Albemarle County, Virginia, has sued the school board and district leaders, alleging that they “indoctrinated” students with critical race theory and thus violated the rights of parents under the constitution. Ryan Bangert, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, said that a public school shouldn’t and cannot indoctrinate children in a harmful, race-based ideology in this case. He spoke to Fox News Digital during a Thursday interview.
Bangert stated that the children are being told their race is what defines them. Bangert said that the children are being told they belong to oppressors and subordinate oppressed and that their success or failure in life will depend on their race. “They are being told that their success or failure in life will depend on their race.”
The lawyer stated that these pernicious ideas directly contradict the parents’ beliefs. He stated that Albemarle Public Schools was “implementing a harmful and destructive ideology and embedding this in the school’s education curriculum.”
The lawsuit details various aspects of an Anti-Racist Policy pushing CRT. This framework involves deconstructing social aspects to uncover systemic racism underneath the surface. One of the plaintiffs was a student who participated in the pilot program that the school district started during the 2020-2021 school years. The school district stated that it intends to expand the program at all levels.
The lawsuit states that the program “identifies racism as such things as colorblindness and asserts that we live in a post-racial society. It also claims that it doesn’t matter what party you vote for. Diagram showing “Active/Covert Racism”, and “Omissions/Passive Racism”, which describes “Denial Of White Privilege” (or “Self-Appointed White Ally”) as forms of passive racism.
Another diagram shows that communication is a racialized instrument. It contrasts “White Talk” and “Color Commentary”. The lawsuit states that the program instructs white students to be racist if they don’t adopt and forcefully promote a radical ideological program. This is regardless of their individual racial biases.
The policy is called an anti-racism strategy, but it actually incorporates critical theory ideology which promotes race-based divisions and resentment,” Bangert (an ADF lawyer) told Fox News Digital. It redefines racism to include opinions that are not in line with the race-based curriculum and policy. It also labels any opposition to that program as racist.
Parents and students are suing the school board claiming that CRT “indoctrination” violates their rights: (1) their right of freedom from governmental discrimination; (2) their right of freedom of speech under Virginia Constitution through viewpoint discrimination; (3) their right of freedom of expression under Virginia Constitution through compelled speaking; (4) their right of freedom from discrimination based on religion; (5) their right of due process under Virginia Code and Virginia Common Law, and (6) their parental right under the Virginia Constitution and Virginia Common Law.
The plaintiffs ask for a court declaration in support of the CRT curriculum. This would affirm each count against the school board as well as the district. The plaintiffs request that the court declare that school officials “inculcate racist stereotypes and treat students differently based on their race,” and that students “demeaning, punishing and threatening students for expressing dissenting opinions is unlawful viewpoint discrimination.”
The lawsuit seeks to ensure a “preliminary, permanent injunction” that prohibits the school board and district officials from pushing the CRT curriculum. Parents can also opt out of their children’s education. The lawsuit also seeks compensatory damages, nominal damages, and attorney’s fees.
Bangert stated that “this is a very diverse set of parents.” One student is half Black/Native American and one-half White. One family is Catholic, another is Protestant, and one immigrated from Panama. Bangert stated that they are united in their belief children are not defined based on their race.
Schools claim that curricula don’t contain CRT, but parents all over the country have spoken out against it in school curricula as well as in teacher training. Glenn Youngkin was elected the Republican governor-elect of the commonwealth. He defeated former Gov. Terry McAuliffe was a Democrat who pledged to ban CRT in Virginia schools last month.
Fox News Digital reached out to the Albemarle County Schools Board and the school district for no comment.