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April 18, 2022

Emily Mais

Emily Mais

Emily Mais was an assistant principal at Angor-Hurt Elementary School, which is part of Albemarle County Public Schools in Virginia. She loved her job, and every school she worked at acknowledged her exemplary service. But when the school implemented teacher trainings that assigned negative or positive characteristics to people based solely on skin color, Emily voiced her concerns. She was ignored. In the final training session about the racial breakdown of the school’s employees, Emily suggested gathering more data to get a more complete picture. During this presentation, she inadvertently used the term “colored” instead of “people of color”—for which she immediately apologized. Despite her continued apologies, the school staff berated her for months. They called her names, mistreated her, and demonized her for a slip of the tongue. Emily was eventually forced to resign for the sake of her physical and mental health.

Public schools should not foster race-based division and resentment, but that is exactly what Albemarle County Public Schools is doing. That is why ADF has filed a lawsuit on Emily’s behalf for the school board’s creation of a racially hostile work environment.

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April 14, 2022

Dr. Nicholas Meriwether

Nicholas Meriwether

After a three-year legal journey, philosophy professor Dr. Nicholas Meriwether has favorably settled his case with Shawnee State University. The university had punished Dr. Meriwether for declining to speak a message against his deeply held beliefs: referring to a male student with feminine titles and pronouns. ADF filed suit, and in March 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled in Dr. Meriwether’s favor, saying that, based on the facts in the complaint, the university had violated his right to free speech. In the settlement, the university agreed to pay $400,000 in damages and attorney’s fees, remove the written warning from his file, and affirm his right to avoid using titles or pronouns that conflict with his beliefs.

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March 3, 2022

Peter Vlaming

Peter Vlaming

The Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to take up our case Vlaming v. West Point School Board after a lower court failed to protect the religious freedom and free speech rights of Peter Vlaming. Mr. Vlaming was a high school French teacher who was fired for avoiding the use of male pronouns with a female student, even though he consistently used the student’s chosen name. ADF will argue for the Virginia Supreme Court to uphold Mr. Vlaming’s constitutional rights and the rights of all teachers in Virginia to not be forced to contradict their core beliefs.

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February 22, 2022

Lorie Smith

Lorie Smith

Mrs. Smith is going to Washington! The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Denver-based graphic designer and artist Lorie Smith in 303 Creative v. Elenis. A Colorado public-accommodation law threatens to censor and coerce speech of creative professionals whose religious beliefs conflict with government orthodoxy. This is the same law which has been used to target Jack Phillips. The High Court will review whether such laws violate of the First Amendment when used to “compel an artist to speak or stay silent”. ADF looks forward to representing Lorie at the Supreme Court.

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February 7, 2022

School Classroom

C.I. v. Albemarle County School Board

An ethnically and religiously diverse group of nine parents and their children, represented by ADF, are asking a Virginia court to halt the implementation of discriminatory policies and curriculum. Albemarle County School Board’s “Anti-Racism” policy indoctrinates students in critical race theory, a radical ideology that teaches them to view everything through the lens of race. The policy would encourage differential treatment on the basis of race and compel students and teachers to affirm ideas contrary to their deeply held moral and religious beliefs or be labelled a racist. Such policies violate their constitutional rights.

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