An official with the Virginia Parent-Teacher Association who made headlines last week after seemingly wishing death upon opponents of critical race theory has resigned from her position.
What is the background?
While concerned parents gathered outside Luther Jackson Middle School in northern Virginia last week for a “Stop CRT Rally,” Michelle Leete — the vice president of training at the Virginia PTA, vice president of communications for the Fairfax County PTA, and first vice president of the Fairfax County NAACP — spoke to counterprotesters who support CRT.
During her diatribe, Leete seemingly said of critical race theory opponents, “Let them die!”
So, let’s meet and remain steadfast, steadfast, in speaking truth, tearing down double standards, and refuting double talk. Let’s not allow any double downing on lies. Let’s prepare our children for a world they deserve. Let’s deny this off-key band of people that are anti-education, anti-teacher, anti-equity, anti-history, anti-racial reckoning, anti-opportunities, anti-help people, anti-diversity, anti-platform, anti-science, anti-change agent, anti-social justice, anti-health care, anti-worker, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-children, anti-health care, anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-admissions policy change, anti-inclusion, anti-live-and-let-live people. Let them die. Don’t let these uncomfortable people, don’t let these uncomfortable people deter us from our bold march forward.
“Let them die,” says @FairfaxNAACP leader Michelle Leete at protest before @fcpsnews board. Folks against critical… https://t.co/1VnOxXlqn7
— Asra Q. Nomani (@Asra Q. Nomani)1626387557.0
What happened now?
The Virginia PTA announced Saturday that it had requested, and received, Leete’s resignation.
“While not speaking in her role within Virginia PTA, we do not condone the choice of words used during a public event on Thursday, July 15, 2021,” the statement said.
Statement on resignation of VP of Training https://t.co/EZWPPUK6OH
— Virginia PTA (@Virginia PTA)1626529420.0
In a separate statement, the Fairfax County Parents Association further condemned Leete, whom the associated noted still works with the Fairfax County NAACP.
“Virginia PTA requests and receives the resignation of Michelle Leete due to her comments wishing the death of parents who disagree with her,” the Fairfax County Parents Association wrote on Twitter.
“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,” the statement added.
What did Leete say?
Leete told the Washington Post that her comment — “let them die” — did not refer to opponents of CRT, but rather “the ideals that show a disregard and lack of support for our teachers who have a truly difficult job to do even without a pandemic.”
“I will certainly admit, it was ineloquently stated and with a pause for the applause, the timing was off,” Leete added.