by Victoria Manning
A Virginia Beach High School government teacher and finalist for teacher of the year recently posted on social media that “capitalism is racist.” An assistant principal in a different Virginia Beach high school advocated teaching critical race theory, sharing an article about the 1619 project. A Virginia Beach high
school history teacher at a different school commented that he teaches critical race theory every year. A downtown instructional specialist in the social studies department promoted on Twitter that we should re-write all social studies curricula to be “social justice oriented,” referencing the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center’s document on the topic. He also stated that all schools should celebrate Black Lives Matter Week (not Black History Month).
Are these views common and accepted practices in Virginia Beach Schools?
In September 2020, the Virginia Beach School Board adopted a controversial equity policy. Dozens of people showed up to the meeting on both sides to speak on the topic. Some called me a racist for not supporting the policy. I had a lot of questions about this five-page document that would mandate staff training and teach students about “culturally responsive practices.” It also set no dollar limit on the superintendent’s spending to implement the policy.
When I asked for details about who would be conducting the training and what curriculum would be used, I was told that it had not yet been decided. I was being asked as an elected official to mandate training that had not yet been created, and I was not provided a cost.
Also, in the meeting, the superintendent referenced the importance of implementing “anti-racist” work. The term “anti-racist” initially sounded positive. We should all be against racism. But then I dove deeper into the topic and found that the term is used by Ibram Kendi. Kendi is an activist and professor whose radical views and definitions of anti-racism are being used in
Virginia Beach Schools and across the nation. He believes that you can’t be “not racist.” If you want to treat everyone equally and with kindness and compassion, that isn’t enough, you are still a racist.
Kendi advocates a constitutional amendment to create a Department of AntiRacism (DOA). Responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies, the DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over policymakers. It sounds totalitarian. Kendi has also said that white people are aliens and “Europeans are simply a different breed of human.”
Why would anyone think this person’s views should be promoted anywhere, especially in schools?
Over 50 elementary teachers in Virginia Beach public schools recently participated in teacher training on the antiracism topic. Kendi’s curriculum was front and center. Teachers were told that white people should admit they are racist and that “of course you are a racist.” Materials told teachers to “get
comfortable with discomfort” and that they should talk about racial issues such as police brutality with students and families. Teachers were further instructed that they should “acknowledge how your appearance… might place you in a privileged position.”
When I brought this training to the attention of the superintendent and school board members, I was shocked with the response. The superintendent and many board members indicated support for the training. They said they want school board members to also be given the training as soon as possible.
Critical Race Theory and the Social Justice movement have become endemic in Virginia Beach schools. The term “culturally responsive practices” is used continuously. I didn’t fully know the meaning of it until I recently discovered teacher training documents that show that critical theory serves as a foundation for culturally responsive practices.
A recent Gifted Resource Social Justice lesson in a VB High school provided instruction on systemic racism, privilege and knowledge and understanding of Black Lives Matter. Students studied the BLM protests and learned to empathize about the cause. The purpose was to develop “a better understanding of
justice.” In an Advanced Placement U.S. History class students were given an assignment on the 1619 project from USA Today. When a student gave an answer that he didn’t believe that there is currently systemic racism only individual racism in our country today, the teacher told him that he was incorrect and deducted points from his grade.
Parents need to know what is being taught to their children at all grade levels. Parents need to fight back. I am a descendent of European Americans who were anabaptists fleeing war and religious persecution, some who became indentured servants when they arrived to America. I also have Native American heritage; however, in today’s society I’m categorized as white due to my skin color and therefore “privileged.” I grew up economically disadvantaged but I have
never played the identity politics game. I believe in hard work, treating others with respect, faith and perseverance.
The people who support this divisive “anti-racist” theory are actually promoting racist practices that seek to divide rather than to unite. Everyone needs to speak up and demand that this radical indoctrination be ceased. The future of our country is dependent upon our whole community fighting back against the Marxist ideology of Critical Race Theory and Social Justice initiatives that are becoming embedded in our schools. The only way to eradicate these racist-Marxist teachings and propaganda is to fight back.
No Left Turn in Education is taking a stand. They have created a petition to rally the community. Please sign the petition and get involved to fight back against this radical indoctrination of our children! If you want teachers to instruct children that capitalism is racist and that white people should admit their privilege and that they are racist, then do nothing.
Victoria Manning serves on the Virginia Beach school board.