Investigation reveals discrimination in Loudon County Schools policies

Virginia

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Loudoun County Public Schools has agreed to make policy reforms following a multi-year investigation by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) into allegations that LCPS denied minority students equal admission into the Academies of Loudoun.

The investigation stemmed from Loudoun’s NAACP chapter filing a complaint with Attorney General Mark Herring’s office in May of 2019 after they had received several reports from LCPS families whose children were allegedly denied admission into the Academies of Loudoun based on their race. Herring’s OCR begun the investigation shortly after, finding that LCPS’s policies and practices, did in fact, impact both African American and Hispanic students.

WDVM spoke to the President of the Loudoun NAACP chapter, Pastor Michelle Thomas, who said this agreement is monumental.

“It’s not, you know, something has happened with one or two students, it has been such a frequency that the government, the state of Virginia Attorney General’s office had to step in and make an agreement with LCPS that they will create an environment where every child can prosper,” said Thomas.

Thomas said this goes back to the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case.

“This many years later, you have another victory essentially that says ‘it’s not just enough for us to attend the same schools, we must have the same opportunity,’” expressed Thomas.

In the agreement between the OCR and LCPS, the school system must review the recruitment and admissions process into the Academies of Loudoun, promote equitable access to education, and more.

In a statement, the school system said, “While LCPS did not agree with a number of issues and findings identified, rather than challenging the issues and findings, LCPS chose to enter negotiations with the Virginia OCR on an agreement that would include reforms and strategies that LCPS already was implementing or planning to implement to promote equity with the goal of resolving concerns raised by the Virginia OCR.”

This agreement will stand in effect through June 30, 2024. The full resolution agreement can be found here.

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