The Loudoun County School Board and administration, and the Board of Supervisors issued “An Apology to the Black Community of Loudoun County,” last month for some of the ways county officials fought against desegregation in the Virginia county in the 1950s and 1960s.
Now, the NAACP Loudoun Branch has authored “Proposed Terms of Conciliation,” that it hopes “works toward moving forward” by “building an institutionalized system equity in a meaningful way that gets to the heart” of addressing systemic racism.
The top proposal in the eight-page document is to eliminate standardized testing to get into Loudoun County’s gifted and talented programs. The group says as a long as a student has a C average, and is on math grade level, a random lottery would aid in “selecting a diverse student body that is reflective of the demographics of the LCPS student population.”
The NAACP supports the creation of a public charter school to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM), “with a focus on African-American studies and eliminating the historical achievement gap experience by Black/African-American students in LCPS.”
The civil rights group is calling on the school system to “eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment in LCPS, including racially motivated incidents occurring in school,” which includes insults, slurs and violent conduct, such as cyberbullying.
To effect that change, the NAACP suggests an online bias reporting system, that would consider confidentiality concerns, safety concerns and student fears of retaliation, while triggering online notification of a parent, principal and the county’s Director of Equity within one hour of the alleged incident.
In addition, the NAACP calls on the school system to eliminate discipline policies and practices that have a disproportionately negative impact on Black/African-American students. It would have the school system review its Black history curriculum, including the history of Loudoun County, in partnership with local academic experts in African-American studies.
The terms recommend racial literacy training for LCPS staff, including bus drivers and cafeteria staff.
Throughout the document, NAACP Loudoun Branch strongly suggested it be included as a stakeholder in developing and implementing the changes, as well as providing resources to LCPS students who have experienced racially motivated wrongdoing.