Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Chair of county's Racial and Social Justice Commission disavows critical race theory town hall

  • Updated
  • 3
Prince William County's Racial and Social Justice Commission

Prince William County's new Racial and Social Justice Commission met in the board of county supervisors' chamber for the first time on Thursday, March 18.

The three Republican-appointed members of Prince William County's Racial and Social Justice Commission are holding a town hall meeting in Nokesville this week on critical race theory and culturally responsive teaching in Prince William County schools.

But the chairwoman of the commission is distancing herself and the full commission from the event, saying the town hall is "not sanction[ed]" by the Racial and Social Justice Commission.

Shantell Rock, the commission's chair, issued a statement Monday, Oct. 4 saying the upcoming Tuesday night town hall meeting at Patriot High School, hosted by fellow Commissioners Mac Haddow, Erica Tredinnick and London Steverson, "is separate from the mission of the Racial and Social Commission" and that the commission is "not responsible for promoting, reviewing or discussing critical race theory."

critical race theory town hall flyer

Rock said in an interview Monday that a flyer for the town hall had caused confusion and concern among parents.

She said she issued the statement to clarify for parents that the town hall is not affiliated with the official business of the Racial and Social Justice Commission. 

The term critical race theory has recently become a political buzz word. The term was first coined in the 1980s by attorney and scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw. One of its central tenets is that racism is structural rather than only personal, and that laws and institutional practices can have racist outcomes without racist intent.

Critical race theory is not a part of classroom teaching. But conservative leaders and candidates have sought to use it to stir up enthusiasm for voters in Virginia’s off-year elections in November. The Republican nominee for governor, Glenn Youngkin, has said he will ban critical race theory from being taught in schools if he is elected. 

Prince William County School Board member Loree Williams (Woodbridge), who also serves as the school board’s liaison with the Racial and Social Justice Commission, has said that critical race theory is not being taught in Prince William County schools. The same has been confirmed by Superintendent LaTanya McDade.

But some believe the school division's recently approved equity statement is an example of the result of critical race theory's influence on public schools, something the school board denies.

Prince William County's 12-member Racial and Social Justice Commission is tasked by the Prince William Board of County Supervisors with examining racial issues in county government services, schools and the police department and to identify potential areas of improvement. The commission’s primary goal is to create a report with policy recommendations for the board to consider at the end of this year.

The commission began meeting in January 2021, but has been beset by infighting between its Democratic and Republican appointees. Democratic appointees claim the Republicans on the commission are being obstructionists, while Republican appointees have said they are simply expressing the views of the commission’s political minority. 

The Racial and Social Justice Commission’s next meeting is Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are held in the Board of Supervisors' chambers at the James J. McCoart building.

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.
0
0
0
0
1

2020 was a year marked by hardships and challenges, but the Prince William community has proven resilient. The Prince William Times is honored to serve as your community companion. To say thank you for your continued support, we’d like to offer all our subscribers -- new or returning --

4 WEEKS FREE DIGITAL AND PRINT ACCESS.

We understand the importance of working to keep our community strong and connected. As we move forward together into 2021, it will take commitment, communication, creativity, and a strong connection with those who are most affected by the stories we cover.

We are dedicated to providing the reliable, local journalism you have come to expect. We are committed to serving you with renewed energy and growing resources. Let the Prince William Times be your community companion throughout 2021, and for many years to come.

Subscribe

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

(3) comments

LEE2CEE

[censored] SEL AND RETHINKING NORMAL, RETHINKING, LEARNING, RETHINKING LEARNER, RETHINKING MINDSET CHANGE, AND PARDIGMSTER IS ALL THE SAME TO ME AS CRT. READ THE TEACHER WEB SITES. SEE FOR YOURSELF

someone

I have every confidence that the Racial & Social Justice Commission will continue to create racial & social issues where none previously existed. How much is this costing the county?

Jim McCarthy

Nice job by Mr. Berti reporting the distinctions about CRT and school curricula and the rump commission group.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Page Title

The future of Prince William Times now depends on community support. Your donation will help us continue to improve our journalism through in-depth local news coverage and expanded reader engagement.

Keeping you connected to the Community. Find or Submit your local event here..

Sign Up For Newsletters