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We are writing to express our concern about the Crozet Gazette’s recent article headlined, “Western District Parents Sue School Board Over Curriculum” by Lisa Martin. The article goes into great depth to describe a lawsuit filed by five families against the Albemarle County Public School’s Anti-Racism Policy, which is being represented by the Arizona-based organization, Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF). Despite giving ADF prime front page real estate, and quoting the lawyer for ADF throughout the article, the Gazette failed to report that the Alliance for Defending Freedom is identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, ADF has been identified as a hate group because “it has supported the idea that being LGBTQ+ should be a crime in the U.S. and abroad and believes that is OK to put LGBTQ+ people in prison for engaging in consensual sex. It has also supported laws that required the forced sterilization of transgender Europeans… and spread lies about the LGBTQ+ community.”
Hate groups like the ADF have no business in Albemarle County Schools. Parents and political groups that insist that talking about race is “divisive,” are trying to sanitize our history and deny students the knowledge that will help us unite to build a more just and inclusive world. Every day, more and more people living in this country are beginning to understand that systemic racism is a major problem.
The Crozet Gazette plays an important role in framing issues in our community, but unfortunately, it is missing critical context about this serious issue. Residents of Crozet deserve to know the truth that group representing the law suit against our school district is an out of state hate group. Similarly, students in Crozet deserve to know the truth about the American history of systemic racism.
Rather than supporting students and educators after a devastating pandemic, parents, extremist groups, and politicians are wasting time and resources trying to ban conversations about systemic racism, which actually help us unite to solve some of our country’s biggest challenges.
You of course are entitled to your opinion, but to me the ADF is an excellent organization. The institution I believe has become a hate group is the Southern Poverty Law Center. As a Hispanic minority and first generation immigrant, the SPLC doesn’t represent me or my values at all; they are in fact using the race card dishonestly to create more hate to confuse people just to drive their own agenda. In the process they are hurting minority communities in this country. People can do their own research and make their judgement.
The ADF does represent my values and I wish them Godspeed in their mission.