Parents celebrate as Nashville all-girls school pauses controversial transgender policy

Concerned Tennessee parents were credited with a win Thursday after an all-girls school tried to implement a transgender admissions policy with one board member contending she was “not sure that anyone” could define what a girl was.

Harpeth Hall is an elite college-prep school in Nashville, Tenn., that has been educating girls and young women in grades 5 – 12 since 1865. Recently, their board attempted to introduce a new policy to address the demands of a “hypothetical” woke clientele and garnered calls for their own resignations instead.

The $33,000 per year private academy reacted to widespread pushback over the policy with a statement Thursday announcing they would be pausing any new policy on the matter until further discussions were held with the community and wrote, “Last week, the Harpeth Hall Board of Trustees shared with current parents and school alumnae a gender diversity philosophy, which was intended to offer clarity about how the school approaches gender identity at Harpeth Hall.”

“We recognize that this philosophy elicited strong reactions of support and opposition beyond our expectations. We care deeply about your feedback, and we have heard you,” the statement continued. “Based on the response from our school community, the Harpeth Hall Board of Trustees is choosing to pause the adoption of the philosophy in order to engage a wider audience in continued discussion.”

As previously reported, Harpeth Hall had released an explanation of their “Gender Diversity Philosophy” which explained, “Any student who identifies as a girl may apply to our school.”

“As the world evolves, so do our students. The concept of gender has expanded and deepened over time,” their memo went on to contend in outlining their approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Letters signed by more than 1,000 parents, alumnae and donors didn’t feel remotely the same way, and as they sought the resignation of the Harpeth Hall board chair Chrissy Weick, the Executive Committee, director of marketing and communications Jessica Bliss and Dr. Nancy Beveridge.

“We want to give our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and friends an educational environment where they can learn how to think, not what to think,” one letter stated.

The response from the school went on to state, “We would like to take this opportunity to clarify that Harpeth Hall did not and does not wish to make any changes to the school’s longstanding admission practices. Harpeth Hall was founded to serve girls and young women, and that is a key differentiator in selecting this school over coed options. We, as the Board of Trustees, reaffirm the school’s mission and vision to be a place where young women can grow into leaders.”

However, in the ensuing Zoom call with 90s alumnae obtained by Fox News Digital, Harpeth Hall head of school Jess Hill revealed that this was a plan six years in the making when they launched a previously undisclosed “Transgender Task Force” to research how the issue would affect the school.

“If a girl says she is a girl, she is a girl,” Hill said before it was contended that there were no males currently attempting to enroll in the school. Meanwhile, Weick responded to the petition that sought a definition from the school on the term girl by saying on the call, “I’m not sure that anyone can do [that]. I’m not going to step into that water on this call.”

An anonymous source later told Fox News Digital, “After joining the 90s alumni Zoom call, it quickly became clear that the dialogue was a one-way street, with Harpeth Hall top officials talking as much as possible to ‘run out the shot clock.’ It was obvious the board and administrators never intended to answer any questions submitted by concerned attendees.”

Bliss, who was among those asked to resign, went on to tell The Tennessean, “We are and always have been an all-girls independent school. There has been no change to Harpeth Hall’s admission application process which is open to any female student.”


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