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Teacher at woke Manhattan school calls out employer for harmful 'indoctrination' of students


'Antiracist training sounds righteous, but it is the opposite'

Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A teacher at an elite private school in New York City blasted the institution in an open letter Tuesday denouncing its "indoctrination" of students through "antiracist" training and teaching.

What are the details?

Grace Church School in Manhattan — which costs a whopping $57,000 a year to attend — prides itself on being at the forefront of implementing woke ideology into classrooms. Earlier this year, the school made headlines for issuing an "inclusive language" guide that warned staff, students, and parents against assuming someone's gender and using unwelcoming terms such as "mom and dad" and "Merry Christmas."

Now the school is facing loud criticism from within its own ranks over its full-throated endorsement of the critical race theory.

Paul Rossi, a math teacher at the school, slammed his employer in a column published Tuesday by former New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss, titled, "I Refuse to Stand By While My Students Are Indoctrinated."

In the open letter, Rossi decried the school's embrace of "antiracist" doctrine, which he called "deeply harmful" and completely antithetical to "the virtues of curiosity, empathy and understanding."

"'Antiracist' training sounds righteous, but it is the opposite of truth in advertising. It requires teachers like myself to treat students differently on the basis of race," Rossi wrote before expounding on how the indoctrination is implemented:

My school, like so many others, induces students via shame and sophistry to identify primarily with their race before their individual identities are fully formed. Students are pressured to conform their opinions to those broadly associated with their race and gender and to minimize or dismiss individual experiences that don't match those assumptions. The morally compromised status of "oppressor" is assigned to one group of students based on their immutable characteristics. In the meantime, dependency, resentment and moral superiority are cultivated in students considered "oppressed."

All of this is done in the name of "equity," but it is the opposite of fair. In reality, all of this reinforces the worst impulses we have as human beings: our tendency toward tribalism and sectarianism that a truly liberal education is meant to transcend.

What else?

"Furthermore," he added, "in order to maintain a united front for our students, teachers at Grace are directed to confine our doubts about this pedagogical framework to conversations with an in-house 'Office of Community Engagement' for whom every significant objection leads to a foregone conclusion. Any doubting students are likewise 'challenged' to reframe their views to conform to this orthodoxy."

Rossi recalled in the column how he had recently decided to speak out about the ideology at a "mandatory, whites-only student and faculty Zoom meeting," during which he questioned "whether one must define oneself in terms of a racial identity at all." His goal, he said, was to "model for students that they should feel safe to question ideological assertions if they felt moved to do so."

Rossi's believed his comments had instigated a fruitful discussion. However, after the meeting, when word got out about what he said, Rossi said he was "informed by the head of the high school that [his] philosophical challenges had caused 'harm' to students, given that these topics were 'life and death matters, about people's flesh and blood and bone.'"

He added that he was promptly reprimanded for his conduct and a few days later, the head of school ordered all high school advisers to publicly denounce his actions to students.

"Imagine being a young person in this environment," Rossi wrote. "Would you risk voicing your doubts, especially if you had never heard a single teacher question it?"

Rossi noted that by writing the column he risked losing his livelihood as a teacher, but maintained that he couldn't stay silent.

"I know that by attaching my name to this I'm risking not only my current job but my career as an educator, since most schools, both public and private, are now captive to this backward ideology," Rossi wrote. "But witnessing the harmful impact it has on children, I can't stay silent."

Anything else?

In response to a request for comment from Fox News, Head of School George Davison shared a message administrators sent to parents regarding the incident.

"As you may be aware, a member of the faculty wrote and posted an article that is critical of Grace and of our efforts to build a school where everyone feels they belong," the message read. "The process of building a community is often challenging, and I am disappointed that this individual felt it necessary to air his differences in this way.

"We have always held the goal of fostering an environment that is safe and welcoming for all members of the community across a myriad of differences," the message continued. "This is a work in progress, and while we are not always as successful as we would hope, we know that it requires the constructive engagement of everyone in the community."

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