In the initial draft of a student equity ambassador program informational packet, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) barred students who weren’t colored from admission into the program.
Under “III. Process for Selecting Student Equity Ambassadors” the second process listing guidelines specifically mentioned students’ skin color as a qualifying factor.
“This opportunity is open to all Students of Color.”
Then, under the section titled “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ), the document clarified that non-colored students couldn’t participate.
“Q: My child would like to participate as a Student Equity Ambassador and is not a student of color. Can they participate? … A: Thank you for your interest but this opportunity is specifically for students of Color. However, students at each school have an option of creating an affinity group for students of Color who all share a similar racial identity and they may also include allies.”
The next FAQ addressed opportunities for non-colored students to get involved, suggesting “other equity opportunities.”
LCPS parent and Parents Against Critical Race Theory (P.A.C.T.) Founder Scott Mineo shared the document on the P.A.C.T. blog, as well as with parents associated with the LCPS Facebook page.
Since then, the board has revised the document to omit the aforementioned qualification and the two FAQs. Everything else on the document remained the same.
Several weeks ago, the Loudoun County School Board quietly decided to revise their “Professional Conduct” policy governing employee speech off of school property. LCPS was recommended to approve and accept the policy, but decided against it after public outcry from the community.
LCPS Public Information Officer Wayde Byard told The Virginia Star that the school board didn’t consider the equity ambassador program during their Tuesday night meeting. Byard also shared that he would look into the changes made on the information packet.
The Student Equity Ambassador Program is one part of LCPS’s “Action Plans to Combat Systemic Racism.” The plan is to “create Student Leaders of Color” that will represent all students as “equity ambassadors.” As ambassadors, these students will represent the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee (MSAAC).
MSAAC has driven many of the policy and curriculum changes reflecting social justice initiatives within LCPS.
None of LCPS’s platforms addressed the changes made to the informational packet.
– – –
Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Loudoun County High School” by A.J. Jelonek. CC BY 3.0.