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Exclusive: Middle School School Teacher Ousted for Helping Expose Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory
the Critical Race Theory
Henley Middle School’s
Breitbart News
Albemarle County Public Schools
Ibram X. Kendi
the Department of Technology
the Blackboard Connect

Joseph T. Henley Middle School
CurriculumDan Ferraro
Beth Costa
Principal Beth Costa
Becky Fisher
Jennifer Weller Kim
Haas —
EducationPoliticsSocial JusticeAlbemarle

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Albemarle County
the United States


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The New York Times
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Henley Middle School in Albemarle County, Virginia, has been ousted for sharing the County’s “radical ideas” on Critical Race Theory (CRT) with parents.Informing Parents of the Critical Race Theory CurriculumDan Ferraro, a sixth and seventh grade language arts teacher, shared Henley Middle School’s “Courageous Conversations About Race” slides with parents in an effort to be “transparent” and, as he described to Breitbart News, because he felt he had a “moral obligation” to do so. As a result, according to Ferraro, school Principal Beth Costa told him his “views were inconsistent with the direction of the school,” and that his contract would not be renewed for another year of teaching.Breitbart News released an initial exposé using slides provided by Ferraro, reporting that Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) implemented a “radical ‘anti-racism’ policy aimed at ‘building the racial consciousness’ by requiring children to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities and ‘understand that anti-racism is an action’ for which they have a ‘personal responsibility.'”While Costa and other County officials maintain the program is not Critical Race Theory, Ferraro told Breitbart News, “Although they say it’s not the curriculum, it is not a Critical Race Theory, it’s based in it, if you track it, it is.”Ferraro, who now describes himself as an “anti-indoctrinationist,” told Breitbart News he disagreed with the content from the onset, saying a slide that quoted CRT purveyor Ibram X. One apparently pro-CRT parent replied to Ferraro’s characterization of the program, saying in part “I expect if I were a black child, I would feel reassured that racism is being addressed by our country through this material … True that the slides don’t pertain to everyone, but they are harmless and even helpful outside the topic of racism in terms of teaching kids to be less judgmental toward each other.” [Emphasis added].As Breitbart News previously reported, however, “Albemarle County then issued its white students a ‘call to action’ in a video while simultaneously telling its black students that they ‘are shown over and over and over that [their] lives do not matter.'”Commenting on the broader trajectory of the curriculum, Ferraro expressed to Breitbart News, “The whole concept is very controversial, to have kids talking about sexuality is one of the issues of gender associations and stuff like that, and I don’t think sixth graders need to be talking about that, honestly. In attendance were, at least, Ferraro, Costa, Assistant Principal Becky Fisher, Senior Human Resources Generalist Jennifer Weller Kim, and a witness of Ferraro’s choosing.Costa has consistently maintained that Ferraro sent parents the “wrong slides,” and described her perspective in a performance evaluation provided to Breitbart News:He misled his families to believe that they were kept from having access to the advisories and, because he sent the wrong slides, created a confusing and harmful situation. [Emphasis added].Ferraro described the situation somewhat differently, telling Breitbart News, “[Costa] was like, ‘Well, no, where did you get that slide from?’ almost accusing me of making it up, and so I got it from the folder and she said, ‘Well, that’s not true,’” adding that they asked, “‘Can you show us where you go?’ And I went there and I was like, ‘This is where it was, but it’s a different slide now … This is like … six or seven days later.” In addition, many parents have told Breitbart News that they were in fact “kept from having access to the advisories,” at least until Ferraro’s disclosure.According to Ferraro, Costa perpetually “updates” the slide decks. If you had investigated, you may have talked to other people, but probably did not.”Later in the meeting, Costa asserted that, “All you had to do was ask anyone on the team and share your concerns before you took a copy of the wrong slides, sent them out, made the assumption that they were not allowed to be previewed by families, which had been stated in several ‘Coffee with Costas’ and the Blackboard Connect, where the scope and sequence of the entirety of the lessons was sent out.”In response, Ferraro asked, “Did those share the premise that there is an evil and systemic racist society in the United States?” This question was met with total silence.No one from the school administration responded to a request for comment from Breitbart News.An “Unsafe Environment for Students”In Ferraro’s performance evaluation, Costa appeared to provide several misleading statements and asserted Ferraro “set up an unsafe environment for students”:The primary reason for the “needs improvement” is that Dan moved through the Advisory lessons quickly and, of his own admission, created an environment where students would have “not been surprised” to know that he disagreed with having conversations with students around identity, community, culture, and bias. … [Costa] said, ‘No, we talked about it, the staff meetings, we talked about it, we talked about what we’re gonna do and what we could do and how it’s uncomfortable,’ but we never talked about how to approach it with students,” Ferraro told Breitbart News.

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