Loudoun County Parents Rally Against ‘American Marxism’

By Terri Wu
Terri Wu
Terri Wu
Terri Wu is a Washington-based freelance reporter for The Epoch Times covering education and China-related issues. Send tips to terri.wu@epochtimes.com.
September 14, 2022 Updated: September 14, 2022

ASHBURN, Va.—Over 100 parents and residents joined a rally organized by the Army of Parents, a parental rights advocacy group, outside a county school board meeting on Tuesday. Speakers criticized the county school board for promoting “American Marxism”: critical race theory (CRT)—a quasi-Marxism framework that views America as systematically racist, a pro-transgender policy not to disclose a student’s gender identity and transgender status to parents, and obscene books in school libraries.

In 2021, such rallies were regular events in Loudoun County. The county in northern Virginia, about 30 miles from Washington D.C., is known as the “ground zero” of the parental rights fight in America and one of the leading factors that helped Glenn Youngkin to win the Virginia gubernatorial election in November 2021. Since then, parents have taken a break and are now back.

A small opposition group of about 20 also rallied outside the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) administration building in Ashburn, Virginia, to support the board’s policies and practices.

Epoch Times Photo
Julie Levin (R), an attorney with conservative legal group America First Legal Foundation, with Elicia Brand, president of the Army of Parents, a parental rights advocacy group, at a rally in Ashburn, Va., on Sept. 13, 2022. (Terri Wu/The Epoch Times)

‘American Marxism’

Julie Levin, an attorney with conservative legal group America First Legal Foundation, told The Epoch Times that “American Marxism”—the title of her husband Mark Levin’s recent book—summarizes “what’s happening now in schools across America, in various forms, various ideologies.”

“Critical race theory (CRT) is a perfect example of American Marxism, and it must, must, must be eliminated from school,” she said. According to her, the Left has taken over colleges and universities and is looking to do the same in schools K through 12.

“If we are to keep the United States of America with the founding principles upon which this country was created, then we need to get back to [our] first principles, we need to walk away from all these ideologies, and we—the parents of not just Loudoun County—but all across the United States, need to take back our schools,” she added.

At the rally, she donated her late father-in-law’s and husband’s books to “the Return to Literacy Book Drive,” a campaign the Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club (LCRWC) launched to donate classic books to LCPS. LCRWC president Erin Roselle-Poe announced at the event that her organization had collected over 1,600 books for the drive.

Levin is also on Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s commission to combat antisemitism he established via Executive Order Number Eight (pdf) on his first day of office in January 2022.

John Amanchukwu, author of a forthcoming book “Eraced: Uncovering the Lies of Critical Race Theory and Abortion,” told The Epoch Times that he started to work on exposing the racism behind CRT during the summer of 2021. At an abortion clinic in the southeast, a black man in a Black Lives Matter T-shirt asked him, “Why are you out here fighting a white man’s issue?”

On that Saturday morning, most people protesting outside the abortion clinic were white, yet most of the women getting an abortion there were black, according to Amanchukwu. He said the questioner might not know CRT’s definition, but he was a “walking poster child for all things CRT because, in CRT, they see people as groups and not individuals; they also see racism in all instances and at all times.”

“I believe that racism is not a skin tone or a color. But racism is a sin. People choose to be racist,” he added.

LCPS has repeatedly denied teaching CRT in its schools. Yet parents argued that CRT is not a course but a thought framework embedded in teachers’ training and school policies on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Epoch Times Photo
Suzanne Satterfield, vice president of the Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club and a county resident whose son graduated from Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), brought sunflowers to the LCPS superintendent and school board members at a board meeting in Ashburn, Va., on Sept. 13, 2022. The sunflower was to remind them of an ex-transgender teen’s story and the potential consequence of their policy that permits non-disclosure of transgender status to parents. (Terri Wu/The Epoch Times)

Transgender Status Without Parental Consent

Sept. 13 marks the first anniversary of LCPS’s adoption of a pro-transgender regulation, in which staff members are required not to disclose a student’s gender identity or transgender status to parents. The rule also states, “A student’s gender identity or transgender status should not be shared without the student’s consent.”

Suzanne Satterfield, vice president of LCRWC and a county resident whose son graduated from LCPS, commented about the regulation at the school board meeting.

“LCPS waited over 30 days to add the regulation, which kept the public from reviewing and commenting on it before it could be put into place,” she said the regulation was “slipped in.”

The underlying policy 8040 (pdf)—“Rights of Transgender and Gender-Expansive Students”—was commented on, discussed, voted on, and adopted on Aug. 11, 2021. Yet the part about not sharing a student’s transgender status in the regulation was not.

“LCPS has broken their own inclusive rule by protecting the rights of one student over the others,” Satterfield said at the school board meeting. “They stripped parents of their rights to make decisions about their children’s well-being. Children have been taught not to trust adults that tell them to keep secrets from their parents. LCPS has broken that rule and potentially put children in harm’s way.”

Before her speech, she gave the board 12 print copies of an ex-transgender teen’s story and 12 sunflowers. She felt the sunflower represents the story of children who were irresponsibly rushed into gender transition because The Epoch Times report features pictures of teenage girl Chloe Cole in a sunflower dress. She wanted the superintendent and school board members to keep Cole in mind when they think of adopting such policies.

“I thought given the article and the flower, they have to take a step to touch it and think about it,” Satterfield told The Epoch Times. “I wanted to give a symbolic message and reminder to them that [Chloe Cole] is real. This is real.”

In an email to The Epoch Times, Wayde Byard, LCPS Public Information Officer, denied that LCPS had put anything in Policy 8040. He said the policy was approved upon a vote in an open session on Aug. 11, 2021, after “extensive public comment.”

However, he didn’t respond to the question about the additional parts—non-disclosure to parents about a student’s gender identity or transgender status—in the regulation. The Epoch Times didn’t find any public discussion records on the non-disclosure part between Aug. 11 and Sept. 13, when the regulation was adopted.

Terri Wu
Terri Wu is a Washington-based freelance reporter for The Epoch Times covering education and China-related issues. Send tips to terri.wu@epochtimes.com.