anti-CRT events and been outspoken in his opposition to school equity programs. Becky Dion, another candidate for the same board, shared an anti-CRT letter written by Morley on social media, saying, “If you are interested in what the schools have been working on to teach your children in the Orleans county school district, please read the attached.”
Morley declined a request for an interview. Dion did not respond to a Facebook message.
Morley, Dion and Parent are all listed as local administrators of the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR), a national organization that seeks to combat what it sees as divisive lessons on racial justice across the country.
In Milton, a slate of three candidates for the Milton Town School District board — Nichole Delong, Scott O’Brien and Brock Rouse — circulated a document of “shared beliefs,” outlining their opposition to mask and Covid-19 vaccine mandates in schools and critical race theory, which they called “divisive not unifying.”
The document, which was obtained by VTDigger, also states that the candidates believe in “Americanism not Marxism,” “Capitalism not Socialism,” “the Nuclear Family” and “One Nation Under God,” among other points.
VTDigger emailed the three candidates requesting comment, but only Rouse replied, copying the other two on his email and asking a reporter to provide written questions. None of the candidates answered questions sent in a subsequent email.
Rick Dooley, the Milton school board chair, is defending his seat against Delong. This year’s race, Dooley said, is the most politicized he has seen in his four year-long tenure on the board.
Dooley said he sees the “shared beliefs” document as a political statement that does not have a place in the town’s school board race. Instead, he feels the candidates should be focusing on more tangible changes they want to make within the district.
“Most of the things on there don’t have anything to do with the actual roles and responsibilities of the school board,” Dooley said.
In St. Albans, Keith Longmore, a candidate for school board in the Maple Run Unified School District, has criticized the city’s new Belonging, Equity and Inclusion Committee — of which he is
a member — as the “unnecessary” result of a “wokeness brigade.”
Longmore does not appear to have discussed his campaign publicly. He did not attend
a candidate forum Feb. 10, and did not respond to multiple interview requests from the St. Albans Messenger.
But on Gettr, a right-wing social media site, an account sharing Longmore’s name has been active. That account, which posts frequently about Vermont politics, has called masks useless “face diapers” and accused the state teachers union of being “corrupt” and “self-serving.”
The account has also reposted a series of offensive memes and far-right conspiracy theories, including one claiming that the Covid-19 pandemic was pre-planned and another accusing Democrats of “(letting) boys in girl’s (sic) locker rooms” and “(accepting) barbarity in the form of Islam.”
Reached by phone Thursday, Longmore declined to discuss his candidacy with VTDigger, saying, “I don’t work with untruthful organizations,” before hanging up.
Reier Erickson, who is running against Longmore, said several people have asked him for his stance on critical race theory — even though there is no evidence it’s being taught in Maple Run schools.
“It’s definitely been something that’s been a driving force for a lot of people,” he said of CRT, “in terms of what their issues are and what their concerns are.”
‘The wrong trajectory’
In Arlington, Luke Hall, a former Vermont State Police trooper who resigned after posting a message on Facebook in support of Jan. 6 rioters, is also making a bid for school board.
Hall, the only candidate who agreed to an interview, said he is concerned that the district is on “the wrong trajectory.” He called for school officials to explore a withdrawal from the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union and to rescind its mask mandate.
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