A Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) teacher in Virginia resigned in front of the school board Tuesday, saying that she refused to “be a cog in a machine” that forces her to transmit their “highly politicized agendas” to children.
“Within the last year, I was told, in one of my so-called equity trainings, that white, Christian, able-bodied females currently have the power in our schools and that ‘this has to change,'” said the elementary school teacher Laura Morris during the public comment portion of the board meeting.
Loudoun County, Virginia, has become a national focal point for the debate about teaching the divisive critical race theory in schools.
“Clearly, you’ve made your point. You no longer value me or many other teachers you’ve employed in this county. So, since my contract outlines the power that you have over my employment in Loudoun County Public Schools, I thought it necessary to resign in front of you,” said the 5th-grade teacher.
“School board, I quit,” she said. “I quit your policies, I quit your training, and I quit being a cog in a machine that tells me to push highly politicized agendas on our most vulnerable constituents—the children,” Morris added.
In June, Loudoun County schools’ superintendent told Fox News, “Critical race theory is not something that is relatable on the K–12 level. It’s not taught in our school.”
Monica Gill, an LCPS AP Government and U.S. History teacher of 25 years, said the district may say they don’t use critical race theory, but Ibram Kendi’s books are required reading for some of the county’s teachers. Gill said the board needs to embrace Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of unity and love, not Kendi’s message of division and discrimination.
Kendi is an author, professor, and anti-racism activist whose work informs critical race theory and who has called for dismantling racist systems in America.
“I have never been afraid to deal with issues of racism or injustice in our history, not once. It gives me the opportunity to point to America’s moral compass, which we have used time and time again to right those wrongs,” said Gill. “So, it is not that teachers like myself—and there are more of us than you think—or the parents who stand behind me don’t want to teach about racism. It’s that we don’t want our kids taught through this distorted lens of race.”
LCPS’ Superintendent Scott A. Ziegler on March 19 issued a statement to defend his district against claims that they were using the debated critical race theory curriculum and “to clarify many of the misperceptions being reported by certain media outlets and social media.”
“In explaining LCPS’ equity priorities, it might be helpful to state what they are not. They are not an effort to indoctrinate students and staff into a particular philosophy or theory. What they are is an effort to provide a welcoming, inclusive, affirming environment for all students,” he wrote.
Morris also alleged that the county told her not to express opposing views.
“Concepts such as white supremacy and systemic racism are discussed during professional development. LCPS has not adopted Critical Race Theory as a framework for staff to adhere to. Social media rumors that staff members have been disciplined or fired for not adhering to the tenets of Critical Race Theory or for refusing to teach this theory are not true,” Ziegler wrote.