From FCPS Pride:
Virginia’s public school students are a wonderfully diverse group representing a variety of communities. They and their parents, guardians and families are beautifully diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and in other ways. Yet they are all Virginians. Our Governor and his appointees in the Virginia Department of Education must value and serve all of these students.
Elizabeth Schultz, the Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, appointed by Governor Glenn Younkin is scheduled to speak at a fundraising reception for The Family Foundation of Virginia on April 14, 2022, in Arlington. The Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization which has been publicly outspoken against LGBTQIA+ youth. They have fundraised thousands of dollars in support of anti-gay and anti-trans action in the Commonwealth.
Headlining the Family Foundation reception is Isabel Brown, an influencer with Turning Point USA and author of a book entitled Frontlines: Finding My Voice on an American College Campus. Ms. Brown definitely does NOT value people of all races equally, nor does she respect or value transgender and non-binary people. In the video by her that is linked on The Family Foundation’s invitation to this event, she spends several minutes cruelly mocking trans and nonbinary people for simply existing. Ms. Schultz, an appointee of the Governor, is tasked with setting education policy for all students and parents in Virginia, This includes thousands of transgender students and transgender parents and guardians. Schultz cannot support ALL students and families if she is aligned with a fundraiser with Ms. Brown, who mocks these students and their families.
Isabel Brown’s book is hyper-focused on race. She says in the book that this focus on race in her college government career has resulted in her being accused of white supremacy and racism. She believes that her mocking dismissal of the concerns of marginalized students is valid. She comes to Virginia to pitch this book that claims that racism is a myth created to oppose free speech, without having spoken to a single Virginian or considering the words of her Black classmates, other than to devalue them. She wrote “Truthfully, the first time someone calls you a racist, it hurts. A lot. Eventually, however, I realized when someone chose to call me [racist]… this was a clear sign that I was doing something right.” The Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction in the Virginia Department of Education, Elizabeth Schultz, cannot reasonably serve Black students or students of other races if she stands alongside Isabel Brown speaking about her book on ‘free speech’ which in fact repeats racist tropes.
When Schultz speaks at this fundraiser on Tuesday, she will be introduced by Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation. This is one statement Ms. Cobb has made about LGBTQ Virginians: “[Homosexuality] is illegal and also carries risks…teachers should simply say that there is a risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease if one commits a crime against nature.” She said this while tying LGBTQ Virginians to bestiality.
The Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization which has been publicly outspoken against LGBTQIA+ youth. In and of itself, Ms. Schultz’s continued affiliation with this inimical group is concerning. Ms. Schultz holds the second highest position in education in the Commonwealth. The VA DOE should not have ties with organizations which promote animosity.
Given these statements and writings that exclude and make fun of entire classes of students, their families, and school staff, we, the executive board of FCPS Pride and Rainstorms to Rainbows and the individuals listed below, demand that Elizabeth Schultz withdraw from and not attend the Family Foundation event on April 12, 2022 in Arlington. We demand that she not speak along with Isabel Brown and not be introduced by Victoria Cobb at such an event.