Ohio moms speak out after private school expels their children over critical race theory pushback
School says parents violated 'enrollment agreement'
Two Ohio mothers spoke out Wednesday morning after their children were expelled from a private school due to the mothers pushing back against critical race theory.
Columbus Academy is denying re-enrollment to several students, alleging that their mothers breached part of their contract by leading a public campaign against the school's purported attempt to "indoctrinate" students with left-wing ideas.
"I feel like it is unfortunate that when you are speaking out and you are trying to say your truth, unfortunately, there are people who want to retaliate against you. In this case, they retaliated against our children, who are innocent," Andrea Gross told "Fox & Friends First," alongside Amy Gonzalez.
The decision capped off months of efforts by Gross and Gonzalez to probe Columbus Academy's (CA) activities, which allegedly included divisive concepts about race and anti-conservative sentiment. Gross and Gonzalez are co-organizers of the Pro CA Coalition, pushing against critical race theory being taught at Columbus Academy.
"We tried, in the best way possible, to represent and speak up not only for our children but also our teachers. At a private school, they did not have a union. I believe a lot of it is coming from The National Association of Independent Schools," Gonzalez told host Todd Piro.
OHIO PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENTS DENIED REENROLLMENT AFTER MOMS' 'INFLAMMATORY' CAMPAIGN AGAINST 'INDOCTRINATION'
Fox News has obtained copies of the school's letters notifying Gross and Gonzalez, who lead the Pro-CA Coalition, of the decision. The school, which includes pre-K through 12th grade students, effectively expelled two of Gross' children and one of Gonzalez's. According to the moms, their coalition includes hundreds of other CA parents who are also concerned about recent changes to school materials.
Gross and Gonzalez's battle is one that's being fought by many parents across the U.S. In the wake of George Floyd's murder by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, parents have reported being blindsided by racial content and encountering road blocks while seeking accountability from administrators.
Schools like CA have generally defended so-called "anti-racist" or equity-focused content as ways to enhance inclusion among students. However, parents' complaints and school materials often reveal highly controversial content that critics say causes even more division.
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Gonzalez said that the fight is directed at expanding speech, not banning it. She also said that students are not the only constituents who feel unsupported, but, the teachers feel that way as well.
"We feel like how are they going to come forward? They have one-year contracts, which whenever they have any grievances, they don’t have an H.R. department, they have to take that to the head of school as well."
Gross said their organization asked for a "confidential reporting line" for the teachers and both mothers said that that request was denied by the school.
A spokesperson for CA declined to comment on specific cases, but more generally restated the school's position on "attacks" leveled by parents.
"Columbus Academy does not comment on the circumstances of any student or family. However, any parent who waged a public campaign of false and misleading statements and inflammatory attacks harmful to the employees, the reputation, or the financial stability of Columbus Academy would be in clear violation of the Enrollment Agreement and would be denied re-enrollment for the following school year," the spokesperson said.
Fox News' Sam Dorman contributed to this report.