Loudoun County Public Schools has made a long, coordinated effort to ensure that critical race theory is institutionalized despite public opposition, emails obtained by Judicial Watch indicate.
Contained in the emails are communications from both former LCPS Superintendent Eric Williams and current LCPS Superintendent Scott Ziegler to various school board members, teachers, and even some parents about the district’s inclination toward implementing racist curriculum for teachers and students.
In one email from January, Ziegler, who is under fire for covering up a sexual assault in the school district, shows interest in a Virginia legislature bill (which eventually became a law) after it was flagged by LCPS board member Atoosa Reaser as a potential way to move the district’s race agenda forward.
“This is the bill that’s going to encompass one of our program’s asks,” Roose wrote. “It will be carried by someone outside of Loudoun, and is more comprehensive. I believe it encompasses what we were asking for and am OK with that path forward. Please let me know this morning if you have other thoughts.”
“That looks good,” replied Ziegler, who recently promoted a racial “equity” lecture. “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.”
More recent emails from March of this year reveal that one of Ziegler’s executive assistants tried to call attention to the African American Superintendent’s Advisory Council’s “Recommendations on Equity,” which promote “antiracism” and other CRT ideals, but was quickly told by Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Ashley F. Ellis that the district “already [has] a head start with so many of these things.”
Ziegler also quickly asked “how this information can be included in our communications.”
One day later, Ziegler emailed the public school community to try to calm concerns from parents about racist teachings. In his explanation, which Ellis echoed days later, Ziegler claimed that the “Rumors Concerning LCPS Equity Work” are confusing critical race theory and culturally responsive teaching. When Ziegler tried to distinguish between the two, he merely affirmed that the district was asking “employees to examine their own personal biases and how they might affect student instruction and interactions with the community.”
“Concepts such as white supremacy and systemic racism are discussed during professional development,” he wrote. “LCPS has not adopted Critical Race Theory as a framework for staff to adhere to.”
For months, Loudoun officials have downplayed the district’s role in pushing, promoting, and even requiring trainings that teach people to evaluate their role in life based on their race and whether they are an oppressor or oppressed. In May 2020, education officials paid $625 an hour for consultation work containing principles and core elements of CRT.
“While [Loudoun County Public Schools] has not adopted CRT, some of the principles related to race as a social construct and the sharing of stories of racism, racialized oppression, etc. that we are encouraging through the Action Plan to Combat Systemic Racism, in some of our professional learning modules, and our use of instructional resources on the Social Justice standards, do align with the ideology of CRT,” wrote Williams, the former superintendant.
Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has repeatedly denied that critical race theory is taught in the state even though, under his administration from 2014-2018, the Virginia Education Department explicitly pushed public schools to “embrace critical race theory” and “engage in race-conscious teaching and learning.”