By Eric Lendrum
Fundraising website GoFundMe shut down a page that had been set up by parents in Loudoun County, Virginia, in opposition to the implementation of critical race theory in their children’s education, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
The fundraiser had been started by Scott Mineo, who is also the head of an organized group of parents called Parents Against Critical Theory (PACT). Mineo created the GoFundMe after he and other members of PACT began facing intimidation tactics from members of the school board and their supporters. A Facebook group called Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County began creating lists of parents who were affiliated with PACT or otherwise opposed critical race theory, as well as identifying their spouses and employers, and began advocating for censoring them.
The GoFundMe page was targeted by Loudoun County School Board Equity Committee member Charlotte McConnell, after it had raised over $4,000. McConnell publicly called for her fellow school board members to report the fundraiser. On March 25th, Mineo received an email from GoFundMe informing him that his page had been shut down due to containing “prohibited conduct.” GoFundMe did not provide any evidence that Mineo’s page violated any rules, but reaffirmed in its email that it had “sole discretion” to determine which pages it can ban.
Speaking out about his ban and the ongoing intimidation campaign against his fellow parents, Mineo said that the censorship from the school board “pissed off a lot of people that were very supportive, and this was a grave mistake on their part….It further underscores the level of deception they are engaged in. Otherwise, why shut them down?”
The battle over critical race theory centers around Loudoun County Public School district’s decision last June to implement a “Culturally Responsive Framework” into its curriculum, which allegedly seeks to “dismantle White supremacy, systemic racism, hateful language, and actions based on race, religion, country of origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or ability.”
County Superintendent Scott Ziegler even suggested adding new rules to the teachers’ code of conduct which would forbid them from criticizing the new race-based curriculum, saying that being anti-racist would “outweigh” their First Amendment rights. But Ziegler defended district employees who joined the intimidation and censorship campaign run by Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County, saying that they were simply exercising their First Amendment rights.