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Parents in an affluent Virginia county are speaking out against their school system’s online “portal” that allows students to anonymously report on each other for exhibiting racial or sexual bias.
Article by Rachel del Guidice from Daily Signal.
Daniel Suhr, a lawyer representing parents in a lawsuit against the Loudoun County school system, told The Daily Signal that the “so-called bias incident response system” is in direct violation of Americans’ free speech rights.
“Rather than creating a diverse community where students are welcomed,” Suhr said, “Loudoun is saying to students, ‘If you come from a particular background or if you come to school with particular views and values, you’re not welcome here. In fact, if you share those views and values with your classmates, we will shut you down.’”
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“And that violates two promises of the Constitution: the promise all of us—including students—have to free speech and security, in the 14th Amendment, that all of us will receive equal treatment under the law regardless of our race,” the parents’ lawyer added.
Five parents filed a lawsuit June 2 against the Loudoun County School Board for violating the free speech rights of students.
“We’ve seen these biased reporting systems in higher ed before, but they’ve never been prevalent on the K-12 level. I think Loudoun is one of the first places in the country where children as young as sixth grade are subject to a reporting system like this,” Suhr said.
Suhr is a senior attorney at Liberty Justice Center, which represents the parents in the lawsuit against the school board. The center says it works to “to protect students, families, entrepreneurs and other Americans whose fundamental constitutional rights have been violated.”
Loudoun County Public Schools set up the “portal,” which Liberty Justice Center says is technically a Google form. Administrators implemented the reporting system this spring in the county’s middle schools and high schools.
To use the online system, any student may log in with a student account. The format does not require a name to complete a report; complaints are reviewed initially by a “supervisor of equity,” then by “equity ambassadors,” according to Liberty Justice Center. The school system has not said how widely the reports will be circulated.
Parents filed the lawsuit against the Loudoun County School Board shortly before the board decided to appeal a judge’s June 8 order to reinstate an elementary school gym teacher suspended by the school system for saying he wouldn’t call children who “identify” as transgender by their “preferred” names or pronouns.
The teacher, Byron “Tanner” Cross, had expressed his opinion during a “public comment” portion of the school board’s May 25 meeting.
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The Loudoun County school system has become a prominent example of how critical race theory, so-called anti-racism, and what many parents consider a radical trangender agenda are taking hold in public schools across the nation.
A press release about the parents’ lawsuit from Liberty Justice Center says that “over the past two years, the [school] board and administrators have incorporated controversial and radical political theory into school curriculum.”
It adds: “Now they are asking students to be vocal supporters of these political views or face being excluded from school leadership positions and reported through a new ‘bias reporting’ system.”
Wayde B. Byard, public information officer for Loudoun County Public Schools, said the school system doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
The Daily Signal also sought comment from the county teachers union, which didn’t respond by publication deadline.
Patti Hidalgo Menders, mother of a high school student and the named plaintiff in the parents’ suit, is quoted by Liberty Justice Center in its press release on the case.
“The school board has been trying to pretend discrimination and suppression of free speech isn’t happening in our schools,” Menders said, “but we see it in class lessons, in the books being promoted or banned in the library, and in the creation of new school programs.”
Suhr said the “bias incident response system” allows any student to “report anonymously [on] any other student and ask that they be investigated for a comment made inside or outside of school, or on social media, that someone finds inappropriate or offensive.”
“That’s basically encouraging students to judge one another and rat one another out on an ongoing basis,” the parents’ lawyer said.
Suhr said he also thinks it would be difficult to ensure that only students are reporting on one another, and are not being accused by teachers, parents, or others.
“The link was sent out to parents as well,” Suhr said, adding:
So it’s really an incredible extension of the government’s power over the lives of these students that no matter whether they are in or out of school or on social media, what they say can and will be used against them by people who are seeking to enforce this new ideology on the students and and are unwilling to tolerate any challenge or different view.
The lawyer said that the parents he has worked with who are part of the lawsuit are more than frustrated by the situation.
“Our parents are fed up and fired up,” Suhr said. “They feel like the school district has not been listening to them. They feel like this shift in priority away from college and career readiness and toward this new political ideology was not done with parent feedback.”
With in-person learning largely shut down for the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, parents have been getting clued in on what their children are learning in school and how Loudoun County’s and other school systems are shaping children’s political views.
Suhr said parents are “seeing what’s happening in their school,” Suhr said, “ … and all of a sudden they’re realizing like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is not what I thought my school was teaching my kids, and this is antithetical to our values as a family,’” Suhr said.
“And so now they’re getting engaged in going to school board meetings and trying to. Bring back the school district with its fundamental mission to prepare kids for college and career rather than pushing a political ideology,” he added.
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
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Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
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Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
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