Two people were arrested or given citations for trespassing and disorderly conduct when the Loudon County school board in Virginia, which triggered a war with parents by proposing to teach their children a transgender agenda, tried to shut down parental comments on its social campaign at this week’s meeting.
The board is the one that punished a teacher, Tanner Cross, with a suspension and a ban for objecting to members’ decision to adopt teaching programs that violated his Christian faith, and then doubled down on that decision by pursuing an appeal of a court order to reinstate him.
The fracas was created by the board’s plan to adopt various promotions for the transgender lifestyle choice. It also has proceeded with adoption of the radicalized teachings of Critical Race Theory, which instructs that whites are always guilty and minorities are always victims.
Cross had responded by speaking at a board meeting in May that he could not comply with demands to promote transgenderism because of his Christian faith and he was suspended by officials who claimed his comments were a “disruption.”
Judge James E. Plowman Jr. said there was no evidence of that and ordered the teacher reinstated, prompting the district to announce an appeal of the court decision. At the same time, recall petitions have been launched against board members.
The fight came to a head this week when 259 residents signed up to address the board at a meeting on the subject of the proposed policy 8040 which calls for boys who say they’re girls to be allowed to use restrooms and shower facilities with biological girls.
The first few speakers supported the board, and then a woman came to the podium and lashed out at what she claimed was the “hate” that she said was “dripping from the followers of Jesus in this room.”
Boos erupted, and the board demanded a recess for people to “cool down,” according to the Daily Mail.
The board chair, Brenda Sheridan, that she would shut off public comment if she perceived the room was “disruptive,” the report said.
Then dozens of parents opposed the policy planned by the board.
Fox News reported multiple demands were made for the board to drop its appeal of the court’s order in the Cross case.
“Another woman urged several board members, facing a recall effort, to resign and save taxpayers even more money. Others blasted a district official who allegedly made threatening Internet searches on a district smartphone,” the report said.
Former state Sen. Dick Black criticized the board over its attack on Cross, and raised concerns over “allegations that progressive community members had organized a list of their conservative neighbors to harass and publicly shame.”
The board decided to shut off the comments from concerned and worried parents when the audience cheered Black, a Republican.
The board said the public comment period was closed, several members of the audience said it was not, and two were cited when they refused to leave immediately.
Armed police officers were summoned to physically eject at least one man.
Ian Prior, the father of two Loudoun students, is with the parents group called Fight For Schools, and said the board’s actions on transgender and race issues need input from parents.
“And that is the ultimate mission here is, it’s something that starts here and spreads across the country, where parents get a seat at the table,” he said. “Whether it’s an association or organization, something where they have some kind of power to shape the future of education in their own towns.”
Fox reported, “The board meeting comes days after the district confined a Christian student to a small room during schoolwide periods of transgender-themed lessons that his family had objected to based on their faith.”
2 parents protesting against CRT and a transgender policy have just been arrested after a Loudoun County, Virginia school board meeting was declared an unlawful assembly. pic.twitter.com/0lKhZYG7Pw
— Pembrokeshire-Patriot (@DarrenEdmundso1) June 23, 2021
The movement is just one component of a rebellion led by parents against such unilateral decisions by school boards that is developing across the nation.
The Daily Caller News Foundation earlier reported at least 165 local and national groups have formed to combat Critical Race Theory requirements in American schools.
“Parents are right to revolt against Critical Race Theory in the classroom,” senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and anti-CRT writer Christopher Rufo told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Children are not inherently ‘oppressors’ and should not be implicated for historical crimes on the basis of their race. That’s the kind of propaganda that belongs in a Soviet history museum—not American K-12 classrooms.”
The report noted, “Loudoun’s chaotic situation has greatly escalated over the past several months. The Daily Wire reported in March that current and former teachers and parents in Loudoun formed a group called ‘Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County’ and compiled a long list of parents who the group suspected disagreed with the school’s progressive agenda.”
Plowman, the judge in the Cross case, had ruled, “The court finds that the plaintiff’s speech and religious content are central to the determination made by the defendants to suspend plaintiff’s employment. Defendants shall immediately reinstate the plaintiff to his position as it was prior to the issuance of this suspension and remove the ban that was placed upon him from all buildings and grounds of Loudoun County Public Schools.”
He pointed out that any loss of First Amendment freedoms, “for even minimal periods of time,” is “irreparable,” and that “similarly situated employees” in the district already have been “chilled from speech” because of the administrators’ actions.
The school’s actions already had disrupted the community, with members of the local Democratic Party demanding that a local church pastor recant his support for the teacher’s biblical stand.
WJLA reported the county’s Democrat leadership was targeting Pastor Gary Hamrick of Cornerstone Chapel.
He backed an effort to recall six Loudoun County school board members who were part of the attack on Cross.
He told his congregation, “We’ve got to take back our schools. What are we to do, just throw our arms up, surrender? And allow our kids to be taken over by liberal Marxist ideology?”
He cited the fight facing Cross, who with his wife attends the church.
“Friends, this is now where we are. Jesus calls us to occupy until he comes. Part of occupying is to be what Jesus tells us to be which is salt and light.”
He said the application of those substances sometimes is “very uncomfortable.”
But he said, “to be passive is to be complicit.”
He said his church was allowing petition signature gatherers to ask people to sign petitions to recall the six board members who are responsible for being “troublesome.”
“Some of the them are not doing their duty, to protect” children, he said.
They are “subjecting them to sexually explicit materials … they are already talking about racially divisive material, emotionally abusing our children.”
The pastor’s description of the case is at about the 30-minute mark here:
Lissa Savaglio, the chief of the county’s Democrat Party, has accused the pastor of having dangerous opinions.
“Child abuse is a crime. And for him to go up and accuse our school board members of that, I think it is dangerous,” she charged.
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