A Virginia Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) official has resigned after she was seen on video at a protest making incendiary remarks about parents who oppose critical race theory.
In a statement released over the weekend, the PTA said that its “executive committee requested and received the resignation of Michelle Leete, who served as Vice President of Training.”
“The actions & rhetoric of Ms. Leete & all of the like-minded partisan supporters of the SB are deeply disappointing. It evinces a deep lack of concern for children & parents, particularly where the wellbeing of children & families clash with political considerations,” a Twitter post from the organization reads.
Leete was recorded at a counter-protest criticizing those who oppose critical race theory (CRT), an offshoot of the European Marxist school of critical theory, being taught inside classrooms.
“Let them die,” Leete said, apparently referring to CRT’s opponents during the demonstration.
The Virginia PTA’s statement also sought to distance the organization from Leete, stating that it doesn’t condone her words and noted that she wasn’t speaking in her capacity as a high-ranking member of the state’s PTA. Leete is also an executive within the Virginia NAACP.
In recent months, parents around the United States—particularly in Virginia’s Fairfax and Loudon counties—have taken up arms against teachers who use curriculum that borrows from CRT, the closely associated “antiracist” movement, and the similarly aligned “1619 Project.”
Opponents of the ideology say it foments communist class struggle along racial lines and will lead to catastrophic consequences, while proponents have attempted to separate CRT from Marxism by saying it provides a more accurate interpretation of U.S. and colonial history.
“An outgrowth of the European Marxist school of critical theory, critical race theory is an academic movement which seeks to link racism, race, and power,” Legal Insurrection’s Criticalrace.org website states, noting that it radically departs from the earlier Civil Rights movement.
Notably, CRT attempts to “challenge the very foundations of the liberal order, such as rationalism, constitutional law, and legal reasoning,” and its proponents argue that nearly all aspects of American politics, social life, and economic systems are founded on race, the website states.
However, universities and public schools have gone a step further, according to Legal Insurrection’s site, which has compiled the actions that school officials have recently taken to promote CRT or closely aligned movements.
According to the website, a number of schools have started essentially forcing students to undergo diversity, antiracism, and bias training; have changed admissions policies and standardized testing; changed curriculum requirements; implemented disciplinary measures that prevent academic freedom; and have renamed buildings, among other policy shifts.
Some Republican-led states have passed legislation in recent weeks that essentially bars the teaching of CRT-derived curriculum at public schools or the use of CRT-based training materials in government offices.