A teacher at the prestigious Dwight-Englewood (D-E) prep school in Bergen County, New Jersey, has resigned over what she calls a “hostile culture of conformity and fear” created by Critical Race Theory.
“Today, I am resigning from a job I love because D-E has changed in ways that undermine its mission and prevent me from holding true to my conscience as an educator,” English teacher Dana Stangel-Plowe wrote in her resignation letter to Dwight-Englewood administrators on Tuesday.
“Over the past few years, the school has embraced an ideology that is damaging to our students’ intellectual and emotional growth and destroying any chance at creating a true community among our diverse population,” Stangel-Plowe continued.
“I reject the hostile culture of conformity and fear that has taken hold of our school,” the teacher added.
Stangel-Plowe went on to explain that “the school’s ideology requires students to see themselves not as individuals, but as representatives of a group, forcing them to adopt the status of privilege or victimhood.”
“As a result, students arrive in my classroom accepting this theory as fact: People born with less melanin in their skin are oppressors, and people born with more melanin in their skin are oppressed,” Stangel-Plowe said.
The teacher explained that “this orthodoxy hinders students’ ability to read, write, and think,” as she now finds that her students “recoil from a poem because it was written by a man,” and “approach texts in search of the oppressor.”
“One student did not want to develop her personal essay — about an experience she had in another country — for fear that it might mean that she was, without even realizing it, racist. In her fear, she actually stopped herself from thinking,” Stangel-Plowe explained. “This is the very definition of self-censorship.”
Stangel-Plowe also claimed that over the years, she has “tried to introduce positive and constructive alternative views,” but that her “efforts have fallen on deaf ears,” and that last fall, “two administrators informed faculty that certain viewpoints simply would not be tolerated during our new ‘race explicit’ conversations with our new ‘anti-racist’ work.”
“They said that no one would be allowed to question the orthodoxy regarding ‘systemic racism,'” Stangel-Plowe wrote.
The teacher added that the Head of School had “told the entire faculty that he would fire us all if he could so that he could replace us all with people of color.”
Stangel-Plowe also described a recent faculty meeting “segregated by skin color,” in which “teachers who had light skin” were placed into a “white caucus” group and asked to “remember” that they are “white,” and “to take responsibility for [our] power and privilege.”
“I reject D-E’s essentialist, racialist thinking about myself, my colleagues, and my students,” Stangel-Plowe affirmed.
“I strive to create an inclusive classroom by embracing the dignity and unique personality of each and every student,” the teacher explained. “I want to empower all students with the skills and habits of mind that they need to fulfill their potential as learners and human beings.”
“Neither the color of my skin nor the ‘group identity’ assigned to me by D-E dictates my humanist beliefs or my work as an educator,” Stangel-Plowe said. “Being told that it does is offensive and wrong, and it violates my dignity as a human being. My conscience does not have a color.”
Stangel-Plowe is not the only teacher calling out academia for its implementation of Critical Race Theory in schools.
On Tuesday, Fairfax County school teacher Lilit Vanetsyan slammed the Loudoun County School Board — which is currently at the center of the first major pushback against Critical Race Theory in America’s academic world.
Stangel-Plowe’s resignation was also praised by a prominent black professor at Columbia University, John McWhorter, who encouraged “truly antiracist parents” to pull their kids from Dwight-Englewood prep school.