As the Ashburn Supervisor on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (BOS), I represent the interests of every person in my district without exception. I take my oath of office very seriously, and I fight hard every day for my constituents’ interests no matter what their political views. This is part of the job, and I know every one of my colleagues on the BOS, Democrats like myself as well as my Republican colleagues, adhere to that same impartial standard.

Loudoun County has received some pretty nasty press over the past few weeks, and not surprisingly, the Supervisors have received quite a few emails from concerned citizens. Many of them have been from outside of Loudoun County. Yet we have stayed largely silent during this controversy because it concerns issues within the Loudoun County Public School system (LCPS). The School Board is independently elected and, other than approving the LCPS budget at the beginning of each budget cycle, the BOS must constitutionally refrain from any involvement in School Board and LCPS activities.

Unfortunately, for weeks my constituents have been willfully misled and misinformed by politically motivated media and social media about what is and is not going on in Loudoun County Public Schools. Then, while at lunch the other day, a constituent walked up to me and asked me why we were teaching Critical race theory in our schools. In that moment, I realized my silence is only enabling the false narrative. I therefore feel compelled, in the interests of keeping my constituents fully informed, to offer some additional perspective about what’s really going on.

Here are the facts: Critical race theory has not been and is not being taught in our schools, Dr. Seuss was never banned from our libraries, and the issue of preferred pronouns and our students was mandated by a new Virginia law, not by LCPS.

What many of our citizens may not realize, however, is the political calculus that is very likely driving this negative, national press. This coming November, there are only two states in the nation with regular, statewide elections: New Jersey, which is overwhelmingly Democratic and therefore not a swing state, and Virginia, a critical swing state in every sense of the word.

Right now, there are two factions fighting for the heart and soul of the Republican Party: one faction supports former President Donald Trump and his false claim of a fraudulent presidential election, and the other faction representing the traditionally conservative core of the party accepts the results of the 2020 election and understands the importance of protecting our democratic processes.

Fox News, all Republican candidates for Virginia statewide offices and the Loudoun County Republican Party have demonstrated continuously through their public statements they belong to the former President’s faction of the party. Politically, this means the Virginia election in November is the “canary in the mine.” This will be the first electoral test after the 2020 election to see which faction of the party will prevail going into the 2022 midterm elections. Victory in Virginia in November is critical, and to win in Virginia, this faction and these candidates absolutely must win Loudoun County.

That’s why Fox News, similarly leaning media and social media, and those emailing us from outside of Virginia have seized upon Critical race theory, Dr. Seuss and transgender pronouns to promulgate patently false narratives about these topics. They have weaponized and grossly over-simplified important, complex issues not out of concern for our students and their parents but because Loudoun County is the first battle in a newly raging culture war.

Supervisor Mike Turner (D-Ashburn)

(7) comments

jke

Looks like Mr. Turner wants no part of the conversation here. Hard to argue when the facts do not support your position but do continue to use your status and defend anti Americanism in our schools.

J Smith

Mike Turner, Board of Supervisors, employs a few neat tricks in his article on the Critical Race Theory issue facing the School Board. First, he throws the disclaimer,

“I’m not to blame, I’m on the BOS and we steer clear of the LCPS.” Second, he makes blanket statements and asserts they’re facts. Third, he blames Trump for all the problems. Let’s address each one of these.

#1, Mike, you’re part of the problem. It starts with BOS approving the LCPS budget which includes $100s of thousands of dollars to instill CRT into the school system.

#2, Regarding “the facts” as you stated: a) Yes Mike, CRT which teaches kids to make

blanket judgments about others solely based on their skin color, is being taught in our

schools. It just goes by code words like “equity" and "social justice” and it’s coming

from teachers who are being indoctrinated by paid LCPS contractors to teach it. b) Yes, Mike, LCPS did cancel Dr. Seuss this year for the annual “Read Across America Day.” LCPS decided that Dr. Seuss books were not suitable for children because of their “racial undertones.” Just let that sink in, for any of you who have every read a Dr. Seuss book to your kid. c) No, Mike, Virginia law did NOT mandate the use of preferred pronouns in our schools. The VA Department of Education drafted policies for school districts to consider implementing. There was no mandate to implement them. Those are the real facts.

#3, Mike, can we just stop with the “blame the Trump for everything”? It’s condescending and fake.

romano

Mr Turner is either lying or cluelessly lost in naivete on CRT. Is LCPS calling it "CRT"? Of course not. They refer to it as "equity" or "inclusiveness" or other woke buzzwords. But talk privately to your friends who are teachers in the county. Many will tell you that much of the training they are being force fed by LCPS is in fact everything we know CRT to be. Mr Turner rounds up all the usual suspects, the Evil Fox News, President Trump, etc in an effort to mask what is going on, but it isn't enough. We see it for what it is. Talk to a teacher you know. LCPS is pushing CRT heavily.

jke

You can put Turners culture on a petri dish.

Ellie Lockwood

Supervisor Mike Turner is my representative on the Board of Supervisors so I was interested in his comments on the “raging culture war” in Loudoun County.

I admit, I have not been one of his constituents who monitors his every action and vote on the Board, an oversight I will be correcting. However, I feel particularly obligated to correct his misleading and possibly misinformed perspective on what’s really going on.

He is correct, Dr. Seuss has not been “banned” in LCPS, but in years past the Dr. Seuss books were featured prominently during Read Across America Week, coinciding with the March 2nd birthday of Dr. Seuss and the occasion in many classes for costume parties and such. Apparently angry parents with disappointed children are as prone to hyperbole as Democrats are. I would point out, the LCPS replaced the emphasis on Dr. Seuss with the $2,000,000 purchase on “diverse classroom library” books containing homosexual content better left to parents.

Turners statement that his constituents have been “willfully misled and misinformed” is incorrect, in fact that is PRECISELY what he is attempting to do in his statement.

Turner claims that “the issue of preferred pronouns” was MANDATED by a new law. The language in HB145 advises that local school divisions SHOULD adopt policies, procedures and practices for an inclusive environment with MODEL policies for treatment of transgender students. School Boards are ENCOURAGED to adopt policies consistent with (but MAY be more comprehensive) the model policies. The Loudoun County School Board has consistently and arrogantly gone ahead and drafted Policy 8040 specifically ignoring and refusing any input from parents. There is NO mandate.

Is LCPS teaching CRT? They claim no, but as Vladimir Lenin famously said “A lie told often enough becomes truth”, what they have done is spend over $422,000 on training staff in Critical Race Theory practices and inserting specific goals to be included in teacher evaluations.

In order to muddy the waters further, Turner attempts to tie the valiant attempts of parents to have a voice in the education of their children with the increasing concerns and goals of his Democrat party going forward and especially in this coming November. A good number of Loudoun voters, including in his Ashburn district, now recognize that the Virginia Legislature and the Loudoun County School Board have far exceeded their authority in defiance of their constituents.

Sent from my iPad2

jke

Warren County, VA Parents stood up and stood for their children and WON at the School Board meeting on July 7, 2021! Their School Board voted to reject Virginia Department of Education “mandates” regarding Treatment of Transgender Students; Policies in the best interest of ALL children. This is the POWER that YOU as PARENTS have. Do not underestimate yourselves. Keep standing up and speaking out! #StandUpVirginia #ProtectOurChildren #WeThePeople #WeTheParents https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/22.1-23.3 www.StandUpVirginia.com

jke

We have the proof, that makes Turner a liar! It is freely available if he works as hard as he says he does he would have found it

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