An “Anti-Racist” Facebook group, made up of Virginia parents, teachers and school board members, is reportedly targeting parents who are opposed to critical race theory as part of the school’s curriculum.
The group, which is called “anti-racist parents of Loudoun County,” has over 600 members, including “six out of nine” Loudoun County school board members, WTOP News reported.
The group urged its members to gather information on parents who oppose critical race theory and encouraged members to “expose these people publicly,” The Dairy Wire reported.
Austin Levine, a Loudoun County parent, said at a March 23 school board meeting that he was targeted by the Facebook group.
“I am on a list — not Santa’s list — but a list of enemies created by a group led by the marching orders of one of your colleagues,” Levine said, according to WTOP.
“This list included names, places of work, where they lived and their perceived wrongs. I should not have to live in fear because my opinions differ from elected officials’,” Levine said.
Moreover, Levine said there should be “severe punishment” for the group members’ intentional actions.
“Unintended actions, those are forgivable, but intended consequences are not — so when they happen there should be severe punishment,” Levine said at the meeting. “The lists, the crimes, the docs were all your intentions. The ‘thank you’ post on the Facebook group provides undeniable evidence that the outcome met your approval.”
Ian Prior, spokesperson for Loudoun Parents for Education, said that the actions by the Facebook group members constitute a violation of the First Amendment.
“We believe in free speech, in the marketplace of ideas,” he said.
Prior and the other members of the Loudoun Parents for Education group are planning a campaign to recall the school board members allegedly involved in the Facebook group, and the group plans to hold a new election for those seats.
“We’re going to do our best to bring people together to run a campaign to recall those six members that were taking part in this group and clearly were not serving the community,” Prior said. “It’s clear that we have a school board that is quite simply not up to the task.”
Loudoun County Public Schools interim Superintendent Scott Ziegler denied that critical race theory is part of the school’s curriculum.
“Social media rumors that staff members have been disciplined or fired for not adhering to the tenants of critical race theory or for refusing to teach this theory are not true,” Ziegler said in a video statement released to the school community.
Ziegler added that the Loudoun County School provides a “welcoming, inclusive, affirming environment for all students.” He said recent media reports and social media posts have misrepresented the school’s effort to achieve these goals.
“In explaining LCPS’ equity priorities, it might be helpful to state what they are not. They are not an effort to indoctrinate students and staff into a particular philosophy or theory,” Ziegler said.
“LCPS has not adopted Critical Race Theory as a framework for staff to adhere to,” he added.
In response to the “Anti-Racist” Facebook group, Ziegler said while LCPS recognizes the rights of its employees to free speech, it does not condone targeting members of the community for their viewpoint.
His goal is to ensure “every student, employee and member of the community is treated in an equitable, respectful manner.”
The Facebook group is reportedly currently under investigation by the Virginia police.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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American Citizens Released in Prisoner Exchange with Iran Return Home
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a significant diplomatic development, five American citizens who were detained in Iran have been successfully released and are on their way back to the United States.
The five Americans, along with two family members, arrived safely in Doha, Qatar on Monday after departing from Iran. This release comes as part of a prisoner exchange agreement between the United States and Iran, accompanied by the return of $6 billion in frozen funds to Iran.
A White House official commented on this, stating, “The president is making five families whole again.” The $6 billion in frozen funds, a substantial part of this exchange, arrived in Qatar on Sunday night, leading to Iran’s decision to release the American detainees. Qatar has played a crucial role as an intermediary for negotiations between the U.S. and Iran.
President Biden, in a statement on Monday, expressed his satisfaction with the successful exchange and revealed that two of the American citizens involved had requested that their identities remain undisclosed. He also used the opportunity to call upon the Iranian regime to provide a full account of the disappearance of Bob Levinson, a former FBI agent who went missing in Iran.
“The Levinson family deserves answers,” President Biden stated. He further announced sanctions against former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence under the Levinson Act for their involvement in wrongful detentions.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken held a press conference later on Monday to address the release and answer questions from reporters. Blinken expressed his relief at the return of the American citizens and emphasized the U.S. government’s dedication to punishing countries that unlawfully imprison U.S. citizens.
He clarified that the prisoner swap was negotiated separately from discussions regarding the Iran nuclear deal, cautioning against interpreting the exchange as an indicator of progress in the nuclear negotiations, though there are many skeptics raising concern across social media platforms.
The Biden administration has underscored that Qatar will retain control of the $6 billion that is being unfrozen and will allocate it to Iran exclusively for humanitarian purposes. However, some Iran watchdogs have voiced concerns, claiming that this move is insufficient.
According to reports from Fox News, Benham Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, stated, “The Islamic Republic must be beaming now. Despite rhetoric from Washington about supporting the Iranian people, in practice with the waiver and random payment, the Biden administration is now effectively helping Tehran signal that no matter what the regime does, it will not be met with meaningful pressure.”
Furthermore President Donald J Trump took to Truth social Monday commenting on the deal current President Joe Biden made stating, “This absolutely ridiculous 6 Billion Dollar Hostage Deal with Iran has set a terrible PRECEDENT for the future. Buckel up, you are going to see some terrible things start to happen. The 3 years ago highly respected USA has become a laughingstock all over the WORLD. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. VOTE TRUMP!!!”
The release of these American citizens and the accompanying fund transfer mark a questionable development in U.S.-Iran relations. The path forward remains complex and uncertain as both nations grapple with long-standing issues and ongoing negotiations surrounding the Iran nuclear deal.
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