Virginia School Board Hearing on Critical Race Theory Turns Chaotic, Two Arrested

A school board meeting in Virginia on Tuesday turned into a full-blown protest after a heated debate broke out about critical race theory and transgender policies, resulting in the arrest of two people.

One person was accused of trespassing and issued a summons after refusing to leave school board property, and the other was "charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest," according to local news station WJLA in Loudoun County.

NEW VIDEO from inside the chaotic Loudoun school board meeting. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/tHDyzCz7KE

— Drew Wilder (@DrewWilderTV) June 22, 2021

Loudoun County School District held a board meeting to discuss policies involving the addition of critical race theory, a hot issue in the country at the moment as some districts across the U.S. have implemented it into the curriculum.

Critical Race Theory teaches American history with a broader context about the role slavery and systemic racism have played in society. Critics argue that the teaching of history through a race-based lens is overly divisive and harmful for the children.

In May, a parent took the stage at another school board meeting in Loudoun County to reject the idea of critical race theory, which was not implemented in their schools.

#Loudouncounty parents brought the 🔥🔥🔥 at the school board meeting tonight.

This is a masterful takedown of #criticalracetheory pic.twitter.com/dHLyB2bLLH

— Ian Prior (@iandprior) May 12, 2021

"[Critical race theory] is not an honest dialogue—it is a tactic used by Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan on slavery very many years ago to dumb down my ancestors so we could not think for ourselves," the parent, who is Black, had said.

Superintendent Scott Ziegler stated earlier this month, according to NBC4 Washington: "We've had ongoing misinformation and citizens concerned that critical race theory was being taught in our schools. I will say again tonight that it is not."

More than 200 disgruntled parents were scheduled to speak and share their opinions at Tuesday's board meeting, and NBC4 Washington reported that parents brought signs to the meeting, chanted, and sang the national anthem amid discussion on the policies.

The scene tonight at a raucous Loudoun County school board hearing where many came to voice opposition to critical race theory. The meeting was stopped when the crowd wouldn’t quiet down and two were arrested. pic.twitter.com/WkiZCGJ6Jm

— Evelyn Hockstein (@evelynpix) June 23, 2021

School officials ended public commenting after people began yelling over speakers and protesters, disrupting the hearings.

Former State Senator Dick Black was the last to get up and speak, calling out the school district for "teaching children to hate others because of their skin color" by adopting critical race theory in its curriculum, which they have repeatedly and continuously denied.

The school board said in a statement, per The Hill, that they "ended the public comment section of its June 22 meeting on a unanimous vote after Chair Brenda L. Sheridan repeatedly warned the attendees in the Board Room that loud public demonstrations violated the decorum of the meeting."

It added, "Sheridan had previously, and repeatedly, warned the public after introducing the public comment section with a reading of [the policy]. Earlier the chair recessed the School Board meeting for five minutes due to disruptions before the unanimous vote to end public comment was taken."

Sheridan said in her closing remarks at the meeting, "Tonight, the Loudoun County School Board meeting was interrupted by those who wish to use the public comment period to disrupt our work and disrespect each other. Dog-whistle politics will not delay our work. We will not back down from fighting for the rights of our students and continuing our focus on equity."

A Loudoun County School District public information officer told Newsweek, "We are not implementing CRT in the curriculum. There are no plans to do so."

US-EDUCATION-RACISM-POLITICS
Signs are seen on a bench during a rally against "critical race theory" (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. A school board meeting in Loudoun County turned into a protest against critical race theory, and two people were arrested. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images