Our story takes place at The Dalton School, an expensive private academy on Manhattan’s posh Upper East Side. The school counts many celebrities and other famous folks among its almuni, including Anderson Cooper and Christian Slater. Parents who manage to land their children in the college prep academy shell out more than $50K per year for the honor. But now they’re running into a bit of a problem. The school is experiencing what the New York Post describes as an “uproar” after a number of faculty members signed off on an antiracism manifesto” that includes a list of demands for the school to meet so they can combat systemic racism or whatever else they’re complaining about. And many of the parents aren’t having it.
One of NYC’s poshest private schools is in an uproar over an anti-racist manifesto signed by dozens of faculty members with a sweeping list of demands…
The proposals — first reported this week by The Naked Dollar blog — grew out of the George Floyd police-brutality protests and long-simmering student complaints of racism at the prestigious school. But some parents say the backlash has become oppressive.
“My ancestors experienced white supremacy by being slaughtered,” a Jewish parent told 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.
One person from the school described a number of parents as “spineless wimps” who are “terrified” to speak out against the manifesto for fear of the backlash that would result. At least one parent that reporters spoke to had already pulled their children out of the academy and others are weighing their options.
For the record, the school’s administrators claim that this is not official policy and they “do not support all the language or actions it contains.” But another report indicates that the teachers who signed it are refusing to return to work until the school agrees to the list of demands.
So what has everyone so up in arms? The list of “demands” from the teachers who signed the manifesto aren’t simply decrying what they perceive as raism. They’re looking to overturn the entire social order of the school. Some of the bullet points seem fairly reasonable, such as ensuring a more diverse hiring policy and expanding the curriculum to cover a more inclusive range of subjects. But some of the others are simply out of this world. Here are a few of the lowlights:
- Hiring 12 full-time diversity officers, and multiple psychologists to support students “coping with race-based traumatic stress.”
- Paying the student debt of black staffers upon hiring them.
- Requiring courses that focus on “Black liberation” and “challenges to white supremacy.”
- Abolishing high-level academic courses by 2023 if the performance of black students is not on par with non-blacks.
- Donating 50 percent of all fundraising dollars to NYC public schools if Dalton is not representative of the city in terms of gender, race, socioeconomic background, and immigration status by 2025.
Hiring dozens of “diversity officers” and psychologists should drive up the tuition a good twenty percent or more. I wonder how well that will go over? But that’s hardly the worst of it.
Notice how they are demanding that the school pay off any student debt of staffers, but not all staffers. Only Black staffers. If you happen to be Asian, Latino, or White, you’re on your own. And they want the school to “donate” half of its fundraising to public schools if the racial makeup of the student body isn’t “representative” of the city as a whole as measured by not only race but economic status and “immigration status.”
Here’s something for you to ponder. That school charges more than fifty grand per year for each high school-level student that attends. How many illegal immigrants do you think can afford that sort of tuition? And much of the city is, sadly, composed of people with very low incomes even if they are citizens or legal immigrants. The same question applies. The school has no control over how many parents may apply nor what they look like.
The primary goal of most parents putting their kids in schools like this one is to get them ready for admission to some of the best colleges. How much use are courses on “Black liberation” and “challenges to White supremacy” going to be in that regard? On a related subject, that school also has no control over which students excel beyond the rest of the class, particularly in the more demanding high-level academic coursework typically described as advanced placement. But if all of the Black students don’t do just as well in those courses as the rest of the class they want those courses abolished?
Small wonder that some of the parents are already bailing out. And as they leave, the school will be losing even more of the revenue they would need to meet this list of demands. If enough of them vote with their feet, the school won’t be able to cover its costs and none of them will have a job. Wouldn’t that just be a shame?