A parent is rejecting the forced “anti-racism” training that is representative of the left’s woke-culture indoctrination taking place in public and private K-12 schools.
Former New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss posted at “Common Sense with Bari Weiss” about the recent case of Andrew Gutmann, who pulled his daughter out of the elite private Brearley School for girls in New York City.
As the Daily Mail observed, actresses Tina Fey and Drew Barrymore are among Brearley’s parents, and alumnae include Caroline Kennedy and Elisabeth Murdoch.
Gutmann, 45, shared a letter with Weiss about his decision to withdraw his daughter from Brearley, where tuition is $54,000 per year. The parent, Weiss reported, sent the letter April 13 to all of the approximately 600 families in the school.
Gutmann wrote to fellow parents:
[W]e no longer believe that Brearley’s administration and Board of Trustees have any of our children’s best interests at heart. Moreover, we no longer have confidence that our daughter will receive the quality of education necessary to further her development into a critically thinking, responsible, enlightened, and civic minded adult. I write to you, as a fellow parent, to share our reasons for leaving the Brearley community but also to urge you to act before the damage to the school, to its community, and to your own child’s education is irreparable.
Gutmann went on to describe “Brearley’s obsession with race,” observing the school has caved to an “anti-intellectual, illiberal mob”:
I cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin, but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs. By viewing every element of education, every aspect of history, and every facet of society through the lens of skin color and race, we are desecrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and utterly violating the movement for which such civil rights leaders believed, fought, and died.
“I object to the charge of systemic racism in this country, and at our school,” Gutmann continued. “Systemic racism, properly understood, is segregated schools and separate lunch counters. It is the interning of Japanese and the exterminating of Jews.”
“We have not had systemic racism against Blacks in this country since the civil rights reforms of the 1960s, a period of more than 50 years,” he wrote. “To state otherwise is a flat-out misrepresentation of our country’s history and adds no understanding to any of today’s societal issues. If anything, longstanding and widespread policies such as affirmative action, point in precisely the opposite direction.”
On its website, the school provides the following as its “Antiracist Statement”:
The Brearley School condemns racism in the strongest possible terms and is committed to building an antiracist community. This work requires active introspection, self-awareness and the determination to make conscious and consistently equitable choices on a daily basis. We expect our faculty, staff, students, parents and trustees to pursue meaningful change through deliberate and measurable actions. These actions include participating in antiracist training and identifying and eliminating policies, practices and beliefs that uphold racial inequality in our community.
The school also published on its website what The Daily Mail described as Brearley’s “exhaustive anti-racism calendar for the school year 2020 to 2021, which includes training sessions for parents.”
Gutmann said Brearley’s adoption of Critical Race Theory indicates the school subscribes to the notion that black individuals are “unable to succeed in this country without aid from government or from whites,” and that blacks “should forever be regarded as helpless victims, and are incapable of success regardless of their skills, talents, or hard work.”
“What Brearley is teaching our children is precisely the true and correct definition of racism,” he asserted, rebuking the school’s “inappropriate” use of the word “equity”:
If Brearley’s administration was truly concerned about so-called “equity,” it would be discussing the cessation of admissions preferences for legacies, siblings, and those families with especially deep pockets. If the administration was genuinely serious about “diversity,” it would not insist on the indoctrination of its students, and their families, to a single mindset, most reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Instead, the school would foster an environment of intellectual openness and freedom of thought. And if Brearley really cared about “inclusiveness,” the school would return to the concepts encapsulated in the motto “One Brearley,” instead of teaching the extraordinarily divisive idea that there are only, and always, two groups in this country: victims and oppressors.
I object to Brearley’s advocacy for groups and movements such as Black Lives Matter, a Marxist, anti-family, heterophobic, anti-Asian and anti-Semitic organization that neither speaks for the majority of the Black community in this country, nor in any way, shape or form, represents their best interests.
Gutmann said Brearley is now teaching “what to think, instead of how to think,” and the school is “trying to usurp the role of parents in teaching morality, and bullying parents to adopt that false morality at home.”
Last week, Weiss published a column by Paul Rossi, who served as a math teacher in the Grace Church High School, another private school in New York City.
Rossi has condemned the “antiracist” training and pedagogy he said he is being told to embrace, asserting this “indoctrination” of his students is “deeply harmful.”