One of the teachers at a private Manhattan high school that costs $57,000 per year has blasted the school for indoctrinating students with “anti-racism” rhetoric that “induces guilt” in white students for becoming “oppressors,” Washington Examiner reported.
Paul Rossi, a math teacher at Grace Church High School in New York City’s East Village, said he went public with his grievances against his employer though he knew it might cost him his job.
On former New York Times Opinion writer Bari Weiss’s Substack newsletter, Rossi wrote an essay titled “I refuse to stand by while my students are indoctrinated.”
“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.”
Grace Church School educates children from kindergarten to high school for $57,000 a year. “We aren’t an antiracist school right now,” the school claimed on its website, “but we are striving to become one.”
On his blog, Rossi wrote: “As a teacher, my first obligation is to my students. But right now, my school is asking me to embrace ‘antiracism’ training and pedagogy that I believe is deeply harmful to them and to any person who seeks to nurture the virtues of curiosity, empathy, and understanding.”
According to Rossi, he and other teachers at the school were expected to “treat students differently based on race.”
“All of this is done in the name of ‘equity,’ but it is the opposite of fair,” he continued. “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.”
He said he challenged the ideology at a recent “mandatory, whites-only student and faculty Zoom conference,” including “whether one could define oneself in terms of a racial identity at all.”
In response to Rossi, Topher Nichols, a spokesperson for Grace High School, sent a letter to teachers, employees, and parents on Tuesday to warn of his allegations.
In the letter, George Davison, head of the school, wrote, “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 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,” Davison added. “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.”
Rossi said that the school had used Zoom to hold ‘whites-only’ student and faculty meetings and that “racially segregated sessions are now commonplace.”
“It was a bait-and-switch ‘self-care’ seminar that branded ‘objectivity,’ ‘individualism,’ ‘fear of open confrontation,’ and even ‘a right to comfort’ as characteristics of white supremacy,'” he wrote about the conference. He questioned whether one must define oneself in terms of racial identity at all.
Following Davidson’s official announcement, Rossi was required to “participate in restorative practices designed by the Office of Community Engagement” to heal the relationship with the students of color and other students in his class.
However, according to a spokesperson for the school, Rossi would not be fired or punished in any way for going public with his critiques, whose prominent graduates include X-Files actor David Duchovny and New York Times columnist David Brooks.