Loudoun County in Virginia is the center of the storm on Critical Race Theory. School district officials there are obsessed with pushing, often dishonestly, the CRT agenda.
We learned this from 3,597 pages of records we received from the county. They reveal a coordinated effort to advance CRT initiatives despite widespread public opposition.
We received the records after two Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) requests to Loudoun County Public Schools. In March and April 2021 requests, we asked for communications between Loudoun County Superintendents Eric Williams and/or Scott Ziegler with school board members, teachers and parents regarding anti-racism initiatives, including a proposed speech code.
Here’s what we learned.
On March 27 at 2:19 a.m., Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee (MSAAC) Chair Keaira Jennings writes to former Director of Equity Lottie Spurlock and others that she tweeted “we will silence the opposition … without realizing the firestorm my words would cause … My intention was and is to have the voices in support of equity in education be heard and supported, and I was actually thinking ‘hopefully those voice will eventually ring louder and drown out those against equity.’”
On March 29, 2021, Jennings writes about distributing a MSAAC a “call to action” in hopes the Loudoun NAACP will join in taking steps against the “false narratives” of “the opposition:”
On January 11, 2021, Loudoun County School Board Member Atoosa Reaser writes Ziegler an email about legislation moving in the Virginia legislature under the subject line, “Bill Tracking> HB1904 > 2021 session” (H.B. 1904 passed and was signed into law by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. The new law requires cultural competency for teacher licenses.):
That looks good. Once the bill is passed, it will be interesting to see how the training and rubrics are built and promulgated around the [cultural competency] requirement. That will be where the real work starts.
On March 18, 2021, the African American Superintendent’s Advisory Council issued “Recommendations on Equity,” which includes among numerous other recommendations:
Karen Dawson, executive assistant to the superintendent’s office asks a several public school officials to distribute the recommendations to their staff members.
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Ashley F. Ellis responds: “We already have a head start with so many of these things.”
Ziegler responds to Slevin and Director of Communications and Community Engagement Joan Sahgren: “I wonder if and how this information can be included in our communications.”
On December 7, 2020, in an email chain regarding a memorandum of understanding between the school board and the sheriff’s office, Spurlock writes to school and law enforcement officials about an upcoming panel discussion regarding “rules of engagement for the community conversation.”
On December 11, Katrecia Nolen, principal and owner of KAPAX Solutions, a management and IT consulting services company, writes:
In a March 19, 2021, message to the public school community Ziegler attempts to address concerns regarding “Rumors Concerning LCPS Equity Work” by attempting to draw a distinction between Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT):
On March 23, Ellis writes about Ziegler’s distinction between Critical Race Theory and Culturally Responsive Teaching:
In a March 2, 2021, email, Ziegler invites senior staff to a Zoom meeting facilitated by Virginia Commonwealth University: “Topic: Equity and Culturally Responsive Leadership: Racial Equity: What’s Race Got to Do With It? Dr. Cole and Dr Stanley.” Drs. Cole and Stanley work in the Office of Strategic Engagement for VCU.
In early April 2021, Public Information Officer Wayde B. Byard engages in a conversation with Loudoun Now editor Norman Styer, whom Byard characterizes in an April 5 email to Zeigler, Ellis and Spurlock as “friendly.” Byard writes, “This editor has been friendly to us in the past. In our phone conversation, he said he wanted to ‘cut through the crazy’ and give an honest account of what LCPS is doing.”
In a January 26, 2020, email, Beth Barts writes to then-Superintendent Williams and other school officials informing them about a closed meeting by the Equity Committee, after it was leaked the Committee was considering a rule that would require parents to take equity training before they would be allowed to access their child’s “parentvue,” a mobile application designed to help parents monitor their child’s academic activity. Barts writes:
Loudon County parents are not alone in confronting CRT abuse of their children.
We recently made public a training document it received from a whistleblower in the Westerly School District of Rhode Island, which details how Westerly Public Schools are using teachers to push critical race theory in classrooms. The training course was assembled by the left-leaning Highlander Institute and cites quotes from Bettina Love, from whom the Biden administration distanced itself publicly after her statements equating “whiteness” to oppression.
In May, we obtained heavily redacted records from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) including documents related to their “Anti-racist system audit” and critical race theory classes. The documents, obtained under the Maryland Public Information Act, reveal that students of “Maryland’s Largest School District” who attended Thomas Pyle Middle School’s social justice class were taught that the phrase “Make America Great Again” was an example of “covert white supremacy.” The phrase is ranked on a pyramid just below “lynching,” “hate crimes,” “the N-word” and “racial slurs.” They were also taught that “white privilege” means being favored by school authorities and having a positive relationship with the police.
In June, we uncovered records from Wellesley Public Schools in Massachusetts that confirm the use of “affinity spaces” that divided students and staff based on race as a priority and objective of the school district’s “diversity, equity and inclusion” plan. The school district also admitted that between September 1, 2020 and May 17, 2021, it created “five distinct” segregated spaces.
CRT is the true pandemic in our schools and Judicial Watch is doing its best to combat it!
Judicial Watch Sues Asheville Over Racially Discriminatory Scholarship Program
Oxymoronic anti-racist racism is the new agenda for the extremist Left. As part of our effort to combat this assault on the rule of law, Judicial Watch filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a North Carolina citizens group whose members include high school students ineligible for a City of Asheville-funded scholarship only because they are not black.
The plaintiff, WNC Citizens for Equality, Inc., is suing the City of Asheville, City Manager Debra Campbell, and the Asheville City Schools Foundation (ACSF) and its director regarding the city’s establishment of a racially discriminatory scholarship program.
(The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (WNC Citizens for Equality, Inc., v. City of Asheville et al. (No. 1:21-cv-00310))).
On May 5, 2021, the City of Asheville entered into an agreement with Asheville City Schools Foundation to establish and administer the City of Asheville Scholarship Fund. According to the agreement, the City of Asheville Scholarship is “awarded in perpetuity to Black high school students within Asheville City Schools, with special consideration given for Black students pursuing a career in education.”
Our lawsuit argues that the scholarship is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and a violation of the members of WNC Citizens for Equality’s rights to equal protection under the law and freedom from racial discrimination under the North Carolina Constitution.
The funds provided by the City of Asheville for the City of Asheville Scholarship came from the settlement of an unrelated lawsuit. On April 13, 2021, the Asheville City Council directed City Manager Debra Campbell and City Attorney Brad Branham to effectuate a “donation” of $474,592.56 to ACSF. The City Council stated that it expected the funds would be used “in such a way as to provide the public benefit of advancing racial equity within the community.” A later, smaller donation also was made by the City of Asheville to ACSF for the same purpose.
According to ACSF’s website, the first City of Asheville Scholarship was awarded in May 2021. ACSF will begin accepting applications on November 1, 2021, and through January 31, 2022, for the next City of Asheville Scholarship to be awarded.
Our lawsuit asks the court to declare the discriminatory scholarship scheme is in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the North Carolina Constitution.
It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race and setting up a ‘blacks only’ scholarship is wildly unconstitutional. This civil rights lawsuit seeks to ensure that no student in Asheville is denied educational scholarship opportunities on account of race.
Federal Agencies Unveil Plans to Combat “Anti-Voter Burdens” of People of Color
The Biden administration has engaged in a thinly-disguised “get out the vote” operation – using your tax dollars. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the latest details:
Critical Race Theory Roils Virginia Governor Race
Micah Morrison, our chief investigative reporter, provides a look at CRT battles which are coming to a head in Virginia in our Investigative Bulletin: