An elementary school assistant principal in Virginia is claiming “reverse racism” in a lawsuit against her school district after an equity training she attended went horribly wrong.
Emily Mais claims she was “forced out” of a job “she loved” when the Albemarle County Public Schools district implemented an anti-racism policy for teachers, which the suit calls a “radical program that scapegoats, stereotypes, labels, and ultimately divides people based on race.”
The 45-page complaint adds that “instead of training faculty members to embrace students of all races,” the program “promotes racial division and encourages racial harassment.”
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But here’s where things get a little murky. Mais’ suit also alleges that the district’s anti-racism curriculum, titled Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools by Glenn Singleton, is “critical race theory,” and we know a lot of folks in Virginia are not happy about CRT being taught in schools—even though it isn’t. And Mais, who believes race-related training is CRT and that CRT is racist, claims she she wasn’t able to oppose the training without appearing to be racist herself. Befuddling, right?
But if Mais isn’t just a little bit racist or at the very least insensitive, then why during the last session in June 2021, with of all the equity, justice, and anti-racism education she and other teachers were getting, did she refer to people of color as “colored” people?
Listen to Berkeley Law professor Ian Haney López discuss how Democrats can talk about race on Daily Kos’ The Brief podcast
Mais alleges it was just a “slip of the tongue” and the suit claims she “apologized,” but others in the room at the time, according to the suit, refused to accept her apology and she was asked to attend additional meetings with the district’s superintendent, the school’s guidance counselor, and an equity specialist, according to The Daily Beast.
Mais is being represented by attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal advocacy group founded in 1994 by “leaders in the Christian community,” The Daily Beast reports.
In the legal challenge, Mais is described as a “Christian” who “believes that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God.” Mais also says that she believes that “racism is morally evil,” and then cites Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quote—the one often used by people who don’t know any other quotes by King—“[people should] not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
And, according to The Daily Progress, Alliance Defending Freedom is also representing a group of parents and their children suing the school district over the district’s anti-racism policy, calling it CRT “that views everyone and everything through the lens of race. Far from exploring ideas or philosophies surrounding justice and reconciliation, that ideology fosters racial division, racial stereotyping, and racial hostility,” the suit alleges.
So it seems as if Mais’ suit and her “slip of the tongue” and her hostility against CRT aren’t totally disconnected.
In case you were wondering, there’s a wave of parents across the nation that wrongly believe CRT is being taught in K-12 schools. Again, critical race theory is a law school course, and it’s not, despite what Mais and others in Virginia think, a secret curriculum meant to indoctrinate children.
“We have a strategic plan that talks about values. … Equity has been an important one,” district spokesperson Phil Giaramita told The Daily Beast. “Our racism policy is very consistent in what we say our principles and values are as a school division. … We’re talking about equity of opportunity. Every student should have the same opportunity, an equal opportunity to achieve their highest level. That’s really what the policy is designed to ensure.”
Mais is seeking back pay and other damages, according to the complaint.