Fall Editorial: LCPS Needs to Live up to Its Full Potential

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Fall Editorial: LCPS Needs to Live up to Its Full Potential

Written by Maryam Khan

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Loudoun County, Virginia is not only one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, but it’s also one of the richest. With a fast-growing population comes diversity and cultural assimilation, as  Loudoun County Public Schools’ total population now stands at 53% non-white. LCPS operates on over a one billion dollar budget, but the economic prosperity does not stop minority students from having to face a sometimes intolerant or even racist environment.   

In spring of 2019, Superintendent Eric Williams asked The Equity Collaborative, a third party affiliate, to collect and analyze data on racial issues concerning LCPS faculty, students, and even parents. The Equity Collaborative conducted interviews with a sample of these groups, which led to the realization that racial literacy in LCPS schools is lower than expected.   

The concluding report of the interviews outlined that many minority students feel that they are forced to suppress their identity. As a student interviewed by The Equity Collaborative, I felt scared. I had no idea what I should say or do or what was to be expected of me. Walking into that room I faced a battle; Do I tell the story of having to sing Christmas songs during the ‘holiday’ assembly? Do I answer honestly and fearlessly and stay true to my identity?

What became apparent to me after reading the report is that many students feel as if they are thrown around as just a number on the minority scale, with diversity being just another checkbox on a LCPS long to-do list. I feel like I’m forced to hide my identity on a daily basis, just so I can fit in. No matter who I talk to, there’s always a closed curtain holding me back from being my true self. Always forced to live a western and eastern life, never together and always apart. I have had teachers and students disregard my identity,  and it gets tiresome being the poster child for minorities.   

No one is generalizing all LCPS students who are not minorities as racist, or all staff members as bigots. The Equity Collaborative was given a job to report what goes on racially in LCPS, and the conclusion that must be drawn is that something must be done.   

LCPS is rapidly growing not only in terms of population but in terms of diversity as well. The proclamations made by Superintendent Eric Williams and the plan to implement training for students and teachers currently looks good on paper, but when will we see results?  

LCPS should own up to its faults, accept its current position, and  then work on improvement with full transparency. Students, faculty, and parents should all know what LCPS is planning to do in terms of racial literacy with complete clarity. It should not have to be scavenged through old school board meeting agendas—or hidden from sight.  

LCPS has been home to me for more than 12 years, and all I would like to see is it fulfill its full potential, letting us be open minded yet unparalleled in our convictions. Allowing the beauty of globalization and diversity to be seen throughout our LCPS community.

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