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Dwight-Englewood School, a college preparatory academy in New Jersey, has been accused by a now-resigned teacher of indoctrinating students in an ideology that defines every single individual person as either an “oppressor” or a “victim.”
Dana Stangel-Plowe, a former English teacher at the school, resigned Tuesday in a publicly released resignation letter. She also published a video through the Foundation Against Tolerance & Racism explaining what she’d seen at the school.
“I became an English teacher at Dwight-Englewood School seven years ago because, as a parent, I loved how the school both nurtured and challenged my own children. But over the past few years, the school has embraced an ideology that is damaging to our students’ intellectual and emotional growth,” she said..
“An ideology that requires students to see themselves not as individuals, but as representatives of either an oppressor or oppressed group. This theoretical framework pervades every division of Dwight-Englewood School as the singular way of seeing the world. As a result, students now arrive in my classroom accepting ideology simply as fact,” she added.
This ideology appears to be critical race theory.
Listen to Stangel-Plowe below:
In the roughly four-minute video, Stangel-Plowe went on to describe how this ideology has stunted her students’ learning experiences by teaching them to judge great works not by their merit, but rather by the immutable characteristics of their writers.
“I teach students who recoil from a poem because it was written by a man. I teach students who approach texts in search of the oppressor, who see iniquities in texts that have nothing to do with power. This ideology limits students’ ability to observe and engage with the full fabric of human experience in our literature,” she said.
“In my professional opinion as an educator, the school is failing to encourage healthy habits of mind essential for growth such as intellectual curiosity, humility, honesty, reason, and the capacity to consider multiple perspectives and weigh competing ideas. In our school, the opportunity even to hear competing ideas is practically non-existent,” she added.
As a result, she continued, the school is producing “true believers” who’re incapable of thinking outside the “ideological blinders” placed on them.
It’s having genuine repercussions. Polling data shows that a sizable chunk of younger Americans prefer socialism to capitalism (61 percent), support abolishing the police (33 percent), believe violent rioting and looting is “justified” (65 percent), and are accepting of activists “shouting down speakers” at college campuses (51 percent).
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 20, 2021
It’s as if these schools — of which there are many that have been exposed — are creating an army of currently harmless Red Guards. Except that once these Red Guards grow up and gain control of America’s institutions, they won’t be so harmless anymore.
The good news, Stangel-Plowe noted, is that not every student has bought into the propaganda. Some see through it, though they’re too scared to admit it.
“Many pretend to agree because of pressure to conform. I’ve heard from students who want to ask a question but stop out of fear. I’ve heard from students who don’t participate in discussions for fear of being ostracized,” she explained.
“One student didn’t want to develop her personal essay about an experience she had in another country, because she was worried that it might mean she was, without even realizing it, racist. And in fear, she actually stopped herself from thinking. The very definition of self-censorship,” she added.
She’s tried to raise concerns about this indoctrination, but her concerns have “fallen on deaf ears,” in part because the school’s administrators are themselves, apparently, racists.
“[O]n at least two separate occasions, our head of school even went so far as to tell the entire faculty that he would fire all of us if he could so that he could replace us all with people of color,” Stangel-Plowe revealed.
It’s sad, she continued, because this illiberal ideology belies Dwight-Englewood School’s mission statement that she unequivocally supports.
“I am fully aligned with the values in Dwight-Englewood’s mission statement — community, diversity, courage and making the world a better place. As an educator, I strive to create an inclusive classroom by embracing the dignity and individuality of each and every student regardless of their cultural or group identifiers,” she said.
“My humanist approach cultivates a mutual respect and empathy, curiosity and open-mindedness. I want to empower all students with the skills and habits of mind they need to fulfill their potential as learners and human beings,” she added.
Dwight-Englewood no longer stands for these values, according to Stangel-Plowe.
“Unfortunately, the school’s orthodoxy undermines my humanist approach to teaching and creates deep divisions among our diverse population, destroying any chance at a true and unified learning community. Dwight-Englewood used to claim that we teach students how to think, not what to think, but sadly, that is just no longer true,” she said.
It’s no longer true of many, many, many schools — so many that even comedian Bill Maher, a notoriously left-wing public figure, has spoken out about this phenomenon.
So have numerous parents, though whether or not the growing backlash is enough to spur an end to this indoctrination remains to be seen.
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