A teacher who was ousted after publicly airing his concerns about "antiracism" training at an elite New York City private school warns that an ideology taking aim at the concept of “objectivity” is harming American students.
Paul Rossi, a former math teacher at the Grace Church School in Manhattan, appeared on Fox News Thursday to explain that the curriculum embraced by the $57,000-per-year school associated with the Association of Episcopal Schools is not an isolated incident.
Rossi shared his concerns in an April 13 op-ed titled “I Refuse to Stand By While My Students Are Indoctrinated.”
“I got into trouble because at a racially segregated Zoom meeting, I questioned the facilitator’s assertion that values like objectivity and … individualism were characteristics of white supremacy. I wanted to model for my students, who I knew had doubts that they couldn’t voice, that it’s okay to question these beliefs and ideas that were being misrepresented as knowledge.”
The former teacher noted that after he raised objections, “students did start to ask questions.”
Rossi said he was publicly reprimanded and had his classes reassigned. After he published the op-ed in April, he was "barred from the building.”
“What’s the effect on our society when the most powerful people send their kids to schools that teach those kids there’s no such thing as objectivity and individualism is racist and you can judge someone by the color of his skin?” host Tucker Carlson asked Rossi.
Rossi said, “students are being sort of seduced away from their personal identity, their preferences, their character, their interests, goals and dreams into this group identity based around race and gender.”
“My school, like so many others, induces students via shame and sophistry to identify primarily with their race before their individual identities are fully formed," Rossi told Carlson. "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.”
“The morally compromised status of ‘oppressor’ is assigned to one group of students based on their immutable characteristics," he added. "In the meantime, dependency, resentment and moral superiority are cultivated in students considered oppressed."
Rossi warned that once that "collectivist mindset” is exposed to children by third or fourth grade, they will “run on top of that kind of operating system" based on "all of the various claims that are made about our history, the one-sided claims.”
While he acknowledged that there is “much truth” to the claims, he alleged, “they present a one-sided view of that and also about how that carries through to the present day.”
“I’m a math teacher. There is no math without objectivity,” he declared. “We have … black and brown students struggling in math across the country. How does it help them succeed to tie objectivity to what is an ultimate evil?”
Rossi announced that he is working on a book illustrating for parents “how these ideas manifest for their children in the classroom and … what is happening on the ground for students.” The book will include interviews with teachers, students and psychological experts, he added.
In his April op-ed, Rossi said that the “Antiracist” training at his school "requires teachers like myself to treat students differently on the basis of race."
"Furthermore, in order to maintain a united front for our students, teachers at Grace are directed to confine our doubts about this pedagogical framework to conversations with an in-house 'Office of Community Engagement' for whom every significant objection leads to a foregone conclusion," he said. "Any doubting students are likewise 'challenged' to reframe their views to conform to this orthodoxy."
In his op-ed, Rossi admitted that he knew that publishing the piece could lead to loss of employment as an educator because too many schools are "captive to this backward ideology."
"But witnessing the harmful impact it has on children, I can’t stay silent," he argued.
"They report that, in their classes and other discussions, they must never challenge any of the premises of our 'antiracist' teachings, which are deeply informed by Critical Race Theory. These concerns are confirmed for me when I attend grade-level and all-school meetings about race or gender issues. There, I witness student after student sticking to a narrow script of acceptable responses. Teachers praise insights when they articulate the existing framework or expand it to apply to novel domains. Meantime, it is common for teachers to exhort students who remain silent that 'we really need to hear from you.'”
Encyclopedia Brittanica defines critical race theory as an “intellectual movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to express and exploit people of colour.”
Those who subscribe to critical race theory believe that “the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans.” Several states have worked to ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools in recent weeks.
Grace Church School has come under fire for its “Inclusive Language Guide,” which advised students and staff members to refrain from using the terms “Mom and Dad,” “traditional family,” “Happy Holidays” and “boys and girls.” The guide suggested the use of phrases such as “grown-ups, folks or family,” “Have a great break” and “people, folks, friends, readers, (and) mathematicians” as more inclusive alternatives.
The guide characterized the term “traditional family” as “outdated” because “each family is unique.” It also asserted that “human sexuality exists across a spectrum,” “sexual orientation is a choice rather than an identity,” and that when “we see the skin tones of people,” “assumptions are made about how someone identifies racially.” Therefore, people cannot be “colorblind as it pertains to race.”
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org