CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia — Longtime Albemarle County, Virginia, resident Randy Zackrisson announced Wednesday morning his write-in candidacy to unseat current school board chairman Graham Paige amid local outrage over the county’s Critical Race Theory indoctrination scheme and transgender policy.
Albemarle County’s school board has three seats up for reelection this cycle, and until Zackrisson threw his hat in the ring, all incumbents were running unopposed.
Zackrisson, who delivered his announcement address on the steps of the Albemarle County Office Building, has lived in the county for 40 years and has seen all four of his children graduate from the Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) system. He currently has two grandchildren in the school district as well.
“A group of concerned parents, teachers, and citizens asked me to run for this school board seat,” he said addressing a group of parents and children waving American flags. “These parents told me that they are feeling that their voices are being consistently excluded from school board discussions — especially during a period of rapidly changing and far-reaching school policies.”
As Breitbart News previously reported, the ACPS board “unanimously voted to adopt 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.'” Breitbart News also reported, ACPS’s now-passed transgender policy “changes the power dynamic between government and family, as it attempts to restrict key student mental health knowledge from parents.”
As these policies became known to parents and other Albemarle County residents, many decided to respond by organizing against the school board and its new policies. One of the chief goals, members of the local group Citizens Advocating for Responsible Education told Breitbart News, is simply to be included in the discussion and decision-making process.
Focusing his campaign on “parental rights,” Zackrisson recalled his experience with the ACPS board when his children attended school, saying “much has changed in the school system since my kids attended. Back then, the school board actually valued parents’ inputs and sincerely listened to parents before making decisions that impacted the lives of our children and our education.”
“We could really make a difference back then,” he continued, “Well, that was then — and this is now.”
Zackrisson chided the current practices of the “activist” school board “intentionally exclud[ing]” parents from the process:
Unfortunately today, the opinions and concerns of parents in Albemarle County are being consistently disregarded by our activist school board. Parents are frustrated by being intentionally excluded from major school board decisions — or even the opportunity to ask questions.
“This is not representation, and this is not how school boards are supposed to work,” he exclaimed. “This must stop.”
Speaking of the effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on children’s educations, Zackrisson said, “Over the past 18 months, these major disruptions — coupled with the mismanagement of our children’s education — has been disastrous.” Contrasting the school board’s focus with what he believes are the more important issues, Zackrisson held that instead of trying to “recover thousands of lost educational hours … their priorities are focused instead on renaming schools and compelling ‘equity’ policies.”
Zackrisson went on to underscore the importance of a “classical education.”
In conclusion, Zackrisson stressed how destructive many of the new policies are to children, saying, “If we want to live in our wonderful and unique community — and if we want our kids to contribute to keeping it the welcoming and diverse community that it is — grouping, labeling, and stereotyping is not helpful; in fact, it is extremely destructive.”
As Breitbart News has previously reported, “Many have dubbed Virginia “ground zero” for the nationwide fight over the radical racial indoctrination scheme Critical Race Theory, which is permeating public schools. While some Virginia school districts, such as Russell County, have decided against pursuing such a radical political agenda … others, like Loudoun, Albemarle, and Fairfax counties appear to have decided to go full steam ahead.”
Watch Zackrisson’s full address here:Breccan F. Thies