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An open records request revealed that an Ames Middle School counselor called Rachel Krofta, who includes she/her/hers preferred pronouns in her email signature, objected strongly to the district hosting a public forum at a church due to its stance on the district’s Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action and for supporting school board candidates from the Ames Deserves Better group. Krofta objected to the event, which was held in January of 2022.

Krofta, who likely believes she is an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, attempted to influence the district to not hold the event at Cornerstone Church.

“Asking families to attend an event at Cornerstone is inappropriate and problematic,” she wrote to Paula Vincent (interim superintendent at the time), Jeff Hawkins (assistant superintendent) and Anthony Jones (DEI director). “I encourage you to think critically about which of our students, families and community members will feel comfortable walking into Cornerstone, and who will not. What message does this send about who we want to engage during this event and who the district cares about and prioritizes?”

That is a pretty shocking statement from a counselor. But it didn’t end there. She chastised Cornerstone Church for its public stances on various issues, which are undoubtedly influenced by their religious beliefs.

“Members and leaders of Cornerstone Church have a history of pushing back on the district’s equity work and speaking out against the support of students programming that supports LGBTQ+ identities,” she wrote. “Examples of their problematic actions include speaking out against the district’s participation in Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action (specifically the lessons supporting queer and trans identities), encouraging their youth to interrupt our equity work during that week, speaking against Critical Race Theory and supporting the Ames Deserves Better school board candidates.”

Krofta expressed her intolerance by saying she is “deeply concerned” as to how the location was decided on by leaders in a district that “proclaims to prioritize equity and engaged in Critical Consciousness training.”

“At best, this decision was an oversight that can still be corrected and doing so would demonstrate the district’s commitment to supporting communities that have been harmed by Cornerstone leaders and members,” Krofta wrote. “At worst, this was an intentional attempt to support an organization that has done harm to students and staff in our district.”


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