Several parents are arguing that a Virginia school’s student ambassador program created to fight systemic racism is discriminating against students on the basis of race, according to Court House News.
A Fourth Circuit panel heard oral arguments Thursday from the parents who are suing the Loudoun County school board over its Student Equity Ambassador Program, which allegedly discriminates against white applicants, according to CourtHouse News. The program originally was created for “all students of color” but changed its criteria to students who are focused on social justice and “raising the voices of students of color.” (RELATED: Virginia School District Now Must Tell Parents When Sexually Explicit Content Is In School Curriculum)
“Although social justice is a term many scholars and speakers have used, which might have generic meanings in a dictionary, the term in this context refers to a particular ideology associated with progressive politics,” the parent’s brief stated.
While white students make up nearly 45% of the school, just 17% of the student ambassador program is comprised of white students, CourtHouse News reported.
Loudoun County school board’s attorney Andrew Selman argued that the parents’ students did not show interest in the club and were therefore not discriminated against, CourtHouse News reported.
The student ambassador program also has an anonymous bias reporting application for students to submit incidents of racial bias without being identified which has a “chilling effect” on free speech, U.S. Circuit Judge Paul V. Niemeyer stated according to CourtHouse News.
“When you invite student-on-student snitching or student-on-student ratting, isn’t that an obvious chilling effect?” Niemeyer said at the hearing.
Loudoun County School Board and the parent’s attorney Daniel Suhr did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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