Former Virginia administrator sues school board, alleging racial harassment

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A former school administrator in Virginia is embroiled in a legal battle over what she says was a racially hostile work environment.

Emily Mais, an assistant principal at Agnor-Hurt elementary school, was fired last September after she claimed she was made racist and harassing.

Mais was participating in a training session based on a book called “Courageous Conversations about Race,” which Albemarle County School District began using in 2019. The book identifies positive and negative characteristics of people based on race. It also states that racism can only be committed by the “dominant” race, which is primarily White people.

“Courageous Conversations” was mentioned explicitly in a February report from Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Balow as an example of critical race theory-based curricula in Virginia schools. This report was prepared in response to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s first executive order to review and identify divisive concepts within public schools was issued.

Former assistant principal Emily Mais, in a photo provided by her attorney.

Emily Mais, former assistant principal, in a photo provided to her attorney.

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During the training session, Mais used the term “colored people” instead of “people of color” when asking about one of the presentation slides, which attorney Kate Anderson described as a “slip of the tongue” for which Mais immediately apologized.

“Another teacher who was in that training began berating her in front of others, even though she had apologized,” Anderson told Fox News. “The district began calling her into meetings and telling that her apologies were not important. They didn’t care whether it was a slip on the tongue. “

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Anderson said the bigger issue was that Mais disagreed with the teachings.

“She was called a troublemaker because she spoke out against a policy that was racially skewed towards students,” Anderson stated. It told teachers that students had to be treated differently based upon their race. Teach them differently, grade them differently, discipline them differently. The complaint claimed that Mais was called a racist, pervasively harassed, humiliated, and eventually forced to quit a job she loved to protect her mental health. “

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Mais said when she went to her principal, Mike Irani, he refused to take any action, according to Mais’ complaint. In August, she submitted her resignation and resigned in September. Late last week, she filed a complaint against Albemarle County School Board. A spokesperson for the board said that it had not received the suit so could not comment further.

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