Local activists spoke at a Christian education rally in Leesburg on Tuesday hosted by the Herzog Foundation in support of private schools and attended by School Board member John Beatty (Catoctin).
The Herzog Foundation is a Missouri-based group that promotes Christian K-12 education nationwide. Roughly two dozen people attended the Birkby House meeting.
Erin Poe, Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club president, discussed her experience that led to her forming the group Army of Parents alongside Equity Committee member Elicia Brand.
She said that distance learning during the pandemic unveiled corruption in the school system.
“In one breath, our children are being told that being a Christian, white, male, heterosexual, coming from a home with two parents, even being thin, means you’re privileged. And then the next breath they’re being told children are to keep secrets from their parents,” Poe said. “We are dealing with concepts that do not align with our core values.”
The school division’s Policy 8040, Protections for Transgender Students, permits students to identify with a gender different from their biological sex without informing their parents. The provision of confidentiality was said by policymakers to protect transgender students from families spurning their identities, and has become a point of contention among school division critics.
Brand told the crowd that she decided to take her children out of the public schools.
“I gave Loudoun County Public Schools a chance, and they failed our children. They do not share our values, they do not educate our children, so that they can have the American dream,” Brand said.
Brandon Michon, a 10th District Congressional candidate and a father who went viral online for his rant against the School Board, pointed to what he sees as shortcomings of public education.
“The biggest equalizer of all education is literacy. It pulls up every social economic bracket. Every single one of them,” he said. “Second, financial literacy. … We need to be talking to our children today about the realities of life and managing money, and the realities that they are going to bear if they go into secondary education.”
Ian Prior, executive director of Fight for Schools, the group leading the effort to remove School Board members, said that the school division hasn’t made amends for shortcomings over the past two years.
“We have the most dedicated, tenacious parents in the country here in Loudoun County,” Prior said. “So, we have become a symbol to the entire country on what they can do to protect their children, to ensure educational excellence for their children.”