On Tuesday journalist Bari Weiss released a jaw-dropping long-form exposé in City Journal detailing the extent to which leftist “woke” ideology has infiltrated America’s elite private schools. The article, based on interviews with a dozen anonymous parents, teachers, and students connected to some of the nation’s most prestigious private prep schools, illuminates how the children being indoctrinated at these institutions are tomorrow’s powerful elite. Now, these whistleblowers want the world to know what’s coming down the pipeline.
If you thought indoctrination at public school was bad, just wait till you see what some private school kids are learning. It’s gone far beyond tossing out classic literature in favor of trendy “woke” offerings like “Dear Justice” and “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass.” According to interviewees with firsthand knowledge of these exorbitantly priced schools, “even physics looks different these days.”
“We don’t call them Newton’s laws anymore…We call them the three fundamental laws of physics….They say we need to ‘decenter whiteness,’” shared one upperclassman at Fieldston, a top private school in the Bronx for which the 2020-21 tuition was $55,510. The school also offers an elective titled “historicizing whiteness.”
Manhattan’s Grace Church School, which has recently been forced to respond to controversy over its “Inclusive Language Guide,” offers a course titled “Allying: Why? Who? and How?’” The curriculum “includes a ‘zine called ‘Accomplices Not Allies’ that declares ‘the work of an accomplice in anti-colonial struggle is to attack colonial structures & ideas,’ alongside a photograph of a burning police car,” Weiss notes.
Meanwhile, Harvard-Westlake (2021-22 annual tuition $42,600), “in its extensive antiracist plan announced this summer, included ‘redesigning the 11th grade US History course from a critical race theory perspective,’ among many similar goals,” Weiss reports.
Somehow, it gets worse: “One teacher…was asked to teach an antiracist curriculum that included a ‘pyramid’ of white supremacy. At the top was genocide. At the bottom was ‘two sides to every story.’”
According to these whistleblowers, the effect on kids is both profound and damaging. This academic obsession with race “has made me think about race more…MLK would condemn my school,” said one concerned student.
Even young children are being taught to see themselves and others through the lens of skin color. One elementary child at Chapin reportedly told her father, “All people with lighter skin don’t like people with darker skin and are mean to them.” Horrified, her father tried to explain to her that’s “not how we feel in this family.”
One 4-year-old child reportedly told her mother, “I need to draw in my own skin color.” Skin color, the child explained, “is really important.”
Understandably, these parents, teachers, and students are alarmed by this racially divisive radical ideology. They are also extraordinarily afraid. According to one anonymous teacher, “to speak against this is to put all of your moral capital at risk.”
In addition to concerns about losing their job, parents are deeply concerned about hurting their children.
“The school can ask you to leave for any reason,” said one mother at Brentwood, another Los Angeles prep school. “Then you’ll be blacklisted from all the private schools and you’ll be known as a racist, which is worse than being called a murderer.”
As one parent who fled a communist country states, “I came to this country escaping the very same fear of retaliation that now my own child feels.”
These parents may be wealthy, but they feel trapped.
“‘I don’t mean to get emotional, I just feel helpless…I’m too afraid,” one parent told Weiss. “I’m too afraid to speak too loudly. I feel cowardly. I just make little waves.”
According to another parent, “It’s fear of retribution. Would it cause our daughter to be ostracized? Would it cause people to ostracize us? It already has.”
Weiss also explores why this is happening. One STEM teacher from a prestigious New York prep school gave a chilling answer: “The colleges want children — customers — that are going to be pre-aligned to certain ideologies that originally came out of those colleges…I call it woke-weaning. And that’s the product schools like mine are offering.”
According to these teachers, “power in America now comes from speaking woke, a highly complex and ever-evolving language.”
As Weiss states, “fluency in woke is an effective class marker and key for these princelings to retain status in university and beyond. The parents know this, and so woke is now the lingua franca of the nation’s best prep schools.”
Weiss provides a sample of the elite insider “woke” language, as modeled by a Harvard-Westlake English teacher when she welcomes students back from break (good luck to working class students trying to keep up): “I am a queer white womxn of European descent. I use [ she | her ] pronouns but also feel comfortable using [ they | them ] pronouns.” She also included a “self-care letter” quoting Audre Lorde: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
According to Weiss’s article, the ideology is also eroding students’ relationships with parents. “The school has taken over as the moral guide, with me being the irritating person in the background who doesn’t really get it,” laments one Harvard-Westlake mother.
“The idea of lying in order to please a teacher seems like a phenomenon from the Soviet Union,” says Weiss.
“Students told [me] that their history class had a unit on Beyoncé, and they felt compelled to say that they loved her music, even if they did not…,” Weiss notes. “They aren’t even entitled to their own musical preferences.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.