Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Claude Worrell said Friday he would dismiss a lawsuit against the Albemarle County School Board; in the lawsuit, a group of parents argued that anti-racist school policy required “the indoctrination of Albemarle students in an ideology that denigrates students—all students—based on their race.
“The policy violates students’ civil rights by treating them differently based on race and by compelling them to affirm and support ideas contrary to their deeply held moral and religious beliefs,” said a press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is representing the plaintiffs.
In the Friday hearing, Worrell pushed back on the legal grounds for the lawsuit, asking the plaintiff’s attorney for support in case law or evidence that the policy or its application was illegal, according to WVIR.
“What we would say is that Judge Worrell’s decision is very encouraging to our commitment for establishing and sustaining an equitable school community that rejects all forms of racism,” Albemarle County Public Schools Communications Officer Phil Giaramita said in a statement. “We’re pleased the Court agreed with our position that because plaintiffs failed to identify concrete harm from the implementation of our anti-racism policy, there was no justiciable controversy for the Court to decide.”
Worrell hadn’t issued an official order by Friday afternoon. An ADF spokesperson said that after they evaluate the order, they’re likely to appeal.
“Today the Court indicated that it would dismiss our lawsuit challenging Albemarle County school board’s racially discriminatory policy. This is disappointing, but the case is not over. Every student deserves to be treated equally under the law, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or religion. Public schools cannot attack or demean students based on these, or any other, characteristics. We look forward to continuing to represent these parents and students on appeal,” Senior Counsel and Vice President of U.S. Litigation at Alliance Defending Freedom Dave Cortman said in a statement.
The ADF is also pursuing another lawsuit against the district, alleging that a racially hostile work environment forced an elementary school assistant principal to quit her job.