Virginia Teachers' Union Pushes Schools To Defy Youngkin's Ban on Woke Education

Virginia Education Association publishes 'Black Lives Matter at School Toolkit'

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R.) / Getty Images
March 13, 2023

A Virginia teachers' union is pushing educators to defy a state ban on teaching critical race theory principles to children as young as five years old, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Virginia Education Association last month published a "Black Lives Matter at School Toolkit," intended for elementary to high school students, for a "week of action," a plan that flies in the face of an executive order from Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R.) that prohibits critical race theory instruction, according to the Journal.

A spokesman for the governor told Fox News the program is "a political manual for the next generation of Virginia's students."

If a district superintendent does not support adding Black Lives Matter lessons to the curriculum, the Virginia Education Association recommends that educators "share the BLM toolkit with their school administrators, fellow educators, and school counselors."

The association's lesson plans borrow from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal advocacy organization. The program emphasizes "Black Lives Matter Guiding Principles," which include "the disruption of Western nuclear family dynamics" and "a queer-affirming network where heteronormative thinking no longer exists."

Virginia Education Association president James Fedderman acknowledged the program's clash with the Youngkin administration but said in a statement to the Journal that the teachers' union was "unapologetic in our support" of "racial justice."

States such as Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma have also banned critical race theory curricula from schools. Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R.) in January moved to cut funding to critical race programs, saying that Florida school curricula "must be grounded in actual history, the actual philosophy that has shaped Western civilization."

The Montgomery County, Md., Board of Education announced in July its plan to teach concepts like "privilege" and "systemic racism," also borrowing from Southern Poverty Law Center material, to elementary students. The board introduced the new curriculum as students' math and language proficiency fell below district standards.