Teacher Laura Morris’s “I Quit” Address

Laura Morris, a fourth and fifth grade teacher in the Loudoun County (Virginia) Public Schools resigned dramatically in front of the county school board yesterday as the climax of an emotional speech condemning its “highly politicized agendas.” “[I]n one of my so-called equity trainings, [I was told] that White, Christian, able-bodied females currently have the power in our schools and ‘this has to change,’”she said in part during the public comment period of the board meeting. “Clearly, you’ve made your point. You no longer value me or many other teachers you’ve employed in this county. So since my contract outlines the power that you have over my employment in Loudoun County Public Schools, I thought it necessary to resign in front of you.”

“I quit,” she said, her voice breaking. “I quit your policies, I quit your training, and I quit being a cog in a machine that tells me to push highly politicized agendas to our most vulnerable constituents – children.”

She also also alleged that the county ordered her not to express dissenting views. Several teachers in the system, anonymously (of course), have told news outlets that they were intimidated in the school’s mandatory equity trainings. Teacher Monica Gill, who also spoke at the meeting, told Fox News that the County’s embrace of Critical Race Theory, had damaged and divided the community. By her account, teachers like her and Morris were told their mission was to “disrupt and dismantle this systemic racism.” She continued, “And I can tell you, one thing that’s for sure, it has been disruptive because there are parents who disagree with this ideology, there are teachers who disagree with it, there are students who disagree with it — and it is harmful.”

Loudoun County is ground zero for CRT infestation in the public school battle in Northern, Virginia

Morris’ speech is less than two minutes long, and worth watching. It has gone viral, and should help spark public debate until YouTube takes it down. Vegas odds are running about 50-50 on whether it lasts the week. (I’m kidding. Those are my odds.)

Observations:

1. Quitting like that is grandstanding to be sure, and legitimately a cause for skepticism. If we find out later that Morris is getting married and was planning on quitting anyway, or had inherited a fortune, got a bonus from Christopher Rufu, or has a secret lobbying contract, such developments will put her performance in a very different perspective. It is one of the many tragedies of the digital age that we just can’t trust what we see, hear, and are told.

2. If, however, the speech is what it purports to be, Morris has to be deemed an ethics hero. She has made herself a target, quit her job, and said in a public forum what she had been unethically told she could not say. You never know when such moments become catalysts for important shifts in opinion and tipping points in policy debates. Usually, they are quickly forgotten. Sometimes, they are not.

3. It is unfortunate that Morris couldn’t avoid bringing her religion and her own beliefs into the discussion. This helps the censors, the indoctrinators and the demonizers of the religious, conservatives, and dissenters immensely. She is now subject to being classified as one more religious bigot who wants to discriminate against LGBTQ citizens. This is a trap too many conservatives fall into. The issue is schools, and local governments, that are dominated by political activists and ideologues forcing their beliefs and agendas on any student, any teacher, and anybody.

4. Teaching beliefs at all is unethical. Manipulating what is taught in order to nurture certain beliefs is unethical. No teacher should have to teach what is contrary to their beliefs unless their fervent beliefs are unsupported by reality, because an appropriate school curriculm should be about facts, not beliefs. If a teacher believes that dinosaurs didn’t exist, he or she shouldn’t be teaching. If a teacher believes that the United States is evil,that teacher shouldn’t be teaching either. Students need to learn how to develop their beliefs, how to process varying views and information, and how to maintain open minds their entire lives. The Louduon school system, like many others, sees its role as closing minds. It shouldn’t matter what the topic is. That’s dangerous, and should be stopped.

5. Bias makes us stupid, and allowing, indeed encouraging teachers to pass along biases to students will make the students stupid.

6. The trap that has snapped shut over the past decade is the illusion that everything is political, so the only choice is which political indoctrination should prevail. Certainly this was a clever and well-executed scheme by the Left, and Americans were caught snoozing, but it’s time to wake up. Maybe Laura Morris’s speech will be part of that awakening.

17 thoughts on “Teacher Laura Morris’s “I Quit” Address

  1. Grandstanding or not she gave up a secure position that paid more than any other school district in the DMV area. That makes her a hero. She said what needs to be said more often. When I retired from a public education position under similar circumstances I wish that I had had the cahonnes to make a similar speech. I applaud her regardless of any other circumstances that may exist.

    If corporate America believes in CRT then they alone should be liable for damages. Make them allocate shares of their publically traded firms to the kitty to finance the modern 40 acres and a mule reparations. Force these woke corporations to allocate income producing assets that ultimately dilute the wealth of the Zuckerbergs, Pelosi’s, Musks, and the shareholders of Delta, Amex, Coca Cola et al. Watch how fast CRT is dropped from their social activism agenda. Dumping the responsibility on their workforce to self flagellate while the CEO’s and Board members bear no costs is unethical.
    If reparations are to be had then let it be in the form of ownership interests in the organizations that are purported to have exploited the minorities not J. Q. Public.
    Cash payments funded by taxpayers will be squandered on consumer goods. Additionally corporatists bear little to no consequence and is simply exploiting another group to avoid their purported responsibility.
    The beauty of forcing corporations to issue fractional ownership of their firms to finance reparations is that the costs cannot be passed to consumers, the recipients become capitalists and no increase in the money supply or public debt is required.

  2. 3. It wouldn’t help if she didn’t bring it up. The internet would figure out tons of stuff about her within minutes. The ammo would be used either way.

    Hiding who you are just because someone will try to use it to tear you down is only a short term solution. Might as well own it and live with the fallout, whatever it may be. You believe those things for a reason and should be proud of your beliefs. If not, maybe it’s time to get new beliefs.

    *disclaimer: I haven’t watched the video, no headphones on me and I don’t force others to watch videos with me without consent

  3. A couple months ago, our governor signed a bill banning all teaching of CRT in the state of Iowa. Other states aren’t so fortunate. Our son and daughter-in-law are moving from Arizona to Virginia next week and we worry a little about the education their daughter – now three – will receive. They worry, too.

    We have heard it suggested that parents band together, pull their kids from public schools, and use those funds to hire teachers like Ms. Morris to teach in something of a large-scale home-school environment. The further schools depart from traditional teaching to focus on ridiculous activism and brainwashing, the more traction these alternative ideas will gain.

    • “We have heard it suggested that parents band together, pull their kids from public schools, and use those funds to hire teachers like Ms. Morris to teach in something of a large-scale home-school environment. ”

      It’s not a bad idea. I’ve suggested it myself, though I, admittedly, haven’t a clue as to how the specifics would be hammered out.

      * How much does the teacher get paid? Does this include health coverage or paid sick days? All of that’s going to depend on…
      * How many students? This would affect not only the amount of individual instruction each child receives (as we’ve seen in the public school model), but also, presumably, how much the teacher gets paid. How many families will chip in $50 per week to educate children in this fashion? That works out to about $3K per month if the teacher has 15 kids. Nice work if you can get it, but you also have to consider…
      * establishing safety guidelines, such as appropriate forms of discipline, what do to with sick students,
      visitor protocols, taping/filming the class.
      * establishing how much autonomy the teacher has in developing curriculum and teaching it
      * Where to put the kids? Will it be in a private home or will the families use someone’s barn /garage/treehouse? Will they rent space somewhere? If so, we’re already pricing many families out of this option. If they use a private home, there are some important things to consider like…
      * policies regarding other people unrelated to the students’ education being in the home during instruction time, such as spouses, non-student kids, pets.
      * making sure there’s a dedicated space to learn where there are no distractions
      * ensuring a safe clean bathroom with plenty of privacy
      * holding class in a room dedicated for that specific use so that it will be free of distractions.

      Those are just examples off the top of my head that will come up when establishing a multi-student
      home school. I’m sure there are many more technical and legal issues.

      The intent is good, but it can all fall apart quickly if parents start interfering and/or undermining the teacher, especially since what they are paying goes directly into the teacher’s pockets.

  4. Jack said:
    It is unfortunate that Morris couldn’t avoid bringing her religion and her own beliefs into the discussion. This helps the censors, the indoctrinators and the demonizers of the religious, conservatives, and dissenters immensely. She is now subject to being classified as one more religious bigot who wants to discriminate against LGBTQ citizens.

    I think I see where you’re going here, Jack, but I must say when I read this it seemed to suggest that people with beliefs that have been identified as inimical to certain groups should avoid expressing them. I doubt that’s what you meant because it looks like an endorsement for self-censorship at a disturbing level. Keep in mind that it wasn’t just her “whiteness” that was under assault by the training sessions enforced on her by the Loudon County school system.

    It’s beyond doubt that these days, beliefs of any kind will upset someone — “woke” society in particular (but by no means exclusively) has been very vocal and definitive in condemning those who hold beliefs they find problematic, Christianity foremost among them. While I agree with you that mentioning it may have made it easier for those malevolent groups to discredit her by using the religion proxy, it’s much more alarming to think that we dare not speak of our beliefs in public lest we be subject to the censorious mob.

    If this is what “equity” looks like, speaking only for myself, I want none of it. One wonders if “woke” social media won’t follow Ms. Morris around and try to ensure she is unemployable. I would not be a bit surprised.

    • Glenn Logan wrote, “While I agree with you that mentioning it may have made it easier for those malevolent groups to discredit her by using the religion proxy, it’s much more alarming to think that we dare not speak of our beliefs in public lest we be subject to the censorious mob.”

      AMEN!!!!!!!!

  5. 1. Quitting like that is grandstanding to be sure, and legitimately a cause for skepticism. If we find out later that Morris is getting married and was planning on quitting anyway, or had inherited a fortune, got a bonus from Christopher Rufu, or has a secret lobbying contract, such developments will put her performance in a very different perspective. It is one of the many tragedies of the digital age that we just can’t trust what we see, hear, and are told.

    2. If, however, the speech is what it purports to be, Morris has to be deemed an ethics hero. She has made herself a target, quit her job, and said in a public forum what she had been unethically told she could not say. You never know when such moments become catalysts for important shifts in opinion and tipping points in policy debates. Usually, they are quickly forgotten. Sometimes, they are not.

    It’s very clear to me that Morris is intentionally putting herself out there trying to be the pebble in the pond and that IS the purpose of the speech. It’s clear to me that she is not trying to unethically defraud or extort others out of something using a faux public ethical grandstanding like some of those organizations do with their tear jerking television ads that are used to line the pockets of many people with cash donations, in fact she asked for nothing at all. Regardless of what “could be” some unknown possible exterior conditions that could have motivated her to take this stand at this moment in time, like you mentioned in #1, this IS an valiant attempt to take a ethical public stand and be that ethical pebble in the pond and that action alone unquestionably deserves the honor of being called an ethical act. I’m sure social justice warriors won’t call her act ethical, they’ll call her a traitor.

    The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution are all, I repeat ALL, without question ethical public grandstanding of a few people and we should not under any circumstances diminish the value of the ethical things they did because there may have been some perceived exterior conditions that could have motivated the authors to take their ethical public stand. There are people in the United States right now intentionally trying to undermine the ethical value of our founding documents by attacking the motivation of the creators of the ethical documents. In my opinion, this is the same as what #1 could do.

    Even if there were exterior conditions that could have motivated her to take this stand at this particular time, as indicated by #1, those motivations should not be used to undermine the ethical value of the actual ethical act itself. The ethical act alone is ethical, and Morris knowingly putting a target on her forehead for the social justice warrior mobs to attack gives the ethical act hero status. In my opinion Morris is an Ethics Hero.

    Ethical public grandstanding should not be undermined based on its perceived motivation, it can be that pebble in the pond and to undermine it devalues all the ethical acts that it may inspire.

    I think we should actively encourage people to be the pebble every chance we can.

    • I’ve been saying for a while that the irrational social justice warriors are winning the battle of the minds and I’m seeing battle after battle being lost by rational thinking people and social justice warriors are controlling more and more of the country, but the ethical grandstanding of someone like Morris gives me hope that the scourge of social justice warriors might not actually win the war.

      Morris should run for public office, I’d support her in a heartbeat.

      • Nothing can overcome the fact that the message of the SJW’s is easier and more immediately fulfilling than asking people to burn energy actually learning and thinking. That’s why SJW’s are successful, and it’s a disadvantage the right will always have.

        I think what we have to work for more than anything else, is the idea that, like a virus, the “woke” mentality will turn out to be self-limiting. The toxic addictive drug of instant positive feedback for a “woke” attitude on social media, the insane mob censorship for espousing wrongthink, and the disparity in effort required between adopting the social justice mentality and learning how to think rationally (it’s clear that broad swaths of America do not know how, probably because they’ve never been taught critical thinking) is going to make efforts to overcome it very difficult.

        Will efforts like Morris’ help? I think so, because it speaks a language that is broadly understood — the language of emotion. Couched in those terms, censorship and enforced conformity draw strong negative responses. But appeals to reason are bound to be inferior to appeals to emotion for the reasons I’ve stated above.

  6. “Teaching beliefs at all is unethical.”
    Generally, in the public school context, when belief is presented as fact, agreed. But…

    “If a teacher believes that dinosaurs didn’t exist, he or she shouldn’t be teaching.”
    A step (or two) too far. What if the hypothetical “he or she” -or “ze,” teaches English grammar? Or Art? Their beliefs re dinosaurs are a bar to teaching proper sentence structure? Or to teaching perspective drawing?

    “If a teacher believes that the United States is evil, that teacher shouldn’t be teaching either.” What if the teacher believes that the USA is the greatest nation on earth and the last greatest hope of mankind for self-government? Give that teacher the boot as well?

    I don’t recall any public school teachers in elementary or high school ever blatantly teaching their personal beliefs (as in, “I believe that ‘so-and-so,’ and you should believe it, too.”), although I went to church with a couple of my teachers and sang in the church choir with one, so I knew more about their beliefs than the others. I don’t recall ever being taught as fact anything that was contrary to the values that I learned at home. On the other hand, we recited the Pledge to the Flag every morning and in high school there was a morning devotional and a religious or patriotic song played over the PA system each morning before the daily announcements, so I guess the school was complicit in my indoctrination as a patriotic, Christian and conservative American citizen.

    • In the first case, I was assuming a teacher teaching material relevant to dinosaurs. In your second case, it’s a tougher question. I think it’s suicidal for any culture to educate its young with the bias that their own nation is evil—that poisons the process, and, I submit, is demonstrably untrue. America exceptionalism is not a similarly dangerous belief, but it should not be taught. It shouldn’t be discouraged, either. Again, open for debate, but every nation should instill a baseline of respect and loyalty to its own existence.

      I was thinking of an example of when a belief on either side of a controversy should not be taught: “defund the police.” The idea is idiotic, but no teacher should teach that or “we need police.” If critical thinking skills are properly taught, and basic realities of civilization, law and ho society functions, students should be able to figure out what makes sense.

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