A New York City high school math teacher has put his job and reputation on the line by publishing an essay slamming the “indoctrination” of Critical Race Theory that is being forced on his students.
A column written by Grace Church High School teacher Paul Rossi, entitled: “I Refuse to Stand By While My Students Are Indoctrinated,” was posted Tuesday on a site by former New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss.
The Grace Church School is an elite private school in Manhattan that charges $57,000 a year in annual tuition. Graduates include X-Files actor David Duchovny and New York Times columnist David Brooks. It is not the only school in New York to push an anti-racist curriculum.
Rossi proclaimed that “my school is asking me to embrace ‘antiracism’ training and pedagogy that I believe is deeply harmful to [students].” He also remarked: “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. But witnessing the harmful impact it has on children, I can’t stay silent.”
Paul Rossi is a math teacher in New York City. When he questioned Critical Social Justice, the head of his school told him he caused "harm" to "vulnerable and unformed thinkers" and "neurological disturbance in students’ beings and systems." https://t.co/jzOX8znrTB
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) April 13, 2021
Rossi contends that his school, “like so many others, induces students via shame and sophistry to identify primarily with their race before their individual identities are fully formed.”
“Students are pressured to conform their opinions to those broadly associated with their race and gender and to minimize or dismiss individual experiences that don’t match those assumptions,” he noted.
“All of this is done in the name of ‘equity,’ but it is the opposite of fair,” he wrote. “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 pointed out that during a recent “mandatory, whites-only student and faculty Zoom meeting,” that he “questioned whether one must define oneself in terms of a racial identity at all” in order “to model for students that they should feel safe to question ideological assertions if they felt moved to do so.”
“However, when my questions were shared outside this forum, violating the school norm of confidentiality, I was informed by the head of the high school that my philosophical challenges had caused ‘harm’ to students, given that these topics were ‘life and death matters, about people’s flesh and blood and bone,’” he stated.
Rossi also reported that “in a special assembly in February 2019, our head of school said that the impact of words and images perceived as racist — regardless of intent — is akin to ‘using a gun or a knife to kill or injure someone.’”
“Imagine being a young person in this environment,” Rossi asked. “Would you risk voicing your doubts, especially if you had never heard a single teacher question it?”
The Head of School at Grace Church School, George Davison, was quick to issue a statement on Rossi’s essay: “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 message Davison shared with Fox News said. “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 defensively said. “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.”
The school’s website proclaims that “we aren’t an antiracist school right now, but we are striving to become one.”
“Our students of color experience the burden of racism every day, and we strive to oppose the forces of bigotry and hate that seek to diminish them,” the school declares.
There’s more on the website that speaks to social justice. The school claims that “equity and inclusion are not only hallmarks of a just society, but also virtues essential to sound learning.”
“But inclusion is not enough and equity is an impossibility if we cannot name, acknowledge, and oppose the forces of racism and all forms of bias, hate, and fear that exist in our society and that seek to diminish so many in our midst,” the school goes on to state.
This is the same school that issued an “Inclusive Language Guide” stating that terms such as “mom,” “dad,” and “parents” could be seen as inappropriate because they make “assumptions” about students’ lives at home. They suggested using terms such as “grown-ups,” “folks,” “family,” or “guardians” instead. “Nanny/babysitter” was also frowned upon and they suggested using “caregiver” as an alternative term.
The school aggressively defended its stance on selective language. “We understand the power of language both to include and to cause alienation,” Davison commented. “We also know that it is our job to give community members resources to allow them to make informed and generous choices.”
“If the boorish ‘cancel culture’ press wants to condemn us a newly dubbed ‘Woke Noho’ school of politeness, dignity, and respect, then I embrace it, and I hope you will too,” Davison announced.
It would seem that commenters on Twitter also refuse to stay silent over the reported “indoctrination” of students:
The implications of such actions will be felt in the next 20 years in America.
— Balaji Subramanian 🇮🇳 (@LaxmanShriram78) April 13, 2021
The administrators of public schools are causing “neurological disturbance in students’ beings and systems.” In 5-10 years we are going to see the effects of neo-racism being taught in schools.
— Schlitzenfürter (@mattschlitzer) April 13, 2021
How much more evidence to people need to see that communists have infiltrated every level of US society? They said they’d take our schools and media to take our country, and it’s exactly what they did.
— 🅂🅃🄿🇺🇸 (@STP48315) April 13, 2021
Ah yes…..threaten dissenters, minimize other’s opinions, ban certain ideas because they are “dangerous”….these are the true ideals that enabled medical practice to flourish! If only these teachers were around in my day we could still bleed out patients and not wash our hands
— OslerGhost (@GhostOsler) April 13, 2021
“A recent faculty email chain received enthusiastic support for recommending that we “‘officially’ flag students” who appear “resistant” to the “culture we are trying to establish.”
Jeezus. Shall we assume that parents pay many thousands of dollars for this horrifying crap?
— ABKinSTL (@ABKinSTL) April 13, 2021
This is a terrifying account of what is going on in our schools. The harm that they are doing is far outweighing any good that they think they are doing. Good for Paul Rossi and his courage for writing this.
— JenniferBurney (@jlrudge1) April 13, 2021
There’s a word for this …. pic.twitter.com/R8UpSiKPpd
— Sleepy Wizard (@sleepywizard) April 13, 2021
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