Loudoun County School Board Unplugs the Public

Image credit: legalinsurrection.com

by Kerry Dougherty

Well, THAT wasn’t a good look.

Loudoun County sheriff’s deputies broke up a boisterous school board meeting Tuesday night, handcuffing and arresting one parent just as the assembled crowd finished singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”

This came after the school superintendent abruptly ended a public meeting and declared it an “unlawful assembly.”

Not sure the school chief has that authority. A Virginia judge may ultimately decide.

Let’s back up. Loudoun County parents are in the vanguard of the anti-Critical Race Theory movement in the U.S. They’ve started a recall petition to remove far-left school board members whom they say are bringing CRT into Loudoun teacher training. They are also opposed to a new policy toward transgendered students that is under consideration by the board.

One Loudoun teacher was disciplined recently — and then reinstated by court order — for declaring that he would not address boys who identify as girls with feminine pronouns.

Tanner Cross refused to “affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion.”

Uh-oh. Nothing will get you canceled by the woke crowd quicker than insisting that an XX chromosome makes one female, an XY chromosome makes one male.

Tuesday’s meeting was supposed to be a forum for the public to weigh in. A total of about 259 people had signed up to speak. There were impassioned speeches  on both sides of the issues and the audience periodically reacted with cheers or chants.

But when the crowd applauded loudly at the remarks of retired State Sen. Dick Black, his mic was cut off and the meeting was abruptly adjourned.

“It’s absurd and immoral for teachers to call boys girls and girls boys,” Black had said. “This board has a dark history of suppressing free speech.”

With that, the School Board signaled it had enough of the public. They retreated.

Since the meeting was scheduled to last at least another hour some of those present attempted to deliver their prepared statements anyway.

Deputies who’d been standing by broke up the crowd.

Look, democracy is messy. Elected officials need to steel themselves for dissension from time to time and learn to listen to opposing points of view. Even when those delivering the messages are emotional and the crowd is loud.

These were not insurrectionists filling the school board meeting. They were parents and grandparents who care deeply about Loudoun’s schools and the kids who attend them.

Fact is, many American parents are fed up with public education right now. They watched public school teachers refuse to return to their classrooms for a year for fear of COVID-19, while their counterparts in private schools went to work and kept their students on track.

Maddening.

Adding to the frustration of many parents is an awareness that Critical Race Theory isn’t just an academic exercise. Elements of this controversial philosophy are already included in teacher training in many places including Virginia Beach and Loudoun. Sprinkle in new rules that could have biological boys in the girls’ locker rooms and you’ve got sizzling topics.

Frankly, if the Loudoun County School Board — or any other elected body — isn’t interested in what the people have to say, they should find another line of work.

Stifling speech – -which includes applause and chanting, by the way — is the wrong way to go.

Worse, it shows an appalling lack of respect for the First Amendment.

This column is republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.


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63 responses to “Loudoun County School Board Unplugs the Public”

  1. Matt Adams Avatar
    Matt Adams

    This is moot point, the LCSB stepped in a big pile of poo with Mr. Cross and how they handled him. Instead of heading Judge Plowman’s ruling they are doubling down.

  2. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    I watched a few videos of that meeting. The school board knew at some point things were going to boil over. Discontent has been stewing in Loudoun for a good while. I saw a number of former students and parents that I knew from my time teaching in Loudoun. I saw two deputies I know take a man into custody. I felt bad for them. Out of uniform they would be supporters.

    All of the seats on the school board are up for reelection. In 2023. Nothing is going to change. The board and the incompetent superintendent will continue down their path and disregard the discontent of the public. Elitists think they have some sort of special super enlightened power.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      This is where Democrats will learn the rule about unintended consequences, because those will be November elections (if not so already.) Bigger turnout. Voting some of them off is the proper response. The transgender policy they are following is Straight Outta Richmond and that could be an issue at the statewide level and corrected by the next Governor.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        That only works in a State where Republicans haven’t stupidly suppressed the vote.

      2. LarrytheG Avatar
        LarrytheG

        Somewhere in the middle of this mess, there may be some folks underestimating how many voters SUPPORT the School Board. We’ll see come November.

        1. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          I don’t think you’re going to find them in Loudoun county, as the Judge who overruled the school board was just elected in November, by the people of Loudoun County.

      3. John Harvie Avatar
        John Harvie

        Dream on, Steve. I submit nothing at all will change.

        Not enough sensible people in the electorate, even in Loudon.

        1. Stephen Haner Avatar
          Stephen Haner

          Then this is what it is….And no, Matt, no judge anywhere in Virginia is elected by a popular vote. Period.

          1. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            Judge Plowman was elected by the GA, which is directly elected by the people of Virginia are they not?

            “And no, Matt, no judge anywhere in Virginia is elected by a popular vote. Period.”

            Oh and stop with the f’n strawmen.

          2. Stephen Haner Avatar
            Stephen Haner

            They are elected by the Democratic Caucus, in secret session, to be totally correct. No, VA does not do popular election of judges.

          3. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            They are elected by the General Assembly which under our structure are elected via the people. They are the voice of the people, that’s how the system is supposed to work. You know this.

      4. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
        James Wyatt Whitehead

        2023 will be a big year for local and state politics. 2 and half years is an eternity. Will voters pay attention long enough?
        NOVEMBER 7
        Senate of Virginia (40)
        (4-year term)
        House of Delegates (100)
        (2-year term)
        Soil and Water Directors
        (4-year term)
        Counties:
        8-year term:
        *Clerk of Court
        4-year terms:
        *Commonwealth’sAttorney
        *Sheriff
        Commissioner of Revenue
        *Treasurer
        County Board (Arlington County ONLY)
        Boards of Supervisors (95 counties)
        School Boards (91 counties)
        City Council (3 cities)
        (terms vary – set by Charter)
        City School Board (3 cities)
        (terms vary – set by Charter)
        Town Council (15 Towns)
        (terms vary – set by Charter)
        City or Town Mayor
        Town Recorder (Clerk)

        1. Stephen Haner Avatar
          Stephen Haner

          All will now be far, far more partisan.

    2. Matt Adams Avatar
      Matt Adams

      The first outburst came on the tail of a proponents of 8040 telling those who opposed it were dripping with “hate”.

    3. Matt Adams Avatar
      Matt Adams

      The first outburst came on the tail of a proponents of 8040 telling those who opposed it were dripping with “hate”.

  3. energyNOW_Fan Avatar
    energyNOW_Fan

    …not seeing this dispute as much in Fairfax

    1. LarrytheG Avatar
      LarrytheG

      And it was changes to TJ that one might have thought would have brought out the same type folks!

      We’re going to find out just how many folks LIKE public education even with these issues versus those that clearly do not.

      Candidates for office will have to offer clear visions of what they want to do going forward, not just partisan poop.

  4. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory have nothing in common except the words “critical” and “theory”. Critical Race Theory has nothing to do with education and/or the study of race in history. It is a tool for studying inequity in the law and really does not rely on race.

    Other that that, carry on. You’re doing a great job in demonstrating an inability to understand the terminology you are using.

    1. John Harvie Avatar
      John Harvie

      Where is the so called “inequity in the law” of which you speak? I’m willing to be enlightened.

      Which laws? Name them. Backup your premise.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          oh geeze… now you’ve done it!

        2. John Harvie Avatar
          John Harvie

          I didn’t think you would or could. Your link is pure liberal bullshit. Leftwing poorly stated opinion at best.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            You asked for examples. Unhappy with them, you resort not to countering any of the reasons given. Don’t waste your days doing real work, just call it bullshit and move on… dot-org.

          2. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            Your link called for the discontinuance of sex offender registries.

            Once upon a time there was a phrase “can’t do the time, don’t do the crime”. It appears you would like “I did the crime, but I shouldn’t do the time”.

    2. Before making such pronouncements, you might try reading some books like the following (all supportive of Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory):

      Richard Delgado & Jean Stafancic, Critical Race Theory, Third Edition (New York University Press, 2017)

      Adrienne D. Dixson, Celia K. Rousseau & Jamal K. Donner (eds.), Critical Race Theory in Education: All God’s Children Got a Song, Second Edition (Routledge, 2017)

      Keonghee Tao Han and Judson Laughter (eds.), Critical Race Theory in Teacher Education: Informing Classroom Culture and Practice (Teachers College Press, 2019)

      Julius Davis and Christopher C. Jett (eds.), Critical Race Theory in Mathematics Education (Routledge, 2019)

      And there are other similar books available.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar
        LarrytheG

        “I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding — having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?” Milley said.

        He continued brusquely: “And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, noncommissioned officers of being, quote, ‘woke’ or something else, because we’re studying some theories that are out there.”

        The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley,

        1. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          Gen. Milley CJCS wasn’t assigned that reading as a student, he took it upon himself to read it. As to better understand ours and therefore his enemies.

          It is practice of most Commanders to assign reading lists to their subordinates.

          There is a stark difference between what Gen. Milley is speaking to and what is being put forward in schools.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Policy, ethics, not curriculum. $ to your dime, not one discussion of course material in any of them. Whatever the madness that is occurring in these meetings over the material taught, or not taught, in class, or to teachers concerning course materials and race, it is not Critical Race Theory.

        1. The assertion that CRT is not being taught in many schools is as believable as a Kremlin spokesperson saying V.I. Lenin was not a Communist revolutionary but a misunderstood peaceful social reformer

  5. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    https://newrepublic.com/article/162617/christopher-rufo-critical-race-theory-interview

    Poor Rufo. The poor bastard must never have heard the phrase “Wogs begin at Calais,” otherwise he’d understand Malcolm X’s statement about “knowing his pappy.”

  6. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Why worry about facts when the narrative is so useful? I may be corrected, but my understanding is that about 50 people did get to speak, and from what I’ve seen the crowd was getting seriously rowdy, cheering Dick Black and hooting at somebody who supported the transgender policy. Then when the crowd was asked to leave the room, a couple of people refused and began to resist police. What I do NOT know if if the chair gave the crowd some warning that if they didn’t calm down, the meeting would be cut off.

    Had it been a BLM crowd behaving exactly the same way, this post might have read differently.

    The voting comes in November. The voting in November can put an end to this push to infuse our schools with the message that America sucks, has always sucked, and it is all because of Europeans oppressing everybody else, even in this widely diverse reality today. I also do not want that message dominant in the schools. But that meeting in Loudoun and the cheerleading for that behavior reminds me too much of the cheerleading from some about Jan. 6….

    Sorry, Kerry. My reaction to all this is to just cringe and retreat. This did not advance the cause, as happy as everybody is to be featured on Fox News hourly.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar
      LarrytheG

      Good Lord Steve. You’ve got Gillispie in a snit!

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Larry, be careful of the BJC guy. It’s a redirect to a Russian site, so make sure your knickers are up if you click the link.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          yep… I’m leery of the links some are providing.. but thanks for the heads up.

  7. Steve Gillispie Avatar
    Steve Gillispie

    Very disappointing comment from the Senior Fellow at THE THOMAS JEFFERSON INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLIC. Your position effectively draws a false moral equivalency to boisterous dissent and the complete suppression of opinion and views which the Board invited until it did not like what it was hearing.

    And before huffily dissenting with such a scornful introduction, you should know whether the Board attempted to restore order and made a good faith effort to keep the meeting open. That is everything to your position. Additionally since there were apparently police there, could those who violated reasonable norms of conduct have been ejected and the meeting continued?

    Sorry Steve, I think a little more data might be needed or presented before the supercilious put-down.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      From local news coverage:

      “The rapturous response to Black’s comments was not the first to warrant a reprimand from the School Board on Tuesday. About 10 minutes of public comment had transpired when the crowd attempted to drown out commenter Kellie Herring, leading School Board Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan (Sterling District) to trigger a roughly 10-minute recess.”

      So there had been some warning. Black spoke for 1 minute and the mic went dead. If they had 50 speakers in the first hour, that was probably the limit and I bet others had the mic go dead in mid sentence. He used his minute to insult the board, which is his choice, but it wasn’t helpful. The crowd actually was silent, but standing and waving hands and signs.

      You can see more of the video of the meeting on the left-wing websites than you do on the right-wing ones. Telling. That’s because the behavior of the crowd was, as I noted, counterproductive. I’ve clearly spent more time on this than either you or Kerry and stand by my opinion. The video of how that guy came to get arrested is also not something you’d want the world to see. We’re not the team that fights with cops (or sadly, we shouldn’t be — but then there is Jan. 6.)

      You really don’t freaking get it, do you. If shitkicking #2 is delivered in November, will you then?

      1. Steve Gillispie Avatar
        Steve Gillispie

        Get what, Steve? That a poor response to indefensible behavior then justifies the indefensible?

        1. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          Steve is dead on and it’s funny how quickly you guys turn on folks that you used to be with. This is what is happening to MANY decent and principled Republicans these days. They used to be mainstream GOP, now they’re “liberals”… eh?

  8. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    I watched the recording of the meeting from the beginning to the time the period for public comment was cut off. The agenda topic was the adoption of a policy on LGBTQ–use of pronouns, use of adopted name, use of restrooms, participation in sports, etc.

    There were about 250 people registered to speak. Even with a limitation of one minute per speaker, that is over four hours of testimony. The School Board had begun the meeting earlier than its usual time in anticipation of all the speakers.

    There were speakers on both sides of the issue. In addition, some speakers brought up CRT and some attacked the board generally.

    At about the 9 minute mark on the recording, a speaker in favor of the policy referred to hate present in the room from the opponents. There was a loud outburst in reaction, with people booing and yelling. The board chairwoman stopped the proceedings and announced that the board was taking a five minute recess.

    During the recess,there was a general demonstration by the opposition, with one woman standing up in front and shouting to the crowd, until she was quieted by security.

    When the board reconvened, the chairman asked, for purposes of time and civility, that audience members refrain from any outward demonstration, such as yelling, cheering, clapping, etc. She announced that the board had consulted with legal counsel and that the public comment period would be ended in the event of another disruption.

    At about the 27 minute mark on the recording, a speaker angrily threatened the board members with a recall, which resulted in an enthusiastic reaction from the crowd. The chairwoman issued what she termed a “last and final warning” against such disruptions.

    The meeting went along smoothly after that, for awhile, at least. The speakers, mostly in opposition to the LGBTQ agenda item, got their remarks in during their allotted one minute.

    At the 47 minute mark, there was a slight outburst at the remarks of a student, but the chairwoman ignored it.

    Then at the 1:11 mark, former Sen. Dick Black spoke, really stirring up the crowd. There was cheering, clapping, standing, waving signs.

    At that point, a member of the board moved that the public comment period be ended. The motion was seconded and adopted unanimously. The place then exploded with angry shouts and obscene gestures. The chairwoman tried to call the meeting to order and proceed to other business, but she could not be heard in the bedlam. The meeting was then recessed and the board members left the stage. They returned somewhat later when the room had been cleared of the disorderly members of the public and finished the agenda

    Contrary to what Kerry claimed, Dick Black’s mic was not cut off. He got his full minute. Furthermore, although not everyone who had registered got to speak, the opposition did get a chance to have its voice heard during at least one hour of public comment.

    Here is a link to the recording of the meeting and you can judge for yourself:

    1. LarrytheG Avatar
      LarrytheG

      Thanks Dick.

      My question is why BR can’t be a objective and honest in it’s reporting like Dick?

      It seems like every day we are presented with the kind of less than honest reporting that Kerry presented.

      Why not honestly present issues?

      1. John Harvie Avatar
        John Harvie

        “It seems like every day we are presented with the kind of less than honest reporting that Kerry presented.”

        Where in her post?

        1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          School superintendent abruptly ended the meeting–did not happen. School Board voted to end public comment period; resumed meeting after order was restored.

          Dick Black’s mic was cut off–did not happen. He got his allotted minute. I saw the timer.

          1. Stephen Haner Avatar
            Stephen Haner

            As did I, and I assumed he had one minute and then the sound was cut off. Short, but if that many want to speak, it must be that short.

          2. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            That would only be applicable if they enforced those standards on all who spoke. I don’t know if that is clear.

            Given the legal issue they placed themselves in with Mr. Cross, I highly suspect they did not.

            There were 251 proposed to comment, they only got through 51.

          3. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
            Dick Hall-Sizemore

            The one-minute was enforced for every speaker. It seemed to me that everyone observed it and no one was cut off in mid-sentence.

          4. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            The very first speaking was stopped mid sentence because of time. If the timeframe was 1 minute they would’ve needed 4+ hours for the meeting to be held.

            The second speaker exceeded 1 minute, by only a few seconds but consistency matters.

            The ended public debate of their policy, by students parents because they were uncomfortable with the pushback.

            They previously suspended a teacher for acting a manner consistent with his first amendment rights as a parent. They were rewarded by a Judgement which reinstated the teacher upon first amendment grounds.

            They have shown a pattern of not acting in good faith.

            One cannot condone protests previously and not condemn them, if that is the you lack principles.

          5. LarrytheG Avatar
            LarrytheG

            Why does BR print this stuff that is not true?

            So much whining that it’s not treated as journalism. Well earned in my view. NOT honest and objective reporting but rather FOX News type BS.

          6. Stephen Haner Avatar
            Stephen Haner

            Hell, WaPo and NYT print stuff that isn’t true. This a BLOG, Larry.

          7. LarrytheG Avatar
            LarrytheG

            Both print biased account but not factually incorrect, usually.

            If your excuse is that a BLOG can publish stuff routinely that is false, that’s pretty sorry IMHO especially for a BLOG that represents itself and a reputable blog that deserves to be recognized as “news” by VPAP.

            So which is it?

          8. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            When others “allotted” time had expired were their mics cut as well?

            “School superintendent abruptly ended the meeting–did not happen. School Board voted to end public comment period; resumed meeting after order was restored.”

            That’s not what happened at all.

            “A little over an hour after the public comment began, board vice chairwoman Atoosa Reaser made a motion to end the session — leading the crowd to boo and yell, “Shame on you!” as the board members went into recess.

            The crowd formed a line to continue with an informal public comment, but Superintendent Scott Ziegler ordered deputies to clear the room and many people resisted, according to Loudoun Now.”

          9. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
            Dick Hall-Sizemore

            I see nothing in your comment that conflicts with what I said.

          10. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            They were was resumption of the meeting, they ended it when the outcome was not in their favor.

            If it would’ve been in their favor they would’ve allowed it to continue.

          11. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
            Dick Hall-Sizemore

            They ended the public comment period when the crowd became disruptive as they warned, twice, would happen.

          12. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            They were warned once, after a proponent of 8040 accused them of having “hate” dripping from them.

            Following Mr. Black’s comment about the board themselves, they closed up shop.

        2. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          Dick just covered it, in detail.

        3. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          John – it’s happening on an almost daily basis where posts are really shading the truth. Kerry is just the latest. Bader is another one. But even posts by Jim seem to not really present a fair and objective rendition. The Loudoun meeting was covered in a prior post and again, it misrepresented the facts.

          The representation of Critical Race Theory – many posts – just dishonestly representing the issue..as many right-leaning sites are. Yesterday, no less than the Joint Chiefs of the Armed Services said as much.

          1. Stephen Haner Avatar
            Stephen Haner

            Oh, the concerns over CRT, especially if schools really are being influenced by the pure form, are totally valid. I have concluded it is indeed classic Marxism repackaged, class warfare intended to bring a small clique to ultimate power just like in Russia, Cuba or Venezuela. White People are the new Bourgeoise, evil incarnate. But I do wonder if people are finding CRT five times out of the two it is really being promoted.

            To the general’s credit, he equated reading CRT to reading Marx, Engels and Mao. Yep.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar
            LarrytheG

            CRT is NOT being taught in K-12 schools much less as a required curriculum. This is the ranting of the right on “equity”and it’s dishonest and false and it’s encouraging the kind of crowds that are showing up at school board meetings like Loudoun.

            BR is playing a role in this and not a principled one IMHO.

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