Racial discrimination complaints lead to investigation of Loudoun Co. Public Schools

Loudoun County Public Schools is being investigated by the Virginia Office of the Attorney General, following accusations of discrimination against black students.

“It’s progress because somebody is finally looking into our concerns,” said Loudoun NAACP president Pastor Michelle Thomas at a Tuesday evening press conference in Ashburn.

The Loudoun NAACP and the school system were notified of the investigation last month by letter, and the letter to the school district asked for additional information and interviews.

The school system was initially given 30 days to respond, but it requested and was granted extra time. The new deadline is Dec. 11.

Some complaints against the school system involve the number of black students admitted to the Academies of Loudoun, while others involve racial incidents reported in schools.

“My child just yesterday had an unfortunate racial incident where a young man put [pencil] lead on his finger and said to my daughter, ‘I’m black now and so I can use the N-word.’ And he began to repeat the N-word over and over and over again,” Thomas said.

“That incident must be recorded, and so I did my due diligence and I recorded the incident and I am working with the school principal at Belmont Ridge Middle School to think about solutions that are more comprehensive than punitive.”

Thomas said they want to hear from any parent who believes their child has been discriminated against for any reason, racial or otherwise.

“It’s going to require that every time … a case comes up, that you were brave enough to report it, because LCPS cannot fix what they don’t know about, and the Attorney General cannot provide oversight to what is not seen,” she said.

The group is asking parents to email their complaints to education@naacploudoun.org.

“All complaints, all information, will be held in the strictest confidence. We’re not here to expose anyone, or even LCPS. We’re here to dismantle systemic racism,” said Thomas.

The school district released the following statement Tuesday:

“Loudoun County Public Schools is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, equitable, respectful and supportive learning environment for every student.

LCPS is cooperating fully with an investigation by the Virginia Attorney General’s Office into allegations some students were denied equal opportunities to participate in the Academies of Loudoun, and LCPS’ actions in response to an equity assessment that was commissioned by the Superintendent and published in June.

LCPS has initially provided a partial response to the Attorney General’s comprehensive inquiry, and is developing the remaining information required to provide a complete response.”

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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