Loudoun school board chair on NBC: Critical race theory ‘not being taught’

Loudoun County, Virginia, schools were in the national spotlight Sunday morning, and it all concerned critical race theory.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Loudoun County Public Schools board chair Brenda Sheridan said that they are not teaching it in schools.

“It’s not in our curriculum, because it would be inappropriate,” Sheridan said.

She added that critical race theory — which is an academic framework that examines how systemic racism is ingrained in the nation’s history — is not age-appropriate for LCPS students.

“It is a graduate-level theory, and it would be inappropriate if a fifth-grader was doing that,” Sheridan said.

But some parents insist that critical race theory is in fact being taught.

The group Parents Against Critical Race Theory contends that it is being forced onto students, parents and teachers and creating racial issues.

“CRT is not a subject or classroom book; it’s a framework,” said Scott Mineo, a member of the group.

“A framework by itself is not useful,” he said. “It’s the tenets of CRT that contain political ideologically, race-based and psychologically manipulated curriculum.”

Sheridan disagreed, saying that they’re teaching equality-based initiatives and not CRT.

“What we’re really teaching students is compassion and empathy for the other students’ experiences. It can’t be objective, because we’re experiencing it,” Sheridan said.

Mineo responded to Sheridan on Sunday, saying, “How can Sheridan or anyone else justify teaching our kids anything other than objectivity?”

He said that in addition to calling out LCPS, his group has “also been very vocal to Governor-elect [Glenn] Youngkin” and his promise to ban the theory.

“Promising to ‘ban CRT’ is empty unless he is willing to publicly state that he will also ban the tenets of CRT, as CRT is only a framework, and the tenets are what is actually destroying our education and in some cases costing lives and compromising student safety.”

Sheridan said that the controversy about the curriculum stemmed from the start of the pandemic.

“It stirred from parents who were very legitimately concerned about schools being closed,” Sheridan said.

“So you had angry parents who I absolutely empathize with, and we wanted to help, and we took their kids out of school because we had to. And then we had a group of angry parents, and then someone lit the fire with critical race theory.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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