Time For Change: A Look at LCPS’ Apology Letter to the Black Community

Time For Change: A Look at LCPS Apology Letter to the Black Community

In light of recent events, LCPS scripted a formal apology for the unfair treatment of black individuals in the past and present.

On Sep 25, 2020, the Loudoun County School Board, the Administration of Loudoun County Public Schools, and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors collectively released a public apology towards the black community for the inhumane treatment they continuously received ever since the county was established in 1757. 

The letter highlights the historical events that set the foundation for segregated school systems across the county merely 53 years ago. Whether it be the aforementioned enacting of Section 141 of the Virginia State Constitution in 1956 that gave permission to allow more funding for white students over students of color, or initially refusing to construct both Douglass Elementary and Douglass High School in 1956 unless black families conformed to the idea of fully segregated schools, mistakes have been made in the past. 

While much has changed since those decisions were made, the unfortunate truth is that segregation is still prominent in this county, even if it isn’t as extreme as it was in the past. 

“I was aware of historical issues around racism, but was not explicitly aware of issues within Loudoun County. I am relatively new to the county, so I am still learning about its history and trajectory for the future,” said PFHS principal, Brandon Wolfe.

The letter goes on to list more recent acts of blatant systemic racism, including “a lack of diversity among applied and admitted students to the Academies of Loudoun”, “school names and a school mascot named after or potentially named after Confederate figures and plantations”, and “failure to teach students about the Black Post-Civil War communities that existed into the mid-century”.

In response to their admittance to these core issues, LCPS created two plans of action with hopes to curb and eventually eliminate these acts of racism: the Comprehensive Equity Plan and the Action Plan to Combat Systemic Racism. 

While the letter was created as a generalized statement towards all schools located in Loudoun County, it is important to capture specific school’s opinions on this apology letter, and how it motivates them to put in more efforts to stop acts of racism once and for all.

“As a county and as a school we are actively taking steps to combat systemic and explicit acts of racism constantly. We reject any acts of racism and discrimination, and thoroughly investigate any acts that are reported or that we find out about. Our school provides a voice for students of all backgrounds through a variety of ways,” said Wolfe.

In addition, it seems that this apology letter not only comes from accounting for LCPS’ own mistakes, but it also acts as a timely response to the recent events happening worldwide such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the coverage of the Breonna Taylor case.

“The social climate in the world today certainly sheds light on such acts of racism and discrimination. I can’t speak to the timing of the release of the statement, but there is no time like the present to address issues of inequity,” said Wolfe.

Regardless of what caused the apology letter to be written and published, it seems that the apology itself, as well as the plans to correct their mistakes, was a step in the right direction for the LCPS community.

LCPS’ formal apology to the black community was one that was much overdue, but also very necessary to the improvement of the county, as a whole.

You can read LCPS’ Apology to the Black Community, as well as watch the attached informational video, at the link below: