Public Schools Deploy Leftists’ Favorite Terms — And Refuse to Define Them

The left’s strategy is to redefine words that have clear definitions while being intentionally vague about terms like ‘marginalized groups.’

Stephanie Lundquist-Arora | May 28, 2024

(The Federalist) — With the rise of leftist, anti-Israel protests on college campuses, Americans increasingly recognize the dangers of the “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) cancer in higher education. Some states, such as Florida and Alabama, have rightfully taken measures to stem the flow of public resources to DEI’s leftist agenda in public institutions.

But what fewer Americans are aware of is that the DEI mafia is surreptitiously and effectively manipulating our young children beginning in their public elementary schools and beyond. Many public school districts are also subjecting their students to overtly discriminatory regulations. Fairfax County’s public schools, located just outside our nation’s capital in the largest school district in Virginia, are top among them.

On May 15, I wrote an email to the district’s chief equity officer, Nardos King. I posed simple questions: What are the definitions of “marginalized groups” and “protected class” — and which social groups are included in each category? She refused to provide clear answers.

Discriminatory Terms Coded in Public School Policies

These terms are particularly important because the school district bases policy on them. For example, teachers are allowed to display flags of “marginalized groups.” According to an email I received from a middle school principal in Fairfax County, Black Lives Matter is a marginalized group, so teachers are free to display that leftist flag in the district’s classrooms.

The classification is strange. Black Lives Matter is a sociopolitical movement that does not represent all black people. It is unclear how BLM could be considered a marginalized group, and the designation reflects obvious viewpoint discrimination. Given that our children are subjected to the operationalization of these terms, parents and students should have a right to see what other groups are on that list.

The district’s Educational Equity Policy, passed by the school board in June 2023, also uses the term “marginalization.” The point of that policy is for students to have equal outcomes, such as grades. To that end, the district has experimented with “equitable grading” to uplift so-called marginalized groups.

Many parents fear that academically elite, hard-working students will be unrecognizable in their college applications as a result. In other words, hard work and talent are not rewarded when equal outcomes, and not merit, are the priority.

Fairfax County Public Schools also uses the term “protected class.” Although this is a federally recognized term, its definition and application are unclear at the local level in public schools. In the district’s code of conduct, “discriminatory harassment” seems only to apply to protected classes. The code states, “Discriminatory harassment is unwanted conduct toward an individual based on their actual or perceived age, race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, or any other legally protected class.”

Does that mean to suggest that nonprotected classes — which without question include heterosexual, white males — are not covered by this rule? Are these children fair game for harassment based on their race and sexual orientation? Is it less serious when they are harassed? For the sake of policy clarity, the school district must explicitly provide implementation details. But they do not.