Loudoun Co. superintendent, NAACP address school’s black history exercise

WASHINGTON — A Black History exercise at a Loudoun County Elementary School has led the superintendent to issue a statement addressing the incident that left many parents upset.

Earlier this month, students at Madison’s Trust Elementary School were asked to make their way through an obstacle course, meant to portray the underground railroad.

“We acknowledge that this incident at Madison’s Trust is a symptom of a broader issue,” Superintendent Eric Williams said in a statement. “The diversity in Loudoun County is one of our greatest strengths, but Loudoun County is also a place where equity has proved a challenge for many decades …”

Williams also laid out plans to implement solutions, including implicit bias training for teachers and a group focused on addressing equity in education.

Pastor Michelle Thomas, president of the Loudoun County NAACP branch, says equity has been an ongoing problem within the school district. Her organization had been working with school officials before this incident to mitigate similar issues and push for more training when it comes to equity within the school system.

“My response was not one of shock and horror, it was just ‘not again’,” said Thomas.

She says while the school district has been quick to engage community leaders and address the incident, it should’ve never happened. “Nothing is going to change until the culture changes,” she added.

The Loudoun County NAACP will hold a community meeting Feb. 26 at 6:20 p.m. to discuss how the school district can tackle issues of racism and a path forward before presenting their concerns during the school board meeting.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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