The tide may be turning against the woke.
In the past two weeks, two spectacular public letters hit the internet, one from a math teacher at the prestigious Grace Church School in Manhattan, and the other from the father of a student at the similarly glitzy Brearley School, also in Manhattan. Simultaneously, anecdotal evidence suggests that parents are showing up in record numbers to public school board meetings across the country.
Here’s what these brave dissenters are saying:
Paul Rossi, in his scathing public letter titled “I Refuse To Stand By While My Students Are Indoctrinated,” accuses Grace Church School of “induc[ing] students via shame and sophistry to identify primarily with their race” and “requir[ing] teachers like myself to treat students differently on the basis of race.”
The wildest portion of his four-page letter is his description of how the school responded after he asked some inconvenient questions during a “mandatory, whites-only student and faculty Zoom meeting.” During the Zoom seminar, facilitators asserted that “‘objectivity,’ ‘individualism,’ ‘fear of open conflict,’ and even ‘a right to comfort’” were “characteristics of white supremacy,” causing Rossi to publicly question whether these “human attributes — many of them virtues reframed as vices — should be racialized in this way.” In the Zoom chat, Rossi also questioned “whether one must define oneself in terms of a racial identity at all.”
“A few days later, the head of school ordered all high school advisors to read a public reprimand of my conduct out loud to every student in the school,” Rossi writes. “It was a surreal experience, walking the halls alone and hearing the words [of the reprimand] emitting from each classroom.”
His letter also contains chilling passages, including his description of radical student conformity. According to Rossi, “dozens” of students have privately expressed that “in their classes and other discussions, they [can] never challenge any of the premises of our ‘antiracist’ teachings.” “When I attend grade-level and all-school meetings about race or gender issues…I witness student after student sticking to a narrow script of acceptable responses. Teachers praise insights when they articulate the existing framework…[and] it is common for teachers to exhort students who remain silent that ‘we really need to hear from you.’”
Rossi recalls a faculty email thread in which staff eagerly suggested “officially flag[ging] students who appear ‘resistant’ to the ‘culture we are trying to establish.’”
“When I questioned what form this resistance takes, examples presented by a colleague included ‘persisting with a colorblind ideology,’ ‘suggesting that we treat everyone with respect,’ ‘a belief in meritocracy,’ and ‘just silence.’”
In one shocking passage, Rossi alleges that an administrator discouraged him from exposing his students to writings from the esteemed professor of economics at Brown University, Glenn Loury, explicitly because Loury is black.
Loury, whose nuanced politics are broadly categorized as center right, has written extensively on racial issues, a perspective which Rossi thought could be enriching for students. According to Rossi, the administrator stated that “the moment we are in institutionally and culturally, does not lend itself to dispassionate discussion and debate,” and that “mainstream white conservatives” are preferable sources for alternate views. According to Rossi, the administrator felt that exposure to compelling black conservative perspectives would only “confuse and/or enflame students.”
In retort, Rossi writes: “I find it self-evidently racist to filter the dissemination of an idea based on the race of the person who espouses it. I find the claim that exposing 11th and 12th graders to diverse views on an important societal issue will only ‘confuse’ them to be characteristic of a fundamentalist religion, not an educational philosophy.”
According to an interview with the Daily Mail, Rossi has been “relieved of his teaching duties” subsequent to publishing his letter.
Just three days later, another open letter went viral, this time, penned by a father of a middle school student at The Brearley School, likewise in Manhattan.
In his withering, no-holds-barred critique, Andrew Gutmann slammed the school for their “cowardly and appalling lack of leadership” and for “appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal mob, and then allowing the school to be captured by that same mob.”
Regarding his decision to withdraw his child from Brearley, Gutmann explains, “we no longer have confidence that our daughter will receive the quality of education necessary to further her development into a critically thinking, responsible, enlightened, and civic minded adult.”
Among his litany of objections, Gutmann cites, primarily, “Brearley’s obsession with race.”
“I cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin, but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs.”
“By viewing every element of education, every aspect of history, and every facet of society through the lens of skin color and race, we are desecrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and utterly violating the movement for which such civil rights leaders believed, fought, and died.”
Gutmann goes on to eviscerate half a dozen sacred cows of wokeness in rapid succession, launching first into his unvarnished opinions about systemic racism.
“We have not had systemic racism against Blacks in this country since the civil rights reforms of the 1960s, a period of more than 50 years,” he states. “To state otherwise is a flat-out misrepresentation of our country’s history and adds no understanding to any of today’s societal issues. If anything, longstanding and widespread policies such as affirmative action, point in precisely the opposite direction.”
Utterly unapologetic, Gutmann continues, objecting to Brearley’s “vacuous, inappropriate, and fanatical use of words such as ‘equity,’ ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusivenes,’” insisting that “if the administration was genuinely serious about ‘diversity,’ it would not insist on the indoctrination of its students, and their families, to a single mindset, most reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.”
Next he moved on to objections to the anti-racist “claptrap” infecting academics at Brearley, stating, “I object to the gutting of the history, civics, and classical literature curriculums…[and] the censorship of books that have been taught for generations because they contain dated language potentially offensive to the thin-skinned and hypersensitive.”
Gutmann warns, “our nation will not survive a generation of leadership even more poorly educated than we have now, nor will we survive a generation of students taught to hate its own country and despise its history.”
In his conclusion, Gutmann implores fellow parents to speak up, assuring them that “there is safety in numbers,” and that “the numbers are there.” He signs off with a plea to Brearley parents: “For the sake of our community, our city, our country and most of all, our children, silence is no longer an option.”
Similar glimpses of radical dissent are cropping up across the country at local school board meetings with accelerating regularity. On Tuesday, I received a video of a father of two in Dripping Springs, TX decrying the trend toward political indoctrination in classrooms, citing critical race theory, The 1619 Project and gender theory. Audience applause can be heard erupting midspeech. Like Gutmann writes, many parents are not on board with the radical encroachment of politics into K-12 classrooms, and they are starting to find their voice.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.