A father wrote 650 other families with students attending the exclusive, all-girls Brearley School, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, excoriating the school for embracing radical ideologies.
Andrew Guttmann explained that he was withdrawing his daughter from the school – and it wasn’t because of the school’s $54,000 per year tuition fees. His daughter had attended the elite school for seven years, since kindergarten. The New York Post reports that folks like “Chelsea Clinton, Tina Fey, Drew Barrymore and Steve Martin are among those with daughters” at the pricey institution.
Guttmann wrote that his family no longer believed “that Brearley’s administration and Board of Trustees have any of our children’s best interests at heart” and that they had lost confidence that their daughter would receive a quality education at the school.
Author and journalist Bari Weiss posted the entire letter on her blog and hosted Guttmann at an online event for subscribers.
“It cannot be stated strongly enough that Brearley’s obsession with race must stop. It should be abundantly clear to any thinking parent that Brearley has completely lost its way,” Guttmann wrote, before listing ten objections to the school’s philosophy, teaching and practices. These include:
- I object to the view that I should be judged by the color of my skin. I cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs.
- I object to the charge of systemic racism in this country, and at our school. Systemic racism, properly understood, is segregated schools and separate lunch counters. It is the interning of Japanese and the exterminating of Jews.
- I object to Brearley’s vacuous, inappropriate, and fanatical use of words such as “equity,” “diversity” and “inclusiveness.”
- l object to Brearley’s advocacy for groups and movements such as Black Lives Matter, a Marxist, anti-family, heterophobic, anti-Asian and anti-Semitic organization that neither speaks for the majority of the Black community in this country, nor in any way, shape or form, represents their best interests.
- I object to the gutting of the history, civics, and classical literature curriculums.
There’s more in his scathing commentary, with plenty of examples of the school’s beliefs and practices laid out as examples.
The Brearley School has adopted “Critical Race Theory” (CRT), which teaches that society is made up of the oppressors and the oppressed – something it borrowed from its origins in Marxist Critical Theory. CRT views everything in life the lens of racism and oppression, and sees racism embedded in every institution, including the family, the law and politics, education, business, and the church. All of Western Civilization is white supremacist – including the Christian faith.
In critiquing these institutions, CRT’s goal is to disrupt and dismantle, to tear them down and bring revolution. Parents, for example, have a position of power, and therefore oppress their own children. So, the family must be dismantled. It’s an activist movement, not just an ideology.
CRT sees racism and oppression everywhere, claiming that both are ordinary, permanent and unacknowledged by most people. Schools such as Brearley must constantly draw attention to these through continued school-wide teaching and individual self-reflection. In doing so, they regularly remind children, like Guttman’s daughter, that they are inherently racist and oppressive of others – because of the color of their skin.
The school has a whole calendar year of events related to “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” beginning with “Student Antiracism Orientation” in the fall, continuing with lessons on “Identity-Based Harm,” “Dialogue Meetings” and “Equity Advisory Sessions.” Brearley works with Pollyanna, Inc., a New York-based nonprofit that provides services to many high-end schools.
CRT teaches that racial progress only happens when such advancements benefit whites. So, for example, the U.S. allowed some civil rights progress in the 50s and 60s because America was fighting the Cold War with the Soviets, and our country wanted to project a better image abroad.
“Intersectionality” is another key tenet of CRT, with the idea that individuals have a multi-faceted identity, including aspects such as age, sex, “gender identity,” religion, ethnicity, language, “sexual orientation” and socioeconomic class. As a result, young children are taught about sexual identities, and encouraged to analyze which aspects of their identity are the oppressor, and which are the oppressed.
At the same time, and creating somewhat of a contradiction, individual personhood is much less important than the group a person belongs too.
At schools like Brearley, it’s not enough to be “colorblind” or believe that “we all belong to one human race” or to judge people by “the content of their character,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said. No, one must be “anti-racist,” which means buying into the totality of the Critical Race Theory movement.
Guttmann wrote that he’d “spoken to many Brearley parents as well as parents of children at peer institutions” who believed that the school policies were “misguided, divisive, counterproductive and cancerous.”
He acknowledged that “most parents are too fearful to speak up” but urged them to contact the administration and Board of Trustees and demand change. Let’s hope more parents follow his lead.
Related articles and resources:
“Common Sense with Bari Weiss”: You Have to Read This Letter
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