Virginia teachers’ Facebook group reportedly targeting parents opposed to critical race theory
An “Anti-Racist” Facebook group, made up of Virginia parents, teachers and school board members, is reportedly targeting parents who are opposed to critical race theory as part of the school’s curriculum.
The group, which is called “anti-racist parents of Loudoun County,” has over 600 members, including “six out of nine” Loudoun County school board members, WTOP News reported.
The group urged its members to gather information on parents who oppose critical race theory and encouraged members to “expose these people publicly,” The Dairy Wire reported.
Austin Levine, a Loudoun County parent, said at a March 23 school board meeting that he was targeted by the Facebook group.
“I am on a list — not Santa’s list — but a list of enemies created by a group led by the marching orders of one of your colleagues,” Levine said, according to WTOP.
“This list included names, places of work, where they lived and their perceived wrongs. I should not have to live in fear because my opinions differ from elected officials’,” Levine said.
Moreover, Levine said there should be “severe punishment” for the group members’ intentional actions.
“Unintended actions, those are forgivable, but intended consequences are not — so when they happen there should be severe punishment,” Levine said at the meeting. “The lists, the crimes, the docs were all your intentions. The ‘thank you’ post on the Facebook group provides undeniable evidence that the outcome met your approval.”
Ian Prior, spokesperson for Loudoun Parents for Education, said that the actions by the Facebook group members constitute a violation of the First Amendment.
“We believe in free speech, in the marketplace of ideas,” he said.
Prior and the other members of the Loudoun Parents for Education group are planning a campaign to recall the school board members allegedly involved in the Facebook group, and the group plans to hold a new election for those seats.
“We’re going to do our best to bring people together to run a campaign to recall those six members that were taking part in this group and clearly were not serving the community,” Prior said. “It’s clear that we have a school board that is quite simply not up to the task.”
Loudoun County Public Schools interim Superintendent Scott Ziegler denied that critical race theory is part of the school’s curriculum.
“Social media rumors that staff members have been disciplined or fired for not adhering to the tenants of critical race theory or for refusing to teach this theory are not true,” Ziegler said in a video statement released to the school community.
Ziegler added that the Loudoun County School provides a “welcoming, inclusive, affirming environment for all students.” He said recent media reports and social media posts have misrepresented the school’s effort to achieve these goals.
“In explaining LCPS’ equity priorities, it might be helpful to state what they are not. They are not an effort to indoctrinate students and staff into a particular philosophy or theory,” Ziegler said.
“LCPS has not adopted Critical Race Theory as a framework for staff to adhere to,” he added.
In response to the “Anti-Racist” Facebook group, Ziegler said while LCPS recognizes the rights of its employees to free speech, it does not condone targeting members of the community for their viewpoint.
His goal is to ensure “every student, employee and member of the community is treated in an equitable, respectful manner.”
The Facebook group is reportedly currently under investigation by the Virginia police.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy