Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Claude Worrell said Friday he would dismiss a lawsuit against the Albemarle County School Board; in the lawsuit, a group of parents argued that anti-racist school policy required “the indoctrination of Albemarle students in an ideology that denigrates students—all students—based on their race.
“The policy violates students’ civil rights by treating them differently based on race and by compelling them to affirm and support ideas contrary to their deeply held moral and religious beliefs,” said a press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is representing the plaintiffs.
A former Albemarle County elementary school assistant principal is suing the school board, claiming that a racially hostile work environment forced her to quit her job in 2021. Emily Mais’ lawsuit describes an escalating series of conflicts related to anti-racism trainings, including the book Courageous Conversations About Race, which Governor Glenn Youngkin’s education administration has identified as an example of Critical Race Theory.
“The curriculum sets up a classic Catch-22, in which a white person’s objections to the content of the curriculum are simply evidence that he or she is a racist who needs further training on the curriculum,” the complaint states. “Unfortunately for her, Ms. Mais was caught in that Catch-22. When Ms. Mais complained about the curriculum and protested reverse racism, she was branded a racist, severely and pervasively harassed, relentlessly humiliated, and ultimately compelled to resign from a job that she loved to preserve her mental health.”
A group of parents with children who attend schools within the Albemarle County District are suing the school board for “enacting discriminatory policies and indoctrinating students in radical ideology.”
According to the Alliance Defending Freedom, attorneys who are representing the nine parents, the school board’s policies allow members of the staff to treat students differently based on race.
The Albemarle County School Board passed a transgender policy on August 12. Less than a week later on Wednesday, Albemarle resident Randy Zackrisson announced a write-in campaign to challenge board Chair Graham Paige in the Samuel Miller District.
“This is why I’m running for school board: to respect parental rights. To let the parents decide how to raise their children. That’s their responsibility, not the school system,” Zackrisson said in an announcement speech posted to Facebook by Philip Hamilton, Republican candidate for House of Delegates District 57.