October 6, 2020

USA: Loudoun County Public Schools District Revised Proposed Speech Policy, Which Would Have PROHIBITED TEACHERS From Criticizing The District's Racial Equity Plan, Following Backlash.

written by Chrissy Clark 
Tuesday October 6, 2020

The Loudoun County Public Schools district will revise a proposed speech policy, which would have prohibited teachers from criticizing the district's racial equity plan, following backlash from the teachers' union and a Washington Free Beacon report.

Leadership from the Loudoun Education Association, the district's largest teachers' union, told the Free Beacon that a school board member plans to take the speech policy off of the upcoming board meeting itinerary, effectively stalling any vote. This change will allow the human resources department to "revise and review" the policy that, as currently written, prohibits employees from criticizing the school district's "commitment to action-oriented equity practices" in all forms of public and personal communication.

Loudoun Education Association president Sandy Sullivan held a meeting with Loudoun County school board administrators and human resources on Monday to discuss the union's concerns about the policy. After the meeting, Sullivan said the policy's planned implementation appears to be less rigid than what the text of the policy indicates, though she feels strongly that the language should be revised to accurately portray the district's expectations.

"Going through a conversation with [the school board], it sounded like the policy seems not as harsh as it was at first reading," Sullivan said. "It needs to be clear that people shouldn't have to ask questions to understand what the policy means. Employees should be able to pick up the policy and read it and understand what the expectations are."

Teachers were upset with the policy proposal, which prompted immediate concerns from the union. Sullivan told the Free Beacon she wanted "to make sure employees can speak freely without repercussions," which is not what the policy in its current form permits.

Following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, approximately 4,500 classrooms across the country are teaching some form of critical race theory or the New York Times‘s 1619 Project, both of which present the American founding as intrinsically racist. If the proposed speech code is passed, Loudoun County would be one of the first school districts nationwide to codify critical theory into public policy, rather than just incorporating it into teaching materials.

Parents are also speaking out against the new policy proposals. A group called Parents Against Critical Theory (PACT) created a website that highlights the Free Beacon‘s reporting on the school district's $422,500 equity training spending haul and its collaboration with the Southern Poverty Law Center to create a "social justice" curriculum and "Comprehensive Equity Plan."

Scott Mineo, who runs the PACT website, told the Free Beacon that parents are worried that even if the policy is altered or voted down, it won't be enough to deter "radical" administrators. "The board and the superintendent have already passed this ‘Comprehensive Racial Equity' plan unanimously. Even if this proposal to punish teachers fails, I don't think for a minute that they don't have something else radical and unconstitutional up their sleeves," Mineo said.

According to City Journal writer Christopher Rufo, an elite law firm has said that it will represent teachers who want to fight the policy in the event it does pass. Rufo said the law firm has spoken with potential plaintiffs but told the Free Beacon that there are no new updates at this time.
written by Christopher F. Rufo
Sunday October 4, 2020

Trump is right. Training sessions for government employees amounted to political indoctrination.

Moderator Chris Wallace asked President Trump during last week’s debate why he “directed federal agencies to end racial-sensitivity training that addresses white privilege or critical race theory.” Mr. Trump answered: “I ended it because it’s racist.” Participants “were asked to do things that were absolutely insane,” he explained. “They were teaching people to hate our country.”

“Nobody’s doing that,” Joe Biden replied. He’s wrong.

My reporting on critical race theory in the federal government was the impetus for the president’s executive order, so I can say with confidence that these training sessions had nothing to do with developing “racial sensitivity.” As I document in detailed reports for City Journal and the New York Post, critical race theory training sessions in public agencies have pushed a deeply ideological agenda that includes reducing people to a racial essence, segregating them, and judging them by their group identity rather than individual character, behavior and merit.

The examples are instructive. At a series of events at the Treasury Department and federal financial agencies, diversity trainer Howard Rosstaught employees that America was “built on the backs of people who were enslaved” and that all white Americans are complicit in a system of white supremacy “by automatic response to the ways we’re taught.”

In accompanying documents, Mr. Ross argues that whites share an inborn oppressive streak. “Whiteness,” employees are told, “includes white privilege and white supremacy.” Consequently, whites “struggle to own their racism.” He instructs managers to conduct “listening sessions” in which black employees can speak about their experience and be “seen in their pain,” while white employees are instructed to “sit in the discomfort” and not “fill the silence with your own thoughts and feelings.” Members of “the group you’re allying with,” Mr. Ross says, are not “obligated to like you, thank you, feel sorry for you, or forgive you.” For training like this, Mr. Ross and his firm have been paid $5 million over 15 years, according to federal disclosures.

At the Sandia National Laboratories, which develops technology for America’s nuclear arsenal, executives held a racially segregated training session for white male employees. The three-day event, which was led by a company called White Men as Full Diversity Partners, set the goal of examining “white male culture” and making the employees take responsibility for their “white privilege,” “male privilege” and “heterosexual privilege.” In one of the opening exercises, the instructors wrote on a whiteboard that “white male culture” can be associated with “white supremacists,” “KKK,” “Aryan Nation,” “MAGA hat” and “mass killings.” On the final day, the trainers asked employees to write letters to women and people of color. One participant apologized for his privilege and another pledged to “be a better ally.”

At the Department of Homeland Security, diversity trainers held a session on “microaggressions,” based on the work of psychologist Derald Sue. In his academic work, Mr. Sue argues that white Americans have been “fed a racial curriculum based on falsehoods, unwarranted fears, and the belief in their own superiority,” and thus have been “socialized into oppressor roles.” Trainers taught Homeland Security employees that the “myth of meritocracy” and “color blindness” is a foundation of racist microaggressions and “microinequities.” The trainers insisted that statements such as “America is the land of opportunity,” “Everybody can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough,” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” are racist and harmful—merely code for “People of color are lazy and/or incompetent and need to work harder.” If a white employee disagrees, his point of view is dismissed as a “denial of individual racism”—another type of microaggression.

To any fair-minded observer, these are not “racial sensitivity trainings,” as Mr. Wallace described them at the debate. They are political indoctrination sessions. While this misrepresentation is a disappointment, it isn’t a surprise. Progressive activists and their media enablers routinely manipulate words to conceal the truth: Violent riots have become “mostly peaceful protests” and “defund the police” has become “reimagine public safety.” If Mr. Trump and the Republicans want to win the election, they must quickly break through this blockade of euphemisms and educate American voters about the facts. When the debate shifts from generalizations to specifics, progressives will find themselves defending the indefensible.

Mr. Rufo is director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth and Poverty.

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