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LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (Aug. 16, 2021) — Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony J. Trenga issued an order on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction in Menders v. Loudoun County School Board. In June 2021, a group of Loudoun County parents have filed a federal lawsuit against school leaders for violating students’ free speech rights. The parents are represented by the Liberty Justice Center, a national public interest law firm committed to protecting free speech. In the lawsuit, the parents say that the “Student Equity Ambassador Program” and bias reporting system are illegal and undermine students’ free speech.
“We are disappointed that the judge denied the Loudoun County parents’ preliminary injunction, however this case is in the very early stages,” said Daniel Suhr, managing attorney at the Liberty Justice Center. “The request for a preliminary injunction is a form of extraordinary relief rarely granted early in a case. The lawsuit continues to move forward and the Loudoun County School Board must now file an answer to the complaint.”
“We look forward to following the roadmap laid out in the judge’s order and believe the facts will confirm our arguments,” Suhr continued. “We will continue to fight vigorously for Loudoun County families and students.”
Loudoun County Public Schools serves over 80,000 students from kindergarten through high school in Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C. To implement a new equity curriculum, the Loudoun County School Board has instituted a set of initiatives that censor free speech and discriminate against students based on their race.
Over the past two years, the board and administrators have incorporated controversial and radical political theory into school curriculum. Now they are asking students to be vocal supporters of these political views or face being excluded from school leadership positions and reported through a new “bias reporting” system.
Only “students of color” or those who expressly attest to being “allies” are eligible for participation in the Equity Ambassadors Program. The program is paired with a “Bias Reporting System,” essentially converting students into the speech police, with the power to name and shame peers for expressing viewpoints inconsistent with extreme racial political ideology. Selected students report to a “Supervisor of Equity” to expose those who have been detected of straying from the program’s strict ideology.
Menders v. Loudoun County School Board was filed June 2, 2021, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Filings are available here.
Order on the Preliminary Injunction, Aug. 13, 2021