- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Parents in Loudoun County, Virginia, have launched a petition campaign to recall school board members whom they say are “infecting” schools with critical race theory.

The petition campaign, which began last week, is sponsored by the Fight for Schools political action committee, which a county parent created in April.

The PAC’s website states that on May 8 “well over a thousand” residents signed the recall petition and that they will continue to seek the required 17,390 total signatures to oust six of the school board’s nine members over the next several months.

Fight for Schools on Tuesday posted its first video advertisement, which lasts just over 90 seconds.

“For over a year, Loudoun County children and parents have struggled with school closures and distance learning, but the Loudoun County School Board put their focus elsewhere: infecting our schools with critical race theory, training teachers that Christians are oppressors and teaching children about their white privilege and white fragility,” the video states.

The parents say they have been attending school board meetings for months to express their concerns.

The PAC is led by media executive Ian Prior, who previously worked for the Department of Justice under former President Donald Trump and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Most critical race theory (CRT) “scholarship attempts to demonstrate not only how racism continues to be a pervasive component throughout dominant society, but also why this persistent racism problematically denies individuals many of the constitutional freedoms they are otherwise promised in the United States’ governing documents,” according to Purdue University.

The Loudoun County Public Schools system has denied that CRT is part of teacher training and curriculum, The Loudoun Times-Mirror reported last month.

The Washington Times has reached out to the school board for comment.

Loudoun County has more than 413,000 residents and is one of the most populous jurisdictions in Virginia, according to Census Bureau data.

Critical race theory has sparked heated debate — and opposition — across the country amid calls for racial and social justice, with conservatives generally rejecting its claims of systemic racism in government, society and culture.

On Wednesday, Republican lawmakers in North Carolina’s House of Representatives approved a measure to bar public schools from teaching some ideas that take a critical approach on the impact of race and racism in American politics, culture and law.

In a 65-48 vote, the bill passed out of the House and advanced to the Senate. However, Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, would have to sign the bill for it to become law.

The bill targets seven specific ideas that teachers could discuss only if they clarify that the school does not endorse them. One idea proffers that people should feel guilty due to their sex or race — or that those two traits make them inherently or unconsciously racist, sexist or oppressive.

“This bill does not change what history can or cannot be taught,” said state Rep. John Torbett, Gaston County Republican. “It simply prevents schools from teaching discriminatory concepts.”

Meanwhile, the Tennessee General Assembly this month approved a ban on critical race theory in K-12 public and charter schools; Republican Gov. Bill Lee is expected to sign the bill.

Similar legislation already has been enacted this year in Arkansas, Idaho and Oklahoma.

⦁ James Varney contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.

• Emily Zantow can be reached at ezantow@washingtontimes.com.

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