A former assistant principal at a Virginia elementary school has filed a lawsuit against the district claiming that Critical Race Theory teachings created a “really hostile work environment.”
Emily Mais, who worked at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School in Charlottesville, says she was subjected to extreme harassment for weeks over her reservations about CRT.
The situation escalated for Mais, she claims, when she accidentally used the word “colored” instead of “people of color” during a teaching workshop, despite apologizing continuously — including immediately after the word was uttered. She says that for months she was harassed and berated by other staff and that the district failed to intervene. One black employee, who refused to accept the apology, began referring to her as “that white, racist bitch.”
She says she was also repeatedly accused of racism by the school guidance counselor, who quoted the district assistant superintendent saying that “failing to speak out in the face of a racist incident was to be complicit in racism.”
Mais said that the environment at the school took a turn after an “anti-racism” policy was enacted at the school in November, 2020.
“Because [anti-racism] endorses treating people differently because of their race, promoting racial stereotypes, and teaching that certain racial groups are inherently good or bad, embracing it laid the foundation for a racially hostile work environment within the [district],” the lawsuit explains.
The lawsuit added, it was “suggested that anyone opposed to their policy was a ‘racist’ and should consider finding a different job.”
Mais alleges that several employees complained about the policy during training in the Spring of 2021, saying that the policies were creating a “racially hostile work environment.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom is now assisting with her representation.
“Schools should be treating students equally, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or religion, and teachers should be able to advocate for policies that protect students and object when they see policies that are not protecting students,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Kate Anderson told the Washington Examiner.
Anderson said that the district’s policy was “telling teachers that you need to view your white students as racist” and that teachers were being told to teach, grade, and discipline their students “based on the color of their skin alone,” according to the Examiner’s report.
Mais ultimately quit her job due to “an inability to sleep, panic attacks, breaking out in hives, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, hyperventilating, headaches, nausea, depression, loss of appetite, and an inability to focus on daily activities,” according to the lawsuit.