Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Eric Williams in an email to families on the first Friday of the school year condemned instances of racially charged or sexually inappropriate communications that occurred during the school system’s first week of classes.
Since LCPS resumed operations via 100 percent distance learning earlier in the week, a number of community members reported instances in which students would join the virtual environment of another class or school and use racial slurs, or share sexual or racist imagery.
“These incidents are contrary to our core beliefs, our commitment to racial equity and other matters of equity … and to the expectations we have established for appropriate behavior by students in the virtual environment,” Williams wrote.
He later added LCPS “will not tolerate” use of any racial slurs in a school environment, even when meant as a term of endearment.
A few days earlier, the Loudoun County School Board unanimously passed the school system’s multi-year Comprehensive Equity Plan, which includes a comprehensive ban on use of the N-word by students and staffers.
Per Williams, displaying sexually explicit or pornographic images “is a violation of our Student Code of Conduct and will also not be tolerated,” adding Code of Conduct violations are to merit disciplinary action just as they would during in-person learning.
Further, he said LCPS will work with law enforcement to investigate particular cases of technology misuse when necessary.
The superintendent encouraged readers to familiarize themselves with the LCPS Student Code of Conduct, which is available to view at bit.ly/3hnCLvF.
He also asked administrators to refer to the LCPS Protocol for Responding to Racial Slurs and Hate Speech in Schools, which can be found at bit.ly/3hhJkzG.
“We appreciate that these issues may cause concern for parents,” Williams wrote. “We share those concerns, and school administrators are investigating incidents and taking additional steps to help eliminate these types of events from our learning environment.”