Loudoun County, Virginia, continues to find itself at the center of controversy.
The county’s school board is already in hot water after recent reports revealed its members had seemingly covered up a rape allegation. A boy has since been found guilty of sexually assaulting a female student in one of the school district’s girls’ restrooms. The board falsely said it had no knowledge of such a case before voting in August to allow males to use girls’ restrooms.
Concerned parents say progressive ideas have entered Loudoun County school curricula and are currently being taught to children enrolled in the district. They continue to protest at school board meetings in hopes of pressuring the district to remove the controversial teachings from classrooms.
Now, it appears that parents in Loudoun County are required to sign non-disclosure agreement-style documents in order to see exactly what their children are being taught, including a curriculum called Second Step Programs.
According to documents reportedly obtained by the Daily Caller, parents who wish to review the program must sign a form agreeing not to “broadcast, download, photograph, or record” the curriculum “in any manner whatsoever.”
Additionally, the district’s agreement with Second Step says the curriculum is “not subject to traditional Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws,” according to the Daily Caller.
The Second Step Programs utilize a teaching style known as social-emotional learning and are promoted by the left-leaning non-profit Committee for Children. According to the organization’s website, SEL is “fundamental to achieving social justice.”
Many of the controversial ideas found in critical race theory and left-wing gender theories appear central to the Committee for Children’s agenda.
Speaking with The Western Journal on Tuesday, James Lindsay — a leading expert on, and critic of, CRT and other far-left academic philosophies — broke down what exactly SEL is.
“Social-Emotional Learning started off trying to help emotionally troubled kids learn to deal with those issues so they could have better educational attainment, and it worked. It’s basically a psychological intervention that can work in the right cases and right circumstances,” Lindsay told The Western Journal via email.
Should school districts be allowed to hide what they’re teaching children?
However, problems with SEL began to arise when organizations like the Committee for Children started utilizing its practices “in uncontrolled, non-therapeutic environments (classrooms) by underqualified teachers without licenses to practice psychology,” Lindsay wrote.
In his view, this should be criminal.
These novel forms of SEL are referred to as “transformative SEL,” Lindsay said.
“These programs mirror the educational programs put in place by Mao in China during the Cultural Revolution and are wholly damaging to children. They’ve also adopted Marxian themes and methods, hence ‘transformative,’ and are used to groom children into Marxian views on sexuality and also Critical Race Theory,” Lindsay wrote.
Scott Mineo, leader of Loudoun County’s Parents Against Critical Theory group, told the Daily Caller he found the district’s lack of transparency about the SEL program suspicious.
“LCPS is partners with Southern Poverty Law Center, Racial Equity Tools, and Learning for Justice (SPLC), all of which have copyrighted material, however, LCPS freely provides access to these materials,” Mineo wrote in an email to Loudoun County Public Schools.
“Why is there such a double standard when parents want to review Second Step SEL material in its entirety?”