Editor: I am writing as a lifelong Loudoun County resident, who has been a teacher for 11 years and now has a child in Loudoun County Public Schools, in support of School Board members Brenda Sheridan and Atoosa Reaser.
To say that I have been dismayed and outraged at the ongoing efforts, by a small group of fear-mongering parents, to remove dedicated public servants like Ms. Sheridan and Ms. Reaser from the school board would be an understatement.
As a teacher, we look to the members of the School Board and community for support, especially during trying and challenging times like we are currently experiencing. But the only thing these ill-informed parents are doing is making our job infinitely more frustrating.
I am tired of explaining how ignorant the attack on CRT in LCPS is. It is so absurd and unfounded because it does not exist in current public-school curricula. Let me reiterate: CRT cannot be banned in LCPS because it does not exist.
As a high school English teacher, do we teach texts by diverse authors to reach our diverse student population? Yes. That is not CRT.
Do history teachers teach the facts of history, even the harsh realities of this nation like slavery, the Trail of Tears, Japanese Internment, and Jim Crow? Yes. That is not CRT.
Do we, as a school system, try to promote equity, inclusivity, and a safe space for all of our students? Yes. That is not CRT. That is just being decent human beings looking out for the best interest of all of our students.
The Fight for Schools group is not, in fact, fighting for our schools. They are fighting to hold on to their own privileged idea of this country that does not exist for all, and never has. If history has taught us anything, it is that when desperate people in a place of privilege and power see the world changing, fearing that equality for others means less for them (it doesn’t; it’s not pie), they go to extreme lengths to hold on to it.
That is why members and supporters of Fight for Schools, which number only a small percentage of the LCPS community, resort to underhanded tactics, try to take books out of classrooms, ban something that doesn’t exist, and aim violent threats at members of the school board and LCPS staff.
And my last point, one I speak to most often in my classroom, is with all of this yelling from parents, have you actually talked to the students of LCPS? Because I have. I do it every day. And guess what, students come to school aware of inequities and injustices in our nation, never having heard the concept of CRT. They see it, they read about it, and some of them have experienced it. The classroom gives them a safe space to explore, discover, and discuss these realities, hopefully finding solutions, which is the aim of education.
I thank Brenda Sheridan and Atoosa Reaser for supporting teachers and students, knowing that we are professionals and always have the best interest of our students at heart.
And, I encourage the members of Fight for Schools to first understand what happens in classrooms across the county before grabbing their pitchforks and lighting their tiki torches.
Jessica Berg, Leesburg