Who is Tonja Neve? Arizona school principal calls parents 'whackos', 'pushy' for opposing Critical Race Theory
An Arizona public school principal has apologized after she called parents "whackos" and "pushy" for pushing back against Critical Race Theory.
The Young America's Foundation (YAF) obtained internal emails written by Desert Valley Elementary School Principal Tonja Neve slamming nearly a dozen parents who spoke against a proposed curriculum that would promote elements of the controversial academic movement at a December 10 school board meeting. The emails were obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request. During the school board meeting, one disgruntled parent asked the school district to "stop diluting student education with politically correct, feel-good propaganda," The Blaze reported.
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What did the emails say?
Neve called the board meeting "ridiculous" in one email dated February 1. "I'm sick of us giving these whackos a platform to spread propaganda without making any correction statements," she wrote, according to YAF.
In another email, Neve reportedly conferred with Jennifer Mundy, who YAF said is "one of the architects of the new proposed curriculum." The emails show Neve discussing how they could "quiet" the "pushy voices" of dissenting parents using a court precedent that "reinforces the power of principals to set boundaries in parent-school communication."
Speaking to YAF, a Peoria Unified School District spokeswoman said that the district wasn't aware of Neve's alleged "name-calling" and followed up with the principal. In response, Neve apologized for her comments.
"My comments were unprofessional and I apologize for that," she said. "My comments were in regards to audience members who were coming to our board and calling teachers out by name and misconstruing and devaluing the hard work they do. My comment was made in the heat of the moment and in defense of my profession and colleagues." She told YAF that she took "responsibility for what I did wrong."
Who is Tonja Neve?
It's worth noting that Neve was made the new principal of Main Street School in Exeter, New Hampshire, in March this year. She and her family are slated to move there before she joins the school on July 1.
“We are very excited to have secured the services of such a dynamic and motivational school leader who will advance our mission of excellence and justice,” said David Ryan, School Administrative Unit 16 superintendent David Ryan as he spoke to Seacoast Online. “The search process involved more than 100 community stakeholders who had the opportunity to meet several of the candidates and provide their feedback - Ms. Neve was at the top of their list.”
Neve is yet to finish her tenure as the principal of Desert Valley Elementary School, a 620 pupil K-8 public school in the Peoria Unified School District, where she has been serving as a certified administrator and classroom instructor since 2007.
She has previously worked as an assistant principal at Lake Pleasant and Alta Loma Elementary Schools, also in Glendale, for four years. Neve reportedly began her public education career as a high school English teacher at Raymond S Kellis and Liberty High Schools. She has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, also from Arizona State University.