Menders v. Loudoun County School Board - Liberty Justice Center

Menders v. Loudoun County School Board

Parents sue Loudoun County School Board for violating students' rights

A group of Loudoun County, Virginia parents filed a federal lawsuit against school leaders for denying their students equal treatment and violating their right to free speech. The parents say the children will be discriminated against for simply expressing their opinion, or worse, for the color of their skin. 

In June 2020, Loudoun County Public Schools announced a new “Action Plan to Combat Systemic Racism.” As part of this action plan, the county instituted a “Student Equity Ambassador” program and bias reporting procedures. Equity ambassadors are given unparalleled access to district officials. Program participation requires students to adhere to a radical political ideology and tells students to police their peers by reporting them for “biased” speech. 

Attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center are representing the families. They’ve filed a complaint against the Loudoun County School Board and have asked the Court to take action to end illegal discrimination and violations of free speech.

“Not only are Loudoun school leaders telling students what they can and can’t say, they are imposing controversial political views on students and punishing those who don’t agree,” said Daniel Suhr, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center. “Loudoun County’s policies are extreme and divisive. Every student has a right to express his or her views and to engage in a respectful, robust conversation about real issues without fear of retribution.”

Several of the families are asking the Court to plead anonymously after parents Patti Menders, the lead plaintiff in the case, and Scott Mineo received threats on social media. Many also want to protect their children from mistreatment by teachers and fellow students. Teachers and school board members have called parents racist and hateful for speaking up for their children’s education and right to free speech.

Background

Menders v. Loudoun County School Board was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on June 2, 2021.

Briefs

Press Release

Complaint 06/02/2021

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Represented by the nonprofit Liberty Justice Center, the parents and students sued the school board in federal court. They claim that Loudoun County Public Schools’ policies and programs to address “systemic racism” discriminate on the basis of race and viewpoint.