In case you did not think Virginian public policy could get anymore unhinged, the Loudoun County school system is in the process of making moves to "out-woke" their neighbors in Fairfax County.
This ongoing "woke-off" began with Fairfax inviting author of How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi to lecture to public school staff, giving the critical race theorist $23,000 for an hour of his time.
Ibram X. Kendi is an advocate of an "Anti-Racist Amendment" which would seek to establish a Department of Anti-racism (DOA) that would "[preclear] all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas." Additionally, Kendi says that this Department of Anti-racism should be given the ability to be given disciplinary measures to punish "policy makers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas."
While this policing of speech and thought seems absurd, it has not stopped Loudoun from seeking to implement similar policies.
The proposed policy in question, labeled "professional conduct" is up for approval on October 12th. In the draft of the policy, one can see many parallels with Ibram X. Kendi's Anti-Racist Amendment, namely that "any comments that are not in alignment with the school division's commitment to action-oriented equity practices" would be subject to punishment. Employee speech can be subject to punishment, if it is perceived by the district leaders as "undermining the views, positions, goals, policies or public statements" of the Superintendent or school board.
In addition to these measures, the policy states that employees would have a "duty to report" the violations of speech of their fellow employees to the school administration; acknowledging that although employees have a "First Amendment right to engage in protected speech," this right can be "outweighed" by the school district's interest in "promoting internal...and external community harmony and peace" and "establishing and maintaining a tranquil learning and working environment."
Not only do these policies apply to employees at work, it would also cover all communication "on campus or off, by telephone, in persons or on social media," according to a report from West Nova News. The speech of employees can be outweighed by the school division's interest in "Achieving consistent application of the board’s and superintendent’s stated mission, goals, policies and directives, including protected class equity, racial equity, and the goal to root out systemic racism."
This mission and its goals, policies, and directives are laid out in the district's Comprehensive Equity Plan, which is filled with as much jargon as it sounds. One thing is clear, this plan seeks to judge the district's success based off of how their students perform as demographics rather than as individuals.
Instead of seeking to raise the performance of all students, as any school should, the district's plan is simply to achieve equitable outcomes among different demographics, with some such as Rod Dreher speculating that this plan of achieving equity will be done by way of "manipulating passing grades and school suspension rates to achieve “equity” — that is, to reward or punish people based not on their conduct and accomplishments, but on their race and ethnicity."
H/T The Daily Signal