Report: More Parents Sue Elite Private Schools over ‘Woke’ Curriculum

Archer School (Jennifer Arrow / Flickr / CC)
Jennifer Arrow / Flickr / CC

An increasing number of parents are suing their children’s expensive, elite private schools for breach of contract after discovering “woke” left-wing ideological indoctrination hidden in the school curricula.

Bloomberg Law reported Monday:

When Jerome Eisenberg enrolled his daughter at the Brentwood School in Los Angeles, where Adam Levine met some of his Maroon 5 bandmates, the investment manager says he expected her to get a traditional liberal arts education.

But after the murder of George Floyd [in 2020], the $50,000-a-year school said it was reimagining its purpose “with an eye toward anti-racism” and diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI. In Eisenberg’s view, Brentwood was pulling a “bait and switch” on parents. He sued the school last year for breach of contract, civil rights violations and emotional distress.

David Pivtorak, a lawyer for Eisenberg, also said he believes legal complaints against private schools over DEI have increased, though he added that the true number may be understated because of arbitration clauses like the one at Brentwood.

In 2021, Los Angeles Magazine ran a widely-circulated article about the Brentwood School, noting that other private schools in L.A. faced similar challenges:

In the year since Floyd’s murder, the atmosphere at this bucolic, super-exclusive, $38,000- to $45,000-a-year private school has only grown more poisonous, with some Brentwood alumni of color not only hurling accusations of racism but also demanding that the school completely scrap what they see as a biased curriculum. Meanwhile, parents, teachers, and administrators spent much of last summer and fall wrestling over the value of books like To Kill a Mockingbird—a civil rights classic to some; an outdated, problematic text to others—in what’s shaping up to be an epic battle over the hearts and minds of the children of America’s one percent.

To be sure, scenes like this are not occurring only at Brentwood. Similar skirmishes are breaking out at elite prep schools all over—at Harvard-Westlake, Marlborough, and Archer School for Girls in L.A. and in New York at Chapin and Dalton—making headlines across the country in publications as ideologically divergent as the New York Post and The Atlantic. But it’s worth focusing on what’s going on at this particular school off West Sunset. Because it’s here at Brentwood that all the forces arrayed in this conflict—woke alumni who want to tear the system down; teachers who’ve had a hard enough time getting through the year on Zoom, let alone dealing with paradigm shifts in educational priorities; and angry, frustrated moms and dads who just want their kids to get into good colleges—are most dramatically and publicly clashing, like those stranded boys battling each other on a deserted island in Lord of the Flies, one of the novels Brentwood struck from reading lists last year.

Bloomberg Law notes that the political context of curriculum fights has also heated up. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has accused conservative states of banning books, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has boasted: “Florida is where ‘woke’ goes to die.”

While the Brentwood case described by Bloomberg Law has been sent to arbitration, a small number of such cases are breaking through in the courts.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.