received special access to monoclonal antibody treatment from President Trump, which he believes saved his life.

Carson discussed the environment children face in schools, and said that the confluence of COVID mitigation measures and progressive agenda of administrators amount to child abuse.

“Think about our kids. Can you imagine what it must be like to be a young child. You don’t get to see peoples face. You don’t get to see who they are. … That’s such an important part of sociological development in people and they’re missing out on that,” he said.

“And then they’re being told that they may be harboring some horrible fatal disease and even though it might not affect them they may give it to their grandmother, and she may die. Well, grandmothers do get old and they do die. Now you have this kid thinking they have something to do with it,” Carson said.

Of the crux of conservative grievances with public education, the infusion of progressive social justice teachings, Carson has been highly critical, calling CRT a racist ideology.

“If they’re white they’re told that they’re oppressors. And their ancestors were oppressors and just evil people. And if they’re Black, they are victims, they are the oppressed no matter what they do. All of this while you’re trying to develop your self-image. And if that’s not enough, you may not be a girl or a boy,” he added, drawing a laugh from the crowd as he referred to the controversy over transgender student rights.

15 thoughts on “Youngkin, Carson Spotlight Public School Concerns at Loudoun Campaign Rally

  • 2021-09-09 at 12:22 pm
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    Nobody cares about Glenn Whatshisname. Amanda Chase is the winner here. Everyone I know is writing her in. We’re going to vote for our candidate whether we get to do it in a primary or not.

    • 2021-09-10 at 9:41 am
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      That would be soooo great …. for Terry McAuliffe!

  • 2021-09-09 at 1:13 pm
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    Why doesn’t LN print Dr. Carson’s (one of the greatest medical doctors of our time) opinion on the COVID vaccination? He made great points, and none of them made it into this article.

    • 2021-09-13 at 9:23 am
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      Greatest medical doctors of our time? Are you serious?

  • 2021-09-09 at 1:35 pm
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    Promising to end schools pitting students against each other based on their race: GOOD
    Fighting for school choice: GOOD
    Pointing out how low Virginia’s education testing standards are: GOOD
    Ending sales tax on groceries: GOOD

    And on the other side, we have the (D)s who are fighting for the rights of violent criminals. Who get in bed with organized labor. And who refused to educate the children of Virginia for nearly a year and a half.

    The (D)s are bad for Virginia.

  • 2021-09-09 at 2:38 pm
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    Fight For Schools has the potential to be a great organization. I’m all for school reform. Too much money goes to administrators & too little trickles down to students. But Fight For Schools needs to diversify its outreach. (And get over its obsession with CRT.) Wednesday’s event was overwhelmingly white. The invocation was oriented toward Christians. The executive director is a cisgender white man. Yet at Wednesday’s rally, digs were directed against the Trans community. I give organizers & participants credit for taking their parental role very seriously. But their commitment to ensuring EVERY student gets a quality education remains in question. I wish them well as they try to get more followers into the fold.

    • 2021-09-09 at 8:26 pm
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      Wednesday’s event was very diverse from a speaker and panel perspective. There was definitely a faith based focus…but that should t surprise you. Does it matter how you spell values or what shade of skin you have to stand up for the food in this country?

      It’s all about CRT fir Dr. Carson. He’s concerned, like many of us, that our kids/grandkids grow up feeling shame and discomfort instead of free and motivated. Who doesn’t want that for our youth?

      For the readers…how old were you when you had to Google cisgender?

    • 2021-09-10 at 3:01 am
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      So Timothy Smith, let’s analyze your comment.

      1. You say “too much money goes to administrators & too little trickles down to students”. Are you planning on paying students? Because unless you are, you missed the highway robbery that has occurred in LCPS as teachers get $4,000 raises and automatic promotions year after year after year while our scores fall. Are you really suggesting we give families a voucher and let them decide if they want to remain beholden to LCPS?

      2. You cite “tiny minorit[ies]” (yes, I think I read that phrase in the Virginia Supreme Court ruling upholding Tanner Cross’ injunctive relief) as being the focus of all political groups. Do you really think reform groups should focus on 0.036% of the school population because the radical Leftists compete for who is the biggest victim every day? (29 trans students out of 80K+) Are you seriously suggesting Indian and Chinese families are not aligned with Youngkin on raising the rigor of LCPS? Who exactly do you think is attending the Kumon centers to desperately learn what LCPS fails to teach?

      Only the Leftists beholden to identity politics believe there is anything wrong with having somebody who represents 95%+ of society (a straight man/woman) leading an organization. Only Leftists would object to improving the effectiveness of our public schools because the “correct” racial, gender and political tokens were not pushed front and center. You do realize that the vast majority of whites and blacks are Christian as is the majority in the US, right? You do realize that improving educational effectiveness is the desire of all groups: black, Hispanic, gay, straight, male, female, and on and on and on. Is that comment really the best excuse you can make for the failed Leftists in power in Virginia?

    • 2021-09-13 at 9:26 am
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      Hard to get Christian Nationalists to diversify their message or their membership. Their philosophy is one that appeals to white people who resent most everyone else for one reason or another. Stay away from this astroturf operation and you’ll be better for it.

  • 2021-09-09 at 5:21 pm
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    “Parents aligned with Fight for Schools resist the school district’s initiatives to eradicate racial inequity, which, according toa report produced by the Equity Collaborative, permeates every layer of the district, from hiring of staff to treatment of students.”

    This reporter’s personal bias continues to show through loud and clear — Taking a ‘report’ from a ‘consulting firm’ as undisputed fact. Anyone with two hours of real world business/professional experience knows that ‘consultants’ tell you what you want to hear, when you want to hear it, and how you want to hear it.

    Loudoun Now is better than this.

    • 2021-09-10 at 3:16 pm
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      Loudoun Now was better than this. After a year of these problems, something has clearly changed culturally for the worse.

  • 2021-09-09 at 5:38 pm
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    If someone in our Loudon school system is teaching that dismantling the vestiges of white supremacy equates to adopting new acts of discrimination and prejudice now, that is a problem. We know that white supremacy was codified in state and federal constitutions and laws up until at least 1965 and examining the liklehood that the vestiges of those constitutions and laws could include actions today that are rooted in historical white supremacy is a wonderful way to build critical thinking skills. Faculty members and students should be allowed to study the facts and if the facts support the idea that a system of white supremacy continues to exist then they should study ways to address that. We should not assume the outcome would be discrimination of any kind towards any group. In fact a scholarly examination of this type would by definition call out the harmful outcomes of racism, prejudice and discrimination and preclude actions now that are based in prejudice and discrimnation toward any person or group.
    Regarding Critical Race Theory, as I understand it it is a way of examining historical laws to surface those that codified race in a negative way in order to consider if they also set in place processes that continue to support tacit racial discrimination today. I would be very surprised if any but the rare high school level class were enaged in a course of study of this type. As far as masks are concerned I have not seen any studies that support the idea that wearing masks harms the academic and social development or mental health of children. One school that I am familiar with has children aged 4 through 13 who were in school in person and in masks every day for most of the last academic year and have just begun this year masked. They seemlessly adapted to wearing masks and have been happily learning in a well adjusted manner the entire time. Regarding discussing the need to be masked as a way of protecting each other from the possibility of transmitting covid, those same students have been able to understand that concept without experiencing undue fear or worries. After all it is not that different from when we teach students to sneeze into the crook of their elbows to not spread colds, protect others by staying home when they have the flu or strep, wash hands after going to the bathroom.. all socially thoughful ways of helping us all stay well. If any children/students are becoming overwhelmed by worry about passing on Covid to grandparents who may then die, that seems as though it would be more connected to the way the grownups in their lives are talking to them or are letting them hear other adults talk about this process. Again we all know it would be possible for a child with the flu to pass it on to a grandparent who could get a much more serious case than the child would, have, the grandparent could even die, but we don’t talk about that when we encourage kids with the flu to cough into their elbows, wash their hands frequently and stay away from others, including grandma, until you feel better. It sounds like if kids in schools are being traumatized by discussions about race, masks and covid it’s not because of the subject matter. Our kids have the brains and ability to hear about and study the facts and come to thoughtful conclusions without becoming overwhelmed, unless of course the adults are afraid of the facts and describe them in ways that communicate their fears to the children.

  • 2021-09-10 at 5:04 am
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    Parents need to volunteer in their child’s classroom. See for yourselves the behaviors and languages being permitted without suspension and/or expulsion. In Fauquier County schools, word has it there is an elementary school that has NO 4th grade teachers. Your children may be getting taught by substitutes that are not required to have a college degree. Why can’t these schools recruit or retain qualified educated teachers?? The administrators are permitting horrifying behaviors and language. It has to be intentional and on purpose. Like all the rest of the propaganda parents have no clue what is happening inside their child’s classrooms. Teachers can not get control of students with behaviors and your child just may be suffering from PTSD from witnessing violence and together with the cussing it should be considered assault and battery if you child is a victim. No longer allow your school to handle it. Call the police and if they do not handle it appropriately report up to your legislators. If your child is pushed or struck at school, the principal should be held liable if the perpetrator is allowed to do it a second time without expulsion. Teachers should not longer be called teachers but educators. They are just as smart as a professor who gets paid a handsome salary. Many are public institutions and they do no tolerate behaviors. They are highly degreed individuals who are walking away. And the reason is because of the sexism that exists within their walls. Women can not be cohesive to fight against administrators and school boards without fear of retribute. They are just walking away from their chosen careers. Every parent should flood their legislators offices with letter of complaints and to push for school vouchers.

  • 2021-09-10 at 7:25 am
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    When you see a monopoly insensitive to the people who support it one must ask why is there little competition to public schools. Over the 8 years I was on the school board it was believed that LCPS was the best option for children as we were getting national awards to prove it thereby justifying getting all the education allocated tax dollars. Now it seems LCPS is still getting all the education allocated tax dollars even though its management is shows little to no sensitivity to parents and taxpayers who fund it and its becoming a national embarrassment. Perhaps it is well past time legislators change the current monopolistic position of public schools getting ALL the education allocated tax dollars and let parents have a choice their property tax pays for! 🙂

    • 2021-09-10 at 3:17 pm
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      With thinking like that Bob, you need to run again.

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