The Loudoun County School Board is proposing to remove all classifications from its non-discrimination and anti-bullying policies.
At their November 29 meeting (watch the discussion here), several School Board members expressed the belief that employees and students shouldn’t be “labeled” by having legal protection from discrimination on the basis of personal characteristics such as gender or sexual orientation. They then voted to consult the LCPS attorney to determine whether all classifications can be eliminated from the current policies: race, ancestry, color, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, marital status, age, religion, national origin, disability, or genetic information and any other characteristic provided by law.
Last week the Loudoun Tribune sat down with Loudoun’s top cop Mike Chapman and local NAACP president Phillip Thompson, to talk about policing, traffic stops, Black Lives Matter and more. The following are excerpts of that conversation.
Are relations between the African-American community and local police worse than in the recent past, or are incidents more visible thanks to body cams, cell phone cameras, YouTube and the 24/7 news cycle?
THOMPSON: Nationwide you’ve seen acts of violence against unarmed black men where there have been no consequences. When there are no consequences there is a concern that it’s open season. When you fly in a plane you’re taught to believe it’s safe until you see pictures of a plane crash. Then you start thinking about how safe it is. It’s the same thing with violence against young black men. Seeing it on television makes us feel less safe, and that adds to the perception that there’s a problem between law enforcement and the African-American community.
With everything going on, we haven’t had an act of racial violence here in Loudoun and my goal is to make sure it doesn’t happen.
Read more in the Loudoun Tribune
Young people: Do you know your rights and responsibilities if stopped by the police? Share your experiences and questions with a panel of youth and attorneys in a discussion of your rights and how to assert them. Be informed and stay safe this summer. Youth and adults welcome. Download flyer in English and Spanish.
Over the last 15 months since taking over as President of the Loudoun County NAACP, our organization has watched Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) flail its way through a series of racially charged issues with seeming abstinence to the fact that there is a community out here that is not only impacted by its decisions, but, more importantly is paying attention to those decisions. As with the attempt to name a public school after a long dead racist segregationist or the perceived effort to re-segregate schools in Leesburg, it seemed that the decision makers in LCPS either believed that the residents were not paying attention to their proposals or that maybe they could not read or conduct basic research on the facts. Either way, in both instances, when the public raised concerns, some of these decision makers decided to attack the people questioning these proposals instead of listening to the community’s concerns.
Read more in the Loudoun Times-Mirror
A silent Vigil for a diverse and united community
Let us join together to raise a voice of love and neighborly regard that counters faith prejudice and racial prejudice. Let us see one another and be seen by our County as a united and loving people. Let us act faithfully – out of love, not fear.
Please join with other NAACP members, Loudoun Interfaith BRIDGES and a growing list of Loudoun faith leaders to affirm our commitment to one another. A safe community is a united community, one that honors the inherent worth and dignity of every diverse participant. It is this kind of safe community that we wish to affirm for Loudoun County.
We will gather at 4:00pm at Leesburg Presbyterian Church for an invocation and brief prayer led by clergy from several faiths, and walk the three blocks to the County Courthouse square. We will hold a silent candlelit Vigil on the sidewalks at the intersection of E. Market and S. King Streets, across from the County Courthouse. Based on the number of participants, we may use the sidewalks on all four corners. Participants are encouraged to bring traditional quotes from their faith that represent how we welcome our neighbor, the ‘Other’ and the ‘Stranger’. We will place these quotes on placards (2’ X 2’) to be held during the silent Vigil. We will have candles available to be held during the Vigil.