Parents Sue Virginia School Board For Promoting Racism In Schools

By Rick Gonzales | 5 months ago

Parents in the state of Virginia’s Albemarle County are taking a stand. They, along with their children, are fighting back against what they are calling “school board racism” coming from Albemarle Public Schools. In fighting back, they are suing not only the county school board but also the district leadership. Parents claim that the school board has been “indoctrinating” their students with critical race theory (CRT), which in turn violates the rights of students and parents under the Virginia Commonwealth constitution.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is the organization representing the parents. “A public school should not, and in this case under the law cannot indoctrinate kids in a destructive, race-based ideology,” said Ryan Bangert, senior counsel at ADF, to Fox News Digital.

Bangert explained that kids in Albemarle County are being told that they, as people, are being defined simply by their race and nothing else. Bangert says that they fit into groups that are either oppressors or oppressed based solely on race. The students are also being taught/told that their success or lack thereof in life boils down to one thing and one thing only – their race.

“Those are pernicious ideas that directly contradict what these students are told by their parents,” Bangert summed up, then added that the Albemarle School District is “implementing a destructive and harmful ideology and embedding it in the school’s curriculum.”

The lawsuit, C.I. v. Albemarle County School Board, which was filed by ADF on behalf of nine parents and their children, claims that the curriculum introduced by Albemarle Public schools is based on CRT and violates Virginia law and its constitution.

The Albemarle School District introduced their pilot program during this past 2020-21 school year and one of the students attached to the lawsuit took part in it. The school district has even announced that there are plans in the works to expand this teaching across all school levels in the future.

In the filing, ADF gave numerous examples of how the school board implemented racism into the curriculum. In one diagram ADF included in the lawsuit, it spoke of “Active/Covert Racism” and “Omissions/Passive Racism.” Some examples given under “Omissions/Passive Racism” include Fearful of People of Color, Denial of White Privilege, Self-appointed “white-ally”, Over-familiarization with POC (people of color), and Racist Mascots.

Sample from alleged school curriculum

In another diagram the ADF included in the lawsuit, the teachings claim that “Communication is a Racialized Tool” and they compare “White Talk” against “Color Commentary.”

Sample screenshot from alleged school curriculum

According to the lawsuit, which you can see in full here, “In short, the program instructs white students that if they fail to adopt and forcefully advance a radical ideological political program, they are racist, regardless of whether they individually harbor any racial animus or bias.”

Bangert went on to explain the lawsuit even further by saying that the school board has labeled their policy as anti-racism, but in fact, it is just the opposite. He says the policy incorporates critical race theory that promotes division and resentment based completely on race.

“It redefines the concept of racism to include having opinions that don’t align with the race-based indoctrination program of the policy and the curriculum. Even worse, it labels dissent from that program as racist,” Bangert claims. He went on to reiterate that if a student were to disagree with the ideology the program laid out, the student would then be labeled a racist.

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Sample from materials alleged to be used by the school

There are a number of things that the parents and students suing the school board for racism are claiming. Per FoxNews, this policy violates: “(1) their right to freedom from governmental discrimination, (2) their right to freedom of speech under the Virginia Constitution through viewpoint discrimination, (3) their right to freedom of speech under the Virginia Constitution through compelled speech, (4) their right to freedom from discrimination on the basis of religion, (5) their right to due process under the Virginia Constitution, and (6) their parental rights under the Virginia Constitution, Virginia Code, and Virginia Common Law.”

So, what exactly is critical race theory? The concept itself is over 40 years old. The core idea surrounding CRT is that race is a social construct. CRT says that racism as we know it isn’t only centered on individual prejudice, but that racism is strongly embedded into our legal systems and policies.

That is where critical race theory started. Today, the layers are much deeper and to some, much more troublesome. So troublesome that the divide between races is becoming wider and wider, especially now that the push to both get it in schools and out of schools is becoming such a vicious battle.

The group of parents and children calling out the school board for racism is quite a diverse group of people. There is a Catholic family involved, a Protestant family, and there is also a family that immigrated from Panama. One of the students involved is half Black and half White/Native American. They are all united in the simple belief that we are not defined by our race.

Screenshot from curriculum allegedly used by school

The parents and students of the lawsuit are asking for a “preliminary and permanent injunction” to not allow the school district officials and school board to push the CRT curriculum. They would also like to have the option of permitting the students to opt out of this teaching. They are also seeking attorney’s fees, nominal damages, and compensatory damages.