The Loudoun County School Board and the rest of the schools across Virginia will face a major challenge after an anti-critical race theory organization launched a $500,000-worth ad campaign to ensure the ideology stays away from the state's classrooms. Virginia became ground zero for the national debate on whether critical race theory should be taught in schools. Now, the Free to Learn Coalition is taking a hard stand against it.
The Free to Learn Coalition is a non-partisan organization that was established "to support parents, caregivers, and community organizations in their advocacy for quality K-12 education," according to their website. The group supports the basic principle that students should be "free to learn" by being "free to ask questions, free to develop individual thoughts and opinions, free to think critically of ideas and concepts, and free to achieve." Free to Learn Coalition is also a 501(c)3 tax-exempt group.
All of this on the condition that students should be "free from pressure or requirements to subscribe to a singular worldview and activist curriculum with a political agenda," which is why they oppose critical race theory in Virginia school classrooms.
According to Fox News, the non-partisan organization has spent $500,000 on ads criticizing the Loudoun County School Board. These ads are set to air during the Washington Football Team's Sunday game and on local broadcast networks over the course of the next two weeks.
The ads that appeared on Sunday demonstrated several criticisms hurled at the Loudoun County School Board by parents and teachers alike. A female narrator said, "Loudoun County, Virginia spent nearly half a million to develop a divisive curriculum promoted by political activists" and that "when parents spoke up, officials threatened to silence them."
This referenced a tweet from the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee within Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). The ad also featured footage of gym teacher Tanner Cross and Laura Morris, educators who publicly spoke out against the school district's transgender policies and "woke" ideologies during board meetings. Cross was famously suspended following his speech.
This isn't the first time the Free to Learn Coalition spent thousands of dollars in fighting critical race theory in the classroom. A press release published in June revealed how the organization launched "an initial seven-figure national ad campaign of well over $1 million advocating for classrooms independent from political influence." The ad was set to air in New York, Virginia, and Arizona, raising awareness on how American schools have become "increasingly political while the U.S. falls behind other nations in basic skills like reading, writing, math, and science."
In the previous ad, the group called out Grace Church School in New York, Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, and the Peoria Unified School District in Arizona. In a statement, Free to Learn Coalition President Alleigh Marré said, "After a year of virtual learning and having a front-row seat in the classroom, parents are waking up to the increasingly political climate in their children's schools."
"As we grow our partnerships with parent and community groups, the Free to Learn Coalition will provide a platform and tailored resources to those ready to take on political activism by school boards and administrators," Marré vowed.