A Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) parent discovered that nearly half of their child’s English grade relied on learning social justice material. Students were expected to review news coverage on the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) following the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin, read and write about the Michael Brown-inspired, police violence-centered novel “All American Boys.”
The parent, Matt D., submitted a letter to the LCPS teacher requesting any alternative assignments for their child, and criticizing the material offered to students.
In the letter, Matt addressed how the BLM organization promotes Marxism. He also addressed the faulty narratives promoted by the assigned material in question, pointing out the factual realities behind the deaths of Martin and Brown.
“To normalize or legitimize BLM is, at best, an incomplete narrative absent the underlying facts of BLM-related incidents and responses; at worst, endorsing BLM is the most egregious example of political indoctrination I’ve ever seen here (including the Diverse Reading Library forced into classrooms last year),” wrote Matt. “Why are LCPS teachers assigning objectively false political propaganda as straightforward assignments? Marxism, Communism, and socialism were responsible for 100 million deaths in the 20th century. Please do teach our kids about propaganda and political indoctrination. Don’t ACTUALLY indoctrinate them with objective falsehoods aligned with dangerous ideologies.”
Martin was fatally shot in 2012 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator. Zimmerman had followed Martin, believing that the teenager was planning on robbing houses in the area. Martin assaulted Zimmerman and was shot. In the following years, Zimmerman was cleared of all murder charges. Even the Barack Obama-era Department of Justice closed their investigation in 2015, after determining there was “insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that the incident violated any federal criminal civil rights statutes.
According to the Department of Justice report, Brown was fatally shot by police after assaulting an officer and subsequently charging to attack again. The officer never shot Brown in the back. Prior to the altercation, Brown had stolen cigarillos from a convenience store and assaulted the owner. The officer in question was cleared of all charges.
Matt said in an interview with The Virginia Star that the principal responded to the letter by arranging a meeting. However, he shared that his concerns over the content weren’t discussed.
“After a few days, the principal got back to me. We met with the teacher, the head of the department, the vice principal in a 15 minute Google Meet. 9 of those minutes were the vice principal talking about the assignment itself, and how I wasn’t the only parent having issue with the book being assigned,” Matt said. “He told me that, in the future if there’s a desire to do an alternative assignment, we could. Just administrative-type things. Nowhere during that 15 minute meeting were any of my specific objections on the material addressed. The teacher was mostly silent, except one or two times to confirm things about alternative assignments. And, the department head was silent.”
Matt shared that he was disappointed with LCPS lack of communication on his greater concerns about the material.
He said, “I wanted to ask this of the teacher: if you had already had an alternative assignment that was just as good, why did you specifically opt for this Marxist-based, controversial assignment, knowing that people [parents] might object?”
LCPS has made headlines for its initial plans to bar White students from the Equity Ambassador Program, alleged civil rights violations outlined in a lawsuit submitted by parents, inclusion of controversial educational material from social justice organizations, and initial plans to limit their staff’s free speech outside of work.
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