FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — The Virginia PTA said Saturday that one of its officials had resigned after she was filmed at a rally saying, “Let them die,” during a speech interpreted as a denouncement of opponents of critical race theory.
The nonprofit association said in a statement posted online that its executive committee had “requested and received” the resignation of Michelle Leete, who served as its vice president of training.
The announcement came two days after Leete’s speech Thursday evening ahead of a Fairfax County school board meeting, The Washington Post reported. Leete was part of a group supporting transgender rights, and an opposing group was also gathered for a rally against critical race theory, according to the newspaper.
Leete can be heard saying, “Let’s deny this off-key band of people that are anti-education, anti-teacher, anti-equity, anti-history…” followed by a long string of other descriptors. She then said, “Let them die,” and a crowd listening to her cheered and applauded, video of the rally shows.
Leete, who also serves as first vice president for the Fairfax County chapter of the NAACP, told the newspaper for a story published Friday that she meant to wish death on the parents’ “ideals,” not any person.
She did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday, the Post reported. Nor did the Fairfax NAACP immediately respond to a question asking whether Leete would retain her role with the group.