Wealthy Virginia County Is Ground Zero for Critical Race Theory Ed. Debate (Rawf88 | Dreamstime.com)
By Charles Kim | Wednesday, 12 May 2021 09:33 PM
America’s wealthiest county, Loudon, Va., has become the flashpoint for a debate on teaching Critical Race Theory in public schools.
A group of parents is challenging the idea of teaching the controversial curriculum in the Loudon County School District, according to reporting from the Daily Mail.
The group, named “Fight for Schools,” said the district and its Board of Education should be focused on fixing bigger issues than implementing Critical Race Theory concepts.
According to the Britannica website, Critical Race Theory is an “intellectual movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of color.”
Those believing in the theory say legal and other institutions are inherently racist and function to “create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites.”
The parent group said it believes “these changes are implemented in two ways. At the system level, merit-based achievement and admissions are being stifled to bring high achieving students back to the pack in the name of ‘equity.’”
The group launched a video on Twitter this week criticizing the district and six of its board members for not standing up to the practice, calling for their recall from office.
While the district has not “officially made it compulsory to use CRT in its classrooms, it has pledged to push for 'equity' and have started using many CRT 'buzzwords and concepts.’” The Daily Mail reported.
During a recent board meeting several parents spoke out against Critical Race Theory.
“CRT is not an honest dialogue,” one black parent told the board in the article. “It was a tactic used by Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan on slavery very many years ago to dumb down my ancestors so we could not think for ourselves.”
Another parent said the district was becoming “ground zero” in the national debate on the theory.
“Every single one of these parents would step in front of a train for their kids, and they will step in front of you too,” he said in the article. “This is the fight of our lives. We are going to go the distance, and at the end of the day, we are going to win.”
The 2020 U.S. Census reports a total county population of 413,538 with an ethnic breakdown of 67 percent white, 20 percent Asian, almost 14 percent Hispanic and eight percent African American.
The median income is $142,299 with a median home value of $508,000, according to the data.
U.S. News and World Report ranked the 516-square-mile county as the wealthiest in America in 2020.
According to the district there are 95 schools with a total enrollment of 81,704 K-12 students, 12,382 employees and a 94.7 percent graduation rate.