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The children of two outspoken Ohio mothers were denied re-enrollment at a prestigious private school after the duo demanded transparency in their children’s alleged race-based curriculum.
Mothers Andrea Gross and Amy Gonzalez received hand-delivered letters from Columbus Academy on June 11 notifying them that their children would not be allowed to re-enroll in the school due to their activism and alleged breach of a parent-school contract. Gross and Gonzalez created a coalition in March to push back on what they call the school’s “intimidation and bullying” campaign against students and parents with non-progressive views. The organization is called the “Pro CA Coalition.”
The duo has appeared on Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, Fox & Friends, and other national media platforms to discuss what they believe are problematic aspects of their children’s education at Columbus Academy. The school claims that the duo engaged in an “inflammatory” and “misleading” campaign against the school.
“You have engaged in a campaign against Columbus Academy through a sustained, and increasingly inflammatory, series of false and misleading attacks on the School and its leadership,” the re-enrollment denial letter reads. “Your actions caused pain, and even fear for physical safety, among students, families, faculty, and staff.”
Examples cited in the letter of Gross and Gonzalez’s “misleading” campaign include refusing to stick up for the school during a podcast. The duo appeared on the podcast “Blunt Force Truth.” The podcast host called the school’s leadership “bad people that want to do bad things to your children.”
In the re-enrollment denial letter, the school claimed that it was Gross and Gonzalez’s responsibility to “push back” on the host’s rhetoric. The school claims that their activism “misrepresent[s] Columbus Academy’s curriculum, values, and actions.”
“The Head of School and Board of Trustees have determined that over the last several months your actions have unquestionably severely impaired the creation and maintenance of a constructive relationship between you and the School and seriously interfered with the School’s ability to accomplish its educational objectives,” the letter reads. “Accordingly, this letter is a formal notification that [your child] is dismissed from, and will not be a student at, Columbus Academy for the 2021-2022 school year.”
Columbus Academy spokesman Dan Williamson told The Daily Wire that any family that violates the school’s “Enrollment Agreement,” which requires a “constructive working relationship” between the school and parents, would be denied re-enrollment.
“No child has ever been denied re-enrollment to Columbus Academy because a parent raised questions, concerns, or criticisms about a child’s education,” Williamson said. “Columbus Academy does not comment on the circumstances of any student or family. However, any parent who waged a public campaign of false and misleading statements and inflammatory attacks harmful to the employees, the reputation, or the financial stability of Columbus Academy would be in clear violation of the Enrollment Agreement and would be denied re-enrollment for the following school year.”
In an interview with The Daily Wire, Gross and Gonzalez said that Columbus Academy administrators infiltrated their meetings and used private conversations for reasons to deny their children re-enrollment.
John Wuorinen, the school’s Director of Admissions and Financial Assistance, infiltrated a Pro CA Coalition Zoom meeting using the name “Anti-ProCA Coalition.”
During the infiltrated meeting, one parent suggested that parents could withhold tuition payments until the school board listened to them. Gross and Gonzalez said the idea was briefly discussed, though there was never an intent to move forward with it. The discussion was cited as a reason for denied re-enrollment.
The Pro CA Coalition leaders said that infiltration was a violation of their privacy. Many members send their children to $30,000-per-year school with financial assistance, which Wuorinen has control over, and are fearful that the school will retaliate against them.
Gross and Gonzalez told The Daily Wire they remain unsure where they will send their children for the upcoming school year.
Like many elite private schools in the nation, Columbus Academy allegedly opted to teach “anti-racism” and critical race theory in the classroom. The school vehemently denies these accusations.
Gross and Gonzalez told The Daily Wire that they have requested copies of the curriculum being used to teach about racism and the school has refused to provide any information. The coalition argues that parents have the right to know which materials, books, exercises, videos, and speakers are being used to address racism in the classroom.
According to Gross and Gonzalez, the Columbus Academy School Board has denied their requests for increased transparency and accountability. The duo has asked to host a town hall between the board and parents moderated by a third party. The board denied the town hall.