Virginia parents sue school district over alleged racial discrimination, free speech violations – FOX News

June 2, 2021

The following article by Sam Dorman appeared on June 2, 2021 on FOX News.

The controversy over “equity” is accelerating in Loudoun County where parents are suing administrators over initiatives that allegedly chill free speech and discriminate based on race.

Filed in federal court Wednesday, the lawsuit argues that Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) and its “equity student ambassador” program restrict eligibility to non-White individuals and requires they hold certain views about social justice. It also targets a bias response system designed to flag perceived microaggressions or other incidents of “bias” between students.

Plaintiffs include multiple anonymous persons in addition to two county activists – Scott Mineo of Parents Against Critical Theory and Patti Hildalgo Menders of the Loudoun Republican Women’s Club.

Both Mineo and Hidalgo Menders have been outspoken in the ongoing battle between parents, teachers, and administrators who harbor sharply different views about so-called equity and diversity training. In recent months, Loudoun has become the poster child for the controversy surrounding critical race theory (CRT) or ideas associated with it.

While parents have repeatedly denounced the school board and tried to recall its members, Tuesday’s lawsuit represents a significant escalation and growing shift in strategy among CRT opponents. Because these trainings often make sweeping claims about racial groups, they’ve raised concerns about potential civil rights violations that could be addressed in courts.

According to the filing, the Loudoun schools explicitly indicated White students were disqualified from serving as equity ambassadors. Before they were removed from Loudoun’s website, an FAQ section and information packet specifically designated the positions for children of color, the filing says.

The child plaintiffs, who were listed anonymously in the suit, purportedly wouldn’t meet LCPS’ criteria for the ambassadorships and would not describe their “views as ’social justice’ as LCPS uses that term.”

In response to an FAQ about a White child potentially serving, the county said: “Thank you for your interest but this opportunity is specifically for students of Color. However, students at each school have an option of creating an affinity group for students of Color who all share a similar racial identity and they may also include allies.”

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