A Virginia school district has spent more than $34,000 on Critical Race Theory coaching for its staff despite insisting it has no plans to teach the curriculum to students, according to newly-released documents.
An invoice, obtained by a parent through a freedom of information request and first reported by Fox News, reveals Loudoun County School Public Schools paid out $34,167 to equity consulting firm The Equity Collaborative in June 2020.
The payment was for coaching between the months of May and June that year, including 25 hours worth of coaching support for the county’s director of equity which alone cost more than $15,000.
The newly-obtained documents also include some of the coaching material used in the sessions such as a ‘motivational framework for culturally responsive teaching’ which critics point out focuses only on African American and Latino students and excludes children of all other ethnicities.
The revelation comes as Loudoun County has found itself at the center of controversy in recent months, with parents in what is America’s wealthiest suburb going to war with the school boars over its anti-racist curriculum.
A Virginia school district has spent more than $34,000 on Critical Race Theory coaching for its staff despite insisting it has no plans to teach the curriculum to students. An invoice obtained by a parent through a freedom of information request above
The District Administrative Offices for Loudoun County Public Schools which paid out $34,167 to equity consulting firm The Equity Collaborative in June 2020
One parent with children in the district told Fox the documents show ‘assumptions about everybody and their life situation [are] based on race’.
Ian Prior, who is also executive director of Fight For Schools – a group of Loudoun County parents campaigning to recall six out of nine of the school board, highlighted several points.
One of the documents, titled ‘Equity, race and learning support: What is cultural competence?’, focuses on coaching the staff to be ‘culturally competent.’
‘The culturally competent professional acknowledges and is aware of his or her own racist, sexist, heterosexist, or other detrimental attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and feelings,’ it reads.
The document also lists ways to combat racism with examples including: ‘educate co-workers and close friends about racism and act as a role model, take risks and question the White power structure.’
‘Engage in conversations around race and social justice issues with your students and colleagues,’ one of the other points reads.
One of the documents, titled ‘Equity, race and learning support: What is cultural competence?’, focuses on coaching the staff to be ‘culturally competent’ (pictured)
In the framework, Prior highlighted a section on ‘establishing inclusion’ and ‘developing a positive attitude’ focusing on the inclusion of African American and Latino students.
Another parent Shawntel Cooper told Fox ‘every culture is excluded except for Black Americans and Latino Americans.’
The framework also features a table comparing ‘White Individualism’ with ‘Color Group Collectivism.’
‘Fostering independence and individual achievement, promotes self-expression, individual thinking, personal choice and associated with private property’ all fall under the White Individualism side.
This compares to ‘fostering interdependence and group success, promotes adherence to norms, respect for authority, group consensus and is associated with shared property’ on the Color Group Collectivism side.
There is also a ‘motivational framework for culturally responsive teaching’ which critics point out focuses only on African American and Latino students and excludes children of all other ethnicities (above)
Cooper, who is African American, said this table ‘really bugged me.’
‘Under ‘White Individualism,’ there is an emphasis on white individuals that all they do is think about themselves, or the ‘Color Group Collectivism,’ it emphasized that they’re just worried about the other person or how their needs affect others…they’re placing the child in a category,’ she said, adding that she does not relate to the points made in the ‘Color Group Collectivism’ side.
She argued that teaching CRT is like teaching racism ‘with more racism’ and questioned why the district was spending thousands on such coaching of staff if it is not being rolled out among students.
‘We have to continue to ask ourselves, why are they pushing this?’ she said.
‘Why are they teaching the teachers critical race theory?’
A spokesperson for Loudoun County told Fox it does not have CRT on its curriculum nor does it have plans to introduce it.
Wayde Bayard said the district studies ”many different schools of thought and philosophies so that you have an understanding of the world.’
Parents attend a packed Loudoun County School board meeting in June which descended into chaos
Parents protest against anti-racist teachings in the school district while officials insist CRT is not on the curriculum
Two people were arrested during a school board meeting that descended into chaos
A man is detained after a fight broke out during a Loudoun County School Board meeting
CRITICAL RACE THEORY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The fight over critical race theory in schools has escalated in the United States over the last year.
The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.
The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.
Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.
The documents were part of training on various schools of thought involved in equity work, he added.
Loudoun County Public Schools has entered the national spotlight in recent months amid the ongoing drama surrounding CRT.
Just last week, two people were arrested during a school board meeting that descended into chaos amid debates over CRT teachings and a new transgender policy.
One man was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and another was cited for trespassing following the chaotic meeting.
More than 259 people had signed up to publicly speak at the meeting where parents and the board were discussing a new transgender policy and CRT.
The debates became heated with the two men refusing to leave the building and other protesting parents chanting ‘shame on you’ to the board.
Parents are demanding the removal of several members of the school district board while school officials insist that CRT is not on the curriculum pointing to ‘misconceptions and misinformation’ in the media.
Critical Race Theory highlights how historical inequities and racism continue to shape public policy and social conditions today.
It has become a key focus on the curriculum of schools over the last year amid the nationwide reckoning for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd.
But it has starkly divided opinion.
Conservatives allege that students are being taught a warped version of American history that claims the impact of slavery remains present throughout society.
Critics say the teachings reduce people to ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on skin color.
But supporters say it is vital to understand how race impacts society in order to eliminate racism.
A map shows Loudoun County in Virginia which is known to be America’s wealthiest suburb