Vega says School Board Owns Disparities in Racial Outcomes Over Last Year
On May 19th, the Prince William County School Board, along partisan lines, voted for an “Equity Statement” which many residents who showed up to speak labeled as “racist” according to Potomac Local.
The statement, which can be viewed below calls on teachers and school personnel to identify their own “implicit biases” – the assertion that all people make bad decisions based on their own lived experiences and racial bias.
Supervisor Vega said several of the goals in the statement have clear and obvious virtue to everyone and are already being practiced, or at least should be, in consistence with Prince William County Schools “providing a world class education.” However, she echoed some of the concerns of parents and Gainesville School Board Member, Jen Wall, who inquired about intended/unintended consequences and specific examples of racism in Prince William County Schools. She also noted that the blame for the growing disparity in outcomes for children of a racial minority over the last year laid squarely at the feet of the Prince William School Board.
“This school board kept our kids locked up at home and away from their friends and peers for over a year, in violation of the science, which showed school was actually the safest place they could be. As a result, depression and calls for police amongst our youth skyrocketed and the disparities in educational outcomes for students of color grew to even larger numbers. The knowledge that this was happening here and across the country was evident from the very outset. Nevertheless, this school board persisted. As the child of Hispanic immigrants, I know firsthand many of the parents in that community still had to go to work every day and were unable to monitor their children’s learning while they were forced to be at home. If the school board wants to root out examples of systemic racism as it relates to outcomes then they should look no further than their own, deliberate decisions.”
Based on discussions last year, Supervisor Vega shares the concerns of parents and the Gainesville School Board member that parts of the statement will likely be used as a precursor for the teaching of Critical Race Theory, which leans heavily upon the notion of “implicit bias” to advance its agenda. “This idea that people who look like me can’t succeed in Prince William County because of the views of others, real or falsely perceived, is ridiculous. There’s a reason why people from all over the world move to the United States and here in Prince William County, specifically. It’s because we provide the best opportunities for people on earth to succeed. It’s not even a debate.”
As noted by Potomac Local, outgoing Superintendent, Stephen Walts, sat silent during the portion of the meeting when the equity statement was discussed. Walts has chosen to retire after this year following multiple scandals, including that he broke school district policy by engaging in late night twitter conversations with underage youth.
– Coles District Staff