The celebrity-loving private New York City school that charges $57,000 per year insists its math teacher will not be fired or disciplined after he publicly blasted them for ‘indoctrinating’ students with ‘anti-racism’ ideology that he says induces shame in white students.
Paul Rossi, a math teacher at Grace Church High School in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood, slammed his employer in a public blog post on Tuesday.
He noted in the post, which was published on former New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss’s Substack newsletter, that his public criticism of the private Episcopal school could cost him his job.
It is the same elite private school that faced criticism last month after it emerged students were being banned from using the words mom and dad in a bid to make it a more ‘inclusive’ place.
The school, which has two campuses in lower Manhattan that caters for grade and high school students, is where celebrities such Savannah Guthrie, Jenna Bush Hager and Brooke Shields have all sent their children. Interior designer Nate Berkus and former US rep Harold Ford Jr have also sent their children to the school.
Grace Church High School is a $57,000-a-year private school in New York City. The school, which has two campuses in lower Manhattan that caters for grade and high school students, is where celebrities such Savannah Guthrie, Jenna Bush Hager and Brooke Shields have all sent their children
The Grace Church also operates a preschool in Brooklyn where celebrities including Kerry Washington and Maggie Gyllenhaal have sent their children.
Following Rossi’s scathing post, a spokesman for the school told DailyMail.com that the teacher would not be fired or disciplined in any way for going public with his criticisms.
Paul Rossi, a math teacher at Grace Church High School in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood, slammed his employer in a public blog post on Tuesday
The assurances come amid a wave of cancel culture in recent months.
It is not yet clear if parents at the elite school have complained or demanded any action over Rossi’s column.
The head of the school, George P. Davison sent a letter to parents and staff on Tuesday addressing Rossi’s criticism.
In the letter, Davison said he was ‘disappointed’ Rossi had chosen to air his ‘differences’ in the public blog post.
Davison said that Grace had ‘respect for the wide spectrum of political views that our faculty members hold’ but it was their expectation that staff would find ‘appropriate venues and times to raise concerns’.
‘As you may be aware, a member of the faculty wrote and posted an article that is critical of Grace and of our efforts to build a school where everyone feels they belong,’ his letter said.
‘The process of building a community is often challenging, and I am disappointed that this individual felt it necessary to air his differences in this way.
‘We have always held the goal of fostering an environment that is safe and welcoming for all members of the community across a myriad of differences. This is a work in progress, and while we are not always as successful as we would hope, we know that it requires the constructive engagement of everyone in the community.’
Following Rossi’s scathing post, a spokesman for the school told DailyMail.com that the teacher would not be fired or disciplined in any way for going public with his criticisms
Rossi, in his blog post, had accused the school of indoctrinating students with ‘anti-racism’ ideology that ‘induces shame’ in white students for being ‘oppressors’.
He said he decided to come forward because he could no longer stay silent while ‘witnessing the harmful impact’ that antiracism instruction has on children.
In his blog, Rossi wrote: ‘As a teacher, my first obligation is to my students. But right now, my school is asking me to embrace ‘antiracism’ training and pedagogy that I believe is deeply harmful to them and to any person who seeks to nurture the virtues of curiosity, empathy and understanding.’
George P. Davison, the head of the school, sent a letter to parents, faculty, and staff criticizing Rossi for not choosing an ‘appropriate venue’ to air his claims
Rossi said that he and other teachers at the school were being required to ‘treat students differently on the basis of race.’
Rossi claimed that students at Grace High School ‘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’.
He said while white students are ‘assigned’ the ‘morally compromised status of ‘oppressor’,’ minority students are being ‘cultivated’ with the idea that they are ‘oppressed’ as well as ‘resentful, morally superior, and dependent.’
‘All of this is done in the name of ‘equity,’ but it is the opposite of fair,’ according to Rossi.
‘In reality, all of this reinforces the worst impulses we have as human beings: our tendency toward tribalism and sectarianism that a truly liberal education is meant to transcend.’
Rossi also alleged that the school has held ‘whites-only’ student and faculty meetings on Zoom and that ‘such racially segregated sessions are now commonplace.’
Speaking of the meeting, Rossi said: ‘It was a bait-and-switch ‘self-care’ seminar that labelled ‘objectivity,’ ‘individualism,’ ‘fear of open conflict,’ and even ‘a right to comfort’ as characteristics of white supremacy.’
It is the same elite private school that faced criticism last month after it emerged students were being banned from using the words mom and dad in a bid to make it a more ‘inclusive’ place
Rossi said that during the session, he ‘questioned whether one must define oneself in terms of racial identity at all.’
‘It seemed like my questions broke the ice,’ he wrote. ‘Students and even a few teachers offered a broad range of questions and observations.
‘Many students said it was a more productive and substantive discussion than they expected.’
Rossi claims that after it was learned that he had challenged the prevailing orthodoxy, he was told by the head of the high school that he had ’caused harm’ to students.
According to Rossi: ‘I was reprimanded for ‘acting like an independent agent of a set of principles or ideas or beliefs’.’
Rossi claims the school’s ‘director of studies’ said that his remarks ‘could even constitute harassment’.
He said that days after the Zoom meeting, his boss told all high school advisers to ‘read a public reprimand of my conduct out loud to every student in the school.’
According to Rossi, the statement read: ‘Events from last week compel us to underscore some aspects of our mission and share some thoughts about our community.
‘At independent schools, with their history of predominantly white populations, racism colludes with other forms of bias (sexism, classism, ableism and so much more) to undermine our stated ideals, and we must work hard to undo this history.’
Rossi said that, as a result, he was now required to ‘participate in restorative practices designed by the Office of Community Engagement’ so as to ‘heal my relationship with the students of color and other students in my class.’
Reaction online to Rossi’s blog post was largely critical of the school.
The school, which has two campuses in lower Manhattan that caters for grade and high school students, is where celebrities such Savannah Guthrie, Jenna Bush Hager and Brooke Shields have all sent their children
The school has two campuses in lower Manhattan that caters for grade and high school students. Pictured above is the grade school
GRACE CHURCH SCHOOL ‘DIVERSITY MISSION STATEMENT’
The following is a ‘mission statement’ from Grace Church High School that spells out its commitment to ‘antiracism, equity, and belonging.’
Grace Church School seeks to provide its students with an outstanding education and with the desire to use it to make the world a better place.
Every facet of our work is enhanced by the diversity and strength of our community.
We believe that equity and inclusion are not only hallmarks of a just society, but also virtues essential to sound learning.
And so, Grace seeks to recognize and honor the unique gifts of its students, families, faculty, and staff – and the cultures, beliefs, values, and experiences that have shaped them – striving always to cultivate mutual understanding, humility, respect, and kindness.
But inclusion is not enough and equity is an impossibility if we cannot name, acknowledge, and oppose the forces of racism and all forms of bias, hate, and fear that exist in our society and that seek to diminish so many in our midst.
Knowing this, we commit ourselves to the work of antiracism and to the cause of justice: that all students may find in Grace a home, may learn from Grace their precious worth, and may hear from Grace a call to serve the common good and the dignity of humanity.
It comes just one month after it was revealed the school had issued a 12-page glossary of terms they claim would make for a more inclusive environment.
The guide encouraged them to stop using the terms ‘mom’ and ‘dad’, to stop asking classmates where they may have gone on vacation and urges them not to wish anyone a ‘Merry Christmas’ – or even a ‘Happy Holidays’.
The Episcopal school also offers courses and after-school programs for its students that include single-gender groups, a Roots of Empathy program, and a course called ‘Allying: Why? Who? and How?’ which is offered to seniors.
The curriculum for that particular program, according to the City Journal, includes a photograph of a burning police car in a ‘zine called ‘Accomplices not Allies’.
The photograph is teamed with a declaration that ‘the work of an accomplice in anti-colonial struggle is to attack colonial structures & ideas’.
Grace Church school issued its ‘inclusion glossary’ for 2021 which it claims will ‘remove harmful assumptions from the way we interact with each other’.
‘While we recognize hateful language that promotes racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination are already addressed in our school handbooks, we also recognize that we can do more than ban hateful language; we can use language to create welcoming and inclusive spaces,’ it states.
The guide also warns readers to ‘be aware that people may not always welcome questions, and they are not obligated to respond’.
Among the topics covered in the guide is the language surrounding gender, families, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, religion, disability, and socioeconomics.
Under gender, it urges for ‘boys and girls’, ‘guys’, ‘ladies and gentlemen’ to be abandoned in favor of the likes of ‘people’, ‘folks’, ‘friends’, ‘readers’, or even ‘mathematicians’.
It even encourages for those terms to be changed when reading books, using child, person, or character instead of ‘the boy/girl on this page’.
And pet names are out of the question, with ‘sweetheart’ and ‘honey’ to be replaced only with the child’s name or a description of what the child is wearing if that is not known.
‘Mom’, ‘Dad’ or ‘parents’ are also outlawed for ‘grown-ups, folks, family or guardian’.
Nanny and babysitter must also be change to caregiver or guardian.