Elite private school in NYC causes uproar over faculty demands in eight-page anti-racism manifesto

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One of New York City’s most exclusive private schools has caused a stir among parents over an eight-page anti-racism manifesto that contains several demands and has been signed by several faculty members.

The Dalton School, where Anderson Cooper, Claire Danes, and Christian Slater attended, is currently struggling with several “proposals” to change staffing, curriculum, and treatment of black students, the New York Post reported.

The proposals at the Upper East Side private school — where yearly tuition for grades K-12 amount to $54,180 annually — stem from the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis earlier this year. They are meant to address “long-simmering student complaints of racism at the prestigious school,” the Post reported.

The Naked Dollar Blog first reported on the proposals, the Post added.

Some parents are complaining that the Floyd backlash has itself become stifling.

“My ancestors experienced white supremacy by being slaughtered,” one Jewish parent complained to the Post. “The idea that being white automatically means you are privileged or a white supremacist is ridiculous. My child comes from people who had to fight for everything they got.”

The parent added: “It’s just about skin color now.”

The source noted further that anyone who disagrees with the sweeping proposals are remaining quiet. “Parents are terrified to speak up for fear of retribution. Parents are acting like spineless wimps,” the source told the Post.

One father who told the paper that he has taken his kids out of the swanky school over the manifesto said Dalton “has totally failed in its mission to uplift the very people it professes to help.”

The father — who asked not to be identified — noted further: “It’s completely absurd and a total step backwards.”

“This supposed anti-racist agenda is asking everyone to look at black kids and treat them differently because of the color of their skin,” he said. “The school is more focused on virtue-signaling this nonsense than it is in actually helping students of color. More parents are going to be pulling their kids out.”

According to the Post, which cited the Naked Dollar Blog, the proposals include:

— Hiring a dozen full-time diversity officers as well as several psychologists to provide support to students “coping with race-based traumatic stress.”

— Assign someone who will be dedicated to black students making “complaints” or who “face disciplinary action” while naming a full-time advocate to help black students “navigate a predominantly white institution.”

— Pay off any remaining student debt for black staffers hired at Dalton.

— Mandating classes that hone in on “black liberation” as well as “challenges to white supremacy.

— Providing compensation to students of color who appear in promotional materials for the school.

— Getting rid of high-level academic courses by 2023 if black students aren’t at the same level of performance as non-blacks.

— Forcing all staffers to make/sign “anti-racism” statements.

— Remodel the entire curriculum, including reading lists and student plays, to ensure they reflect diversity and social justice themes.

— Divesting from firms that “criminalize or dehumanize” blacks such as private prisons and companies that make police equipment and/or weapons.

— Donate half of all fundraising income to NYC public schools if Dalton’s student body does not resemble that of the city regarding race, socioeconomic and immigration status by 2025.

The manifesto says it’s just “a set of thought-starters created last summer by a group of faculty and staff responding to Dalton’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist institution.”

It adds: “The school does not support all the language or actions it contains.”

In a statement to the Post, a spokesperson said, “Dalton’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism is grounded in our deep appreciation for the dignity of all community members, an understanding of differing life backgrounds, empathy for one another, and the ability to engage and listen with respect across differences.”

That said, Naked Dollar Blogger Scott Johnson, who first reported on the manifesto, said regarding the demands: “Dalton’s teachers are refusing to come back until they are met.”

The school refuted that, however. “We’re expecting all teachers to return after winter break,” the spokesperson told the Post.

“This isn’t just Dalton, but one of the most extreme examples” of how elite schools are engaging in self-imposed guilt around the country, Johnson — author of “Campusland,” a humorous novel about the “woke” college environment — told the Post.

“There’s a ritualistic self-abasement these private schools feel they have to subject themselves to,” he added. “The rich parents play the game. They go along with every progressive fad conjured up by the administration and faculty. Many embrace them.”

He went on to estimate that 30-40 percent of parents of kids in the Class of 2025 would pull their kids from Dalton if the manifesto is adopted.

Jon Dougherty

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