Student protesters at Bryn Mawr College reportedly derailed classes and activities for three weeks during the fall semester. Protests erupted following the death of Walter Wallace Jr., who died during an altercation with Philadelphia police officers in October. An anonymous parent has published a detailed account of what their child experienced on campus, writing that “Anyone who sought to attend class, go to the dining hall, or even turn in schoolwork was denounced as a ‘scab,’ and often faced acts of bullying.” According to the parent, administrators let it all happen.
According to a report by Quillette Magazine, students at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania shut down classes and activities over several weeks during the fall semester. The protests erupted in response to the death of Walter Wallace Jr., who died at the end of October during an altercation with police.
Breitbart News reported in October that Wallace was shot by two Philadelphia police officers after he refused to drop a knife. Wallace died at a nearby hospital shortly following the incident.
This week, an anonymous parent published a report for Quillette Magazine detailing the chaos that ensued following the shooting. According to the parent’s account, a student strike effort largely shut down the campus. To make matters worse, school officials failed to intervene.
The anonymous parent claims that students that wished to continue attending their classes and activities were bullied by their activist peers.
Yet following the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. in Philadelphia, activists at Haverford and Bryn Mawr embraced the dubious claim that their extremely progressive campuses were actually contaminated by a dangerous climate of racism that (quite literally) threatened the survival of black students. In many cases, the ire was directed not only at administrators and non-ideologically-compliant faculty, but also at any student suspected of not supporting the strikers’ apocalyptic rhetoric, dramatic postures, and inflated demands. Anyone who sought to attend class, go to the dining hall, or even turn in schoolwork was denounced as a “scab,” and often faced acts of bullying.
The parent sharply criticizes Bryn Mawr administrators for going along with the student strike and failing to stand up for all students including those that disagreed.
I am not naïve about the ideological climate on campuses, having read about similar meltdowns at institutions such as Evergreen State College in Washington. But now it was happening at my daughter’s school. And the same electronic videoconferencing tools that allowed remote students to participate in college life gave me a front-row seat on the disintegration of Bryn Mawr’s civil society. I saw strike organizers publicly mocking and berating white students based on their skin color, followed by cringeworthy scenes of university officials desperately seeking to appease those same organizers.
This is a feminist women’s college, where one might think that administrators would be educated about the need to reject coercion, intimidation, and brute force as negotiating tactics. Yet here they were, apologizing to their tormentors. Having been married to an abusive husband, I’m sadly familiar with the temptation to justify one’s own abuse by insisting that the problem “must be me.” I never thought I’d see that same attitude exhibited by the women charged with educating my daughter.
The strike, which began on October 28, officially came to an end on November 21. Students began to return to their classes and school activities.
Bryn Mawr College costs $54,000 per year in tuition costs alone. Students can expect to spend an additional $20,000 per year on housing costs.