Monica Gill, a history teacher at Loudoun County High School, knows better than most how important education and critical thinking are to the future of our country, which relies on our nation’s children.
Monica has been a teacher for 27 years, the last 20 of which have been in Loudoun County. She began teaching in Loudoun because of its strong reputation for quality education. However, since the beginning of her Loudoun career, Monica has seen a drastic mission drift from Loudoun County Public Schools’ own promise of providing “a superior education, safe schools, and a climate for success.”
Throughout the years, Monica has personally witnessed the watering down of education. Increasingly, her school is focused less on teaching reading, writing, and math, and more on indoctrinating students into radical ideologies. She has been forced to participate in “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” training, which requires teachers to bring critical race theory concepts into the classroom and teach students to view each other through a lens of race, categorize each other as “oppressors” and “oppressed,” and treat each other differently based on characteristics instead of character.
But this is not just happening in Loudoun County; it is happening in school districts all over the country and, as we have recently seen, is having major consequences in school board and statewide elections.
Because of the prominence of the education issue in the recent Virginia governor’s race, and its nationwide impact, Fox News’ Fox Nation decided to dig deeper into the topic and uncover the source of the progressive influence that has taken root in our schools over the last century and a half and now germinates openly.
Monica’s experience at Loudoun County High School
Fox produced a five-episode series that details how left-wing academics and activists have gained influence over our education system and has slowly introduced radical concepts, under the guise of words like “equity” or “diversity,” that divide students based on race, sex, class, and religion and set them against one another.
Monica Gill, as one of ADF’s clients in Cross v. Loudoun County School Board, was invited to participate in a panel interview at the launch of this series, at the “Miseducation of America Live Summit.” Along with many other teachers, professors, parents, and education policy experts, Monica related her firsthand experience of these issues to a live audience. She talked about the diversity trainings she was forced to attend and how they have trickled down to the classroom where she has seen certain students exclude others from conversations, saying they can’t participate because of their skin color.
In addition to the influence of critical race theory and its implementation by administrators free from any accountability for its failures, Monica has also witnessed the deterioration of the grading system itself. On the panel, she talked about responsibility—not only for teachers and administrators, but for the students themselves. She explained how the school forces teachers to give “formative” and “summative” assignments to students. Formative assignments are based on “formation of knowledge,” and these cannot be graded. The absence of concrete evaluation, the reward for good performance, or the sanction for subpar work encourages students to set aside learning and critical thinking.
All of these topics, and many more, were discussed at the “Miseducation of America” summit. But beneath the grim testimonies was an underlying theme of hope for our country. Hearing parents speak out, seeing teachers and students take a stand, and watching those results in our elections inspired and motivated the summit’s in-person and virtual audience.
Monica’s message of hope
One beautiful story Monica shared perfectly encapsulated the summit’s hopeful tone. Several years ago, Monica was growing discouraged with the public education system as she was preparing her new classroom for the upcoming year. As she was cleaning a bookshelf, she noticed a book tucked into the corner. She pulled the book off the shelf and dusted it off to find the words “Holy Bible” on the cover. Inside the front cover was the inscription “Gifted to Loudoun County High School from the senior class of 1955.”
At first, Monica admits, she was cynical, thinking, “Wow, you’d never find something like this these days.” But then, she says “The Lord got a hold of my heart immediately and said, ‘I did not give you this gift so that you could judge this place; I gave you this gift so that you know I have not abandoned this place and I have put you here for such a time as this.’”
And I think that’s what this summit portrayed to many people—that we are all called to take a stand for our faith and our freedom, and our Lord and Savior is there walking alongside us every step of the way. When we become discouraged, we should look to the courage of Monica Gill and remember that when we stand for what is right, we are standing alongside our fellow believers and we are also guided by our good and gracious God, who — as Monica shared — has not abandoned our public schools, and He has certainly not abandoned our great nation.
Ellie Wittman is a media relations specialist with Alliance Defending Freedom (@ADFLegal).
Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on Alliance Defending Freedom.