Loudoun County schools officials try to ‘set record straight’ on equity plan

After facing heated criticism and accusations that the Loudoun County Public Schools system was teaching critical race theory, administrators are looking to set the record straight.

Very tight security surrounded a Tuesday night meeting – including bomb sniffing dogs and police. According to the district, threats of violence have been leveled at officials and even some parents.

READ MORE: Debate over critical race theory boiling over in Loudoun County school district

On Tuesday, Superintendent Scott Zeigler and other district leaders met to clearly lay out their Comprehensive Equity Plan.

The plan was approved by the school board last year.

But more recently, nationwide buzz around the concept of critical race theory has put the plan under scrutiny. 

The tone among parent Facebook groups has become heated – and threats have been made – leading some to fear for their safety.

READ MORE: Conservative organization representing teacher sues Loudoun County schools over suspension

There has also been a move to recall some of the school board members. 

On Tuesday night, the superintendent and the equity director said the plan is being misrepresented and misinterpreted, and they that stressed critical race theory — a set of academic ideas that laws and institutions are inherently racist – is "not" being taught to students in Loudoun county. 

The plan looks to tackle disparities in graduation rates and detentions. 
It includes staff designated as equity leads in each school and equity student ambassadors. 

About 20 people attended in person, and many were asking where were all of those who have been contributing to the headlines.

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Kristin Jones who has two children attending public schools said, "I just wanted to come out And see what all the fuss is about. You know it sounds so scary what everybody saying online. I work for a big company and we have diversity inclusion training and this is the same stuff we’re all talking about so it’s not scary."

Supporters point to findings by the attorney general in November that the students in Loudoun County were experiencing racial and cultural insensitivity. 

They say staff wasn’t trained on how to handle it. In the past 25 years, the percentage of white students in the district has been cut in half from about 80% to about 40%. So focusing on equity is necessary to make sure all students needs are met.