Emily Mais was an Assistant Principal at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School in Charlottesville, Virginia, and loved her job. That is, until the Albemarle County Public Schools insisted on eliminating racism in its schools by creating its own form of racism, which it called “anti-racism,” based on principles of Critical Race Theory (CRT), an ideology that views everyone and everything through the lens of race.
The atmosphere the school district created was so antithetical to Ms. Mais’ Christian beliefs that every person is made in the image of God and entitled to equal treatment that she pushed back with her objections to the training materials. The district reacted with such harassment and hostility that she felt compelled to resign in September 2021.
Mais, who taught art for seven years at the school before joining its administration in 2012, has now filed a lawsuit against the school district with the help of attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
“She was forced out of that job in September 2021, however, because she questioned Defendant’s implementation in the school district of a radical program that scapegoats, stereotypes, labels, and ultimately divides people based on race,” the lawsuit alleges.
“Defendant claims it wants to eliminate racism in its school system, but, unfortunately, its policies and practices do the exact opposite.”
ADF, in a press release, explained how the district’s “anti-racism” policy works.
“The training curriculum, which is based on the book ‘Courageous Conversations About Race,’ attributes negative characteristics to some people and positive characteristics to others based solely on their race. For example, the curriculum teaches that acts of “racism” can only be committed by members of the “dominant race,” which it defines as white people,” ADF explained.
The district’s training materials also run contrary to the education policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“The district is using the curriculum even though the Virginia superintendent of public instruction has expressly recognized that the ‘Courageous Conversations’ book promotes inherently divisive concepts that are harmful to students and staff members and is an example of materials based on critical race theory that are being used in Virginia schools,” ADF added.
Ms. Mais is not the only person challenging the school district’s indoctrination of students and teachers with a radical ideology. ADF also represents a religiously and ethnically diverse group of parents and their children who are suing the school board over the district’s teaching of its “anti-racism” policy to students. The Daily Citizen’s reporting on that lawsuit can be found here.
Mais is represented by ADF Senior Counsel Kate Anderson, who is the director of the ADF Center for Parental Rights.
“The training sets up a classic Catch-22: It encourages all staff members to ‘speak their truth,’ but when a white person like Emily raises concerns about the divisive content, she is deemed a racist in need of further ‘anti-racism’ instruction,” Anderson said. “Emily believes every person is made in the image of God and entitled to equal treatment and respect and refuses to participate in using harmful ideology to indoctrinate students, teachers, or staff.”
The “Courageous Conversations” book teaches that “color blindness,” which it describes as, “I don’t see color. I was raised to treat everyone with respect,” is an inferior attitude that must change. And it must change until one is “completely comfortable talking about race and calling out acts of racism.”
The problem is that everything becomes “racist” when viewed through this lens, and it’s divisive.
And anti-biblical, as Ms. Mais points out.
The book also divides us by differentiating between “White Talk” which is verbal, impersonal, intellectual and task-oriented, and “Color Commentary” which is nonverbal, personal, emotional and process-oriented.
Now, isn’t that a completely stereotypical and racist way of describing people? Didn’t we find our way out of that kind of thinking as a result of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s?
Hopefully, the lawsuits in Albemarle County will bring some sanity back into the discussion about race.
And it is desperately needed. Heaven will be filled with people who see Christ in each other, not their race.
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (Revelation 7:9-10 ESV).
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