A northern Virginia educator and Right Side Broadcasting Network reporter attracted attention this week after blasting the Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) Board during a public comments period on Tuesday.
“I’m a teacher speaking on behalf of every fed-up teacher in this nation,” Lilit Vanetsyan said. “This school district continues to show up on national news and it is absolutely embarrassing to see what once used to be the nations’ leading school district has [descended] to.”
She continued, “[The district] continues to force teachers to mandatory training where we are told to examine our Whiteness, our White privilege, White supremacy, microaggressions upon every other thing that is absolutely stupid and racist.”
Vanetsyan’s comments come after LCPS instituted a plan to combat systemic racism that included training for teachers.
“Now this same school district wants to threaten to fire teachers who do not agree with the critical race theory,” Vanetsyan said.
Last fall, a proposed LCPS Professional Code suggested the district could curtail speech, including on social media, that did not align with the district’s goals, including racial equity and eradicating systemic racism. According to reporting by Loudoun Now, after concern over First Amendment violations from educators associations and school staff, school officials said they would revisit the policy; currently a brief 2016 revision of the Professional Code is listed as the current version on the LCPS site.
The district has also been criticized for teaching social justice material to children. Last month, LCPS made national headlines by de-emphasizing Dr. Seuss on Read Across America Day, traditionally held in conjunction with Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
The district has also been the focus of calls to re-open schools. At the meeting 21 public commenters asked the board to expand in-person learning and one commenter spoke about helping students recover academically, according to an official summary. The district is current in a hybrid-learning mode.
Julie Sisson watches the school board and posts detailed updates about the board on her Facebook page. Sisson posted a video of Vanetsyan’s comments. Sisson told The Star that Vanetsyan’s concerns matched what Sisson was hearing from teachers who worked for the district.
“I know my teacher friends have complained about the ‘diversity’ training they have to take. It’s in line with what this lady said,” Sisson said.
Vanetsyan told the board, “You are the face of privilege. You do not speak for us if you do not work with us. If you keep up this racist insanity you will have successfully stripped us of every ounce of love of teaching.”
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