Outside yesterday’s Loudoun County Public School Board meeting, there were two distinctly different crowds gathered at opposite ends of the parking lot.
One side, holding signs affirming equity and acceptance for all students, gathered together smiling and laughing around a table overflowing with school supplies attendees had donated. This was a planned school supply drive organized by grassroots advocates Loudoun 4 All and Red, Wine and Blue. State Senator Jennifer Boysko even dropped by with donations.
The other side had signs reading “No CRT, no SEL at LCPS.” I had my kid with me, and he asked me what “SEL” is. I had no idea, so I looked it up. Unlike CRT, SEL actually does appear on the Virginia Department of Education website, and actually is part of the established recommended curriculum.
It’s an abbreviation for Social and Emotional Learning, and focuses on “The process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.” Scientific research has shown that “SEL programming has a positive impact on academic performance, school attendance, disciplinary outcomes, and mental wellness.”
Apparently, *the other side* doesn’t want their children to learn how to have supportive relationships. Or how to have healthy self-respect. Or how to manage their emotions. Perhaps this explains why we continue to see inappropriate, out-of-control screaming and cursing (in front of children) at these very same school board meetings?
Honestly, this is exactly *why* I send my child to school; it’s where he really learns these vital interpersonal skills so critical to functioning in society. We are really doomed if the *other side* is opting out of learning these skills. Yet that’s exactly what we’ll get if we elect Republicans to run our state. Let’s make sure we don’t do that!