Elizabeth Schultz has a history of making extremely controversial remarks and treating the school system’s staff and her fellow board members horribly while promoting an extremist agenda, but it appears as though she’s taken it to a whole new level. As Lowell Feld over at Blue Virginia highlighted earlier today, Schultz spoke to a group called the Prince William and Manassas Family Alliance that’s based outside of her district (and the county in general) so she perhaps thought her constituents wouldn’t know about her speech. During her remarks, Schultz said liberals were promoting an education policy that harmed a student’s “ability to offer [their] side of” the holocaust.
“If you are a ninth grader in biology who is a Muslim girl or a 10th grader in a history class who has great grandparents who were from the Holocaust, do you think that you have the ability to stand up there and say ‘no’ to a teacher or say ‘that’s not right that you’re teaching me that’ or that you’re delimiting my ability to offer my side of it,” Schultz said. “The school boards are not demanding both sides of an issue be presented.”
But the conservative Republican who represents the Springfield District on the Fairfax County School Board didn’t stop there. After frequently supporting candidates and a political party that villainizes immigrants, Schultz claimed that curriculum “the people who are immigrants who wind up most disadvantaged [by the school system’s curriculum] are actually poor, non English speaking parents.” But she didn’t say this because she cared about poor immigrants. It appears as though she really wanted everyone to know she didn’t think they were smart enough to follow what was going on in the schools.
“Do you think that the parents who are immigrants to this country, who may have a certain ethnic or cultural or religious set of values, that they are able to access the content that’s difficult for my husband and I [sic] to navigate,” Schultz said, “are they as aware of what’s going on and able to help their children learn, help them to discern what they’re learning within the context of their values, of their religion of their upbringing?” She went on to say “the parents don’t even understand what their children are learning.”
It didn’t stop there as she went on to say she’s “bullied mercilessly as a school board member.” This is despite the fact that she frequently berates staff members and just two weeks ago suggested official reports have been manipulated as part of a conspiracy to help one of the other board members. It’s also noteworthy that she’d suggest this even though she’s voted against adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the school system’s non-discrimination policy, which would have helped students who are among the most bullied groups in the school system. Plus, she was caught blatantly lying at a community forum a couple weeks ago in hopes of shaming her opponent and making her look bad.
The response to Schultz’s extreme remarks has been quick and people across the political spectrum are speaking out against her bigoted remarks. Laura Jane Cohen, the Democratic endorsed candidate for the Springfield seat, said “it never ceases to amaze [her] what Elizabeth Schultz will say to hate groups when she’s behind closed doors.”
“The school board’s biggest bully shouldn’t be lecturing anyone about bullying. The fact that Schultz would mention religious minorities while demanding that teachers present ‘both sides of an issue,’ is deeply troubling. As someone who sat in synagogue this week for Yom Kippur, while people just like me were attacked in Germany for who we are and how we worship, I believe that even entertaining the idea that there are two sides to the Holocaust is dangerous,” Cohen said. “That kind of thinking has no home here, especially when it comes to how we educate our students.”
One of Pat Herrity’s (who’s the district’s Republican representative on the Board of Supervisors) former staffers who’s running for the school board as an independent also expressed disappointment in the remarks and called on Schultz to drop out of the race.
“These comments are beyond the pale and have no place, at all, in our community, much less in a position of leadership over our school system,” Kyle McDaniel said. “Let me be clear, there are not ‘two sides’ to the Holocaust. Elizabeth Schultz needs to immediately apologize, resign, and drop out of this race. She has shown that she has neither the temperament, nor the decency to be our representative.”
It’s one thing to have differing views on issues, but it’s a whole different thing to insist on teaching “both sides” of the holocaust, implying immigrants are too dumb to follow what’s going on in the schools, and claiming to be bullied even though she has a history of actively mistreating others. As someone who grew up in the Springfield district and now lives in the nearby Sully district, I can tell you Elizabeth Schultz absolutely does not represent the community’s values. Western Fairfax County deserves better.
For those who are interested, here’s video of her remarks:
Update: In response to this situation, Elizabeth Schultz has now claimed she’s being bullied by organizations funded by wealthy Jews in order to distract from reports published in outlets with connections to the alt-right and the organizer of the white nationalist Unite the Right rally.