Several private schools in New York City are not only requiring students to learn about “anti-racism,” but are now requiring parents to do the same.
The New York Post reviewed documents from five private schools in New York City and found that several are instituting “optional” and required “anti-racism” and “diversity, equity and inclusion” trainings for parents, not just students.
At The Brearley School, an all-girls prep school, “parents are expected to attend two diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism (DEIA) workshops per school year,” according to an application for admission.
Additionally, perspective parents are required to write a 500-word essay which explains their commitment to the issues of “diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism.”
Parents of the admitted students must sign an “anti-racist statement,” which asks parents to “commit” to several actions, including “embracing diversity, equity and inclusion at Brearley, demonstrated through participation in school-mandated training, dialogue and behavior.”
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The signed statement also asks parents to establish “your family’s responsibility to uphold” the values of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
“We expect teachers, staff members, students and parents to participate in anti-racist training and to pursue meaningful change through deliberate and measurable actions. These actions include identifying and eliminating policies, practices and beliefs that uphold racial inequality in our community,” the statement reads.
Brearley’s website states that it “expects” parents, students, staff, faculty, and trustees to “pursue meaningful change through deliberate and measurable actions” which include “participating in antiracist training and identifying and eliminating policies, practices and beliefs that uphold racial inequality in our community.”
Andrew Gutmann, who pulled his daughter out of Brearley, told the New York Post that “they want parents indoctrinated the same way they want their kids.”
Annual tuition at several of these schools is around $60,000, according to the New York Post.
Chapin School held a panel discussion intended for parents thinking about applying for their children to attend the school, which focused on the school’s “ongoing commitment to equity & inclusion, including our newest community-wide initiatives.”
People who attended the event said that the while the event was optional, applicants won’t go very far in the admissions process if they don’t attend.
“They take attendance, they have name tags, there is someone from the admissions office to keep track of who goes and who doesn’t,” one parent told the New York Post. “If you don’t go, your child is not going to go very far in the admission process.”
Grace Church High School, also in New York City, required that students sign a pledge promising to “recognize and acknowledge our own biases” and reject “spread of racial propaganda and racism throughout the school.”
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Students violating the pledge can be “held accountable,” according to the pledge.
The school said that they aren’t going to use the pledge going forward, but didn’t denounce it.
“Respect for differing viewpoints is a fundamental commitment of the school,” a spokesperson for Grace Church High School said.
Spence School, an all-girls school, brought in staff from diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting firm Pacific Educational Group to run a “Courageous Conversation equity workshop” and invited parents to attend.
The Pacific Educational Group has previously tweeted that the Nobel Prize comes with “the baggage of a racist history” and said racism in the NFL is “far from surprising news.”
A spokesperson for Spence told the New York Post that the workshop is “strictly optional” and does “not involve students.”
Horace Mann School which is in The Bronx hosted a “family learning session” where its DEI consultant Ronald Taylor spoke about Robin DiAngelo, the author of “White Fragility.”
“How can we take DiAngelo’s message and make it applicable to all communities in the [Horace Mann] community,” Taylor said.
During the presentation, Taylor wore a mask stating “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe,” a reference to the words spoken by George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020 moments before he died as a White police officer knelt on this neck.
“I don’t want to be in necessarily white spaces, because when black children were put into those spaces their support and caregivers were taken away and they were put into racially hostile environments,” Taylor said to parents.
A spokesman for the school said that the workshop was “completely voluntary.”
“The workshop was designed to educate parents about what they were hearing not only in the news at the time but from their children. It was completely voluntary and if a parent rejected this instruction or the content, their children would be welcome at Horace Mann,” the spokesman said.