by A.L. Schuhart
To Loudon Parents:
Here is the legal strategy to stop Diversity, Equity and Inclusion regimes in your schools.
DEI violates the principle of in loco parentis, which is the legal foundation of public education in Virginia and America. It is by this principle that schools and educators receive their mandates from the citizens of Virginia to teach children. The Supreme Court has consistently affirmed this legal principle since the beginning of public education.
In loco parentis means that the school and the teacher operate as an extension of the parent, and all educators have an ethical and legal responsibility to act as a representative of the parent when the student is in their control. It is thus true that educators cannot teach students those things which parents decide are not their business to teach, such as sexuality, gender, religion, and political orientation. When educators do so despite the parents’ wishes, they violate the principle of in loco parentis.
DEI also violates this principle by treating students unequally in the classroom, and it implements a pedagogy that justifies unequal treatment of students for historical and social reasons. In effect, it punishes and disadvantages some students over others, and takes from some students in order to create more opportunity for others.
Fundamentally, this pedagogy betrays the mandate from the parent, for what parent would sacrifice one child for another, or take from one child to give to another? As well, what did this child do to deserve an unequal educational experience: The answer is of course “nothing.” Instead, the student is being treated unequally for reasons outside of their immediate experience and control.
Further, DEI does this not to create better education for all students, but to correct and alleviate an historical injustice in which the individual student bears no guilt, other than accidentally being a member of a racial stereotype.
Thus, teachers or administrators who willfully violates the rights of the student under the principle of in loco parentis is guilty of a criminal act, for they have deliberately deprived a citizen of the United States of their constitutional rights. They have denied a child an equal opportunity of education, and they have betrayed the trust of the parent, and so broken the mandate by which they claim the authority of the classroom. Further they have used an institution of the state (the education system) for their own political and social purpose. Such an act is a federal crime, and I suggest educators and administrators should, like Trump (supposedly), be held accountable to the law. In general, violating the principle of in loco parentis is a fire-able offense.
So, simply sue the individual teachers and administrators who violate in loco parentis. You won’t have to look hard in Loudon County to find ignorant administrators who don’t even know they are breaking the law. In fact, you won’t have to look hard anywhere in America.
A.L. Schuhart is Professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale. He holds a doctorate in Education and has more than 30 years of classroom experience.