Investigative Reports

Cover-Up? Media Blames Anti-CRT Parents for Meeting Chaos, But Startling Video Exposes What Really Happened


If you happened to be following the news in Prince William County, Virginia, over the past few weeks, you might have been under the impression that an angry mob of parents protesting critical race theory disrupted a recent school board meeting.

Three local outlets covering the Sept. 15 meeting suggested as much.

InsideNoVa, the Prince William Times and local ABC affiliate WJLA-TV all claimed that the room where the meeting took place had to be cleared due to a supposedly “unruly” crowd of parents.

According to someone who attended and filmed the meeting, this is far from the truth.

The attendee — who was unwilling to go on the record — shared footage of the event with Leigh Bravo, the head of an anti-CRT task force in Prince William County. Bravo came forward and told The Western Journal that the aforementioned media outlets used deceptively edited videos to push a false narrative.

US Missionaries Slaughtered in Haiti, Ambushed by 3 Truck Loads of Gang Members - Biden Silent So Far

The party responsible for the outburst that led to security clearing the room seems to be Tonya James, a chairwoman of the Prince William County Democratic Committee.

The Western Journal reached out to James for comment on the incident but did not receive a response in time for publication.

In video footage of the school board meeting, a woman identified by Bravo as James can be seen screaming obscenities at gathered parents.

Local news outlets, however, omitted James’ comments from their coverage of the event.

For example, a video shared by InsideNoVa’s Jared Foretek begins moments after James’ outburst. The misleading editing makes it appear as though the angry parents were unprovoked.

Marco Rubio Turns the Tables When 'Meet the Press' Anchor Tries to Trap Him with a 'Gotcha' Question

Similarly, WJLA only showed footage from before and after the outburst.

The only video shared by the Prince William Times shows residents being denied entry to the meeting.

The description of the video reads, “People defying the Prince William County school division’s mandatory face-covering rule attempt to enter the school board chambers Wednesday evening before police and security officers cleared the building due to unruly actions by some in the crowd.”

In short, the media appeared to cover up for a local Democratic official, editing video footage to make anti-CRT parents look like a crowd of uncontrollable protesters.

The Western Journal reached out to all three outlets for comment on their decision to omit James’ outburst from their coverage. None of them responded in time for publication.

In comments sent to The Western Journal, Bravo alleged that this was a coordinated attempt by the media, Democrats and Prince William County employees to protect each other and “throw parents under the bus.”

Do you think the media tried to cover for James?

“The fact the employees of PWC are doing what they can to disrupt a school board meeting so parents get no say in how our kids are educated is outrageous. I, for one, am sick to death of all the lies and corruption,” Bravo told The Western Journal.

“We don’t have a problem with systemic racism in this country, we have a problem with systemic corruption.”

Even before parents were escorted out of the building, it seems as though the school board sought to limit the number of people allowed to participate in the meeting. The room’s capacity was capped at 53 members of the public and the number of residents allowed to speak was restricted to 20, InsideNoVa reported.

School board chairman Babur Lateef claimed the restrictions were “related to what had happened at Loudoun County School Board meetings.”

Escalating tensions in Loudoun reached a boiling point in June when, during another school board meeting, pro-LGBT protesters clashed with concerned parents, resulting in one individual’s arrest and another individual suffering minor injuries, according to InsideNoVa.

In Prince William County, officials deny that critical race theory is taught in schools, according to both InsideNoVa and the Prince William Times.

While The Western Journal was unable to determine what is and is not taught in the school district’s curriculum, a quick scan of the Prince William County Public Schools website confirms that the county is promoting many of the controversial tenets of CRT, including race essentialism, systemic racism, social justice and equality of outcomes.

The Western Journal reached out to Lateef asking if these ideas had indeed made their way into the district’s curriculum. Lateef did not respond in time for publication.

The “Parent Resources on Race and Discrimination” page on the district’s website redirects to various resources that promote the central teachings of CRT.

One such resource takes for granted “race-based privilege and oppression” and the claim that Americans are “immersed in the structures and practices of white supremacy.”

Even if Prince William County is not explicitly teaching students CRT, there is no doubt the district is encouraging parents to adopt its doctrines.

Nevertheless, the media merely covered officials’ denial that CRT is taught in classrooms and depicted protesting parents as an unreasonable mob.

On Sept. 29, the National School Boards Association penned a letter asking President Joe Biden to treat parents who oppose the teaching of CRT and mask mandates as domestic terrorists.

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday issued a memorandum condemning a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators.”

In the memo, Garland promises the Justice Department will “announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.” He provides no examples of such conduct having actually taken place.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , , , ,
Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment