Anti-critical race theory group takes out half-million-dollar ad targeting Virginia school board

An organization opposed to critical race theory curriculum is set to launch a $500,000 ad campaign attacking the Loudoun County, Va., school board, according to a Sunday report.

Fox News reported that the ad campaign is being launched by the Free to Learn Coalition and will air during the Washington Football Team’s NFL game on Sunday, as well as local broadcast outlets over the next two weeks.

Loudoun County has been ground zero in the fight against adding divisive and controversial CRT curriculum in public schools for more than a year. Parents and teachers alike have appeared before the school board to lambast the materials as corrosive and racist and at times, the confrontational attitudes have turned physical, leading to arrests.

In addition, one board member — Beth Barts — has to appear in court on Monday over a recall petition culminating from months’ worth of effort, while Fight For Schools PAC, led by Ian Prior, a former Trump administration official who lives in Loudoun County, “continues working to gather enough signatures to recall several other members on the board,” Fox News reported.

The 30-second ad by Free to Learn Coalition targets all of these issues and claims that “powerful teachers unions” are controlling the curriculum while “targeting parents” who speak out against it.

“Loudoun County, Virginia spent nearly half a million to develop a divisive curriculum promoted by political activists,” a female narrator begins, going on to note that “when parents spoke up, officials threatened to silence them” — a reference to a tweet from the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee, which is part of Loudoun County Public Schools.

The ad includes footage of Tanner Cross, a gym teacher who was initially suspended by the school district for his refusal to “lie” to kids — by using what he called “abusive” preferred pronouns that did not correspond to their biological sex — due to his Christian beliefs.

“It’s not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies [that] would damage children, defile the holy image of God,” he told the board in June.

The district was eventually ordered to reinstate Cross by District Court Judge James E. Plowman Jr., who ruled that his suspension was “an unconstitutional action … which has silenced others from speaking publicly on the issue.”

The ad also features footage of Laura Morris, a teacher who also protested the district’s CRT policies and then resigned at a public board meeting.

“…[W]ithin the last year I was told in our so-called equity training that white, Christian, able-bodied females currently have the power in our schools and, quote, ‘this has to change,’” she said.

“School board, I quit. I quit your policies, I quit your training, and I quit being a cog in a machine that tells me to push highly-politicized agendas on our most vulnerable constituents – the children,” she said in an emotional speech.

As for the ad, which ends with this statement, “Let’s get politics out of the classroom,” it’s part of an overall $1 million effort targeting schools in New York City, Arizona and Virginia, according to Fox News in a June report.

“While our students fall behind the world in reading, writing, math, and science, bureaucrats in Fairfax County are weakening Thomas Jefferson high school, one of the best in the country,” says an earlier ad launched by the Free to Learn Coalition. It also demands that “political agendas” be removed from the schools because “our kids deserve better.”

Jon Dougherty

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