By V4 Agency
In the school anti-racist training is mandatory, and speaking out against it is being frowned on. A high school teacher has shared his experiences and objections, although he was aware that he is risking his job and career as an educator.
Paul Rossi, who teaches at a private school in Manhattan, recently stated his unvarnished opinion on leftist brainwashing seen in American schools. The teacher at Grace Church High School said he was completely aware that by revealing his opinion to the public he was risking not only his current job but also his career as an educator. Nevertheless, he felt he had to say what others might not dare, as he thought it was important because of his students.
Paul Rossi begins his writing by underlining that his first obligation is to his students. But currently, his school is asking teachers to embrace “anti-racism” training and pedagogy that he finds harmful to students. He notes that anti-racist training sounds righteous, but it is the opposite of the truth in advertising.
Paul Rossi points to the problem by saying that anti-racist training requires teachers to treat students differently on the basis of race and teachers have limited opportunities to express doubts about this pedagogical framework. His school induces students through shame and sophistry to identify primarily with their race before their individual identities are fully formed.
Young people’s opinions are powerfully shaped in school and it is not taken into account if individual experiences do not match general assumptions. In the end, the status of “oppressor” is assigned to one group of students, while the other group of students are considered to be “oppressed”. All this is done in the name of equity, Paul Rossi points out, but in reality, this practice reinforces the worst impulses.
In the article, Paul Rossi recalls a recent whites-only student and faculty meeting where he raised questions about anti-racist ideology. (Such racially segregated sessions are now commonplace at his school.)
It was a bait-and-switch “self-care” seminar that labelled “objectivity,” “individualism,” and “fear of open conflict” as characteristics of white supremacy. However, Paul Rossi disagreed and voiced his opinion. He also questioned whether one must define oneself in terms of a racial identity at all. His goal was to model for students that they should feel safe to question ideological assertions if they felt compelled to do so.
Although the teacher’s question was welcomed by many, the school disagreed. The school’s principal told Paul Rossi that his philosophical challenges had caused harm to students, given that these topics were life and death matters. He was accused of failing to serve the greater good and higher truth and warned that his remarks could even constitute harassment.
Paul Rossi’s words spread in the school like wildfire. He wrote: “It was a surreal experience, walking the halls alone and hearing the words emitting from each classroom … At independent schools, with their history of predominantly white populations, racism colludes with other forms of bias.”
Rossi admits that racist incidents happen at the school and students often experience culture shock. He believes, however, that addressing such problems with a call to “undo history” is not a solution in these situations.
The teacher writes that students “must never challenge any of the premises of our ‘anti-racist’ teachings, which are deeply informed by Critical Race Theory.” He witnessed many students sticking to a narrow script of acceptable responses. Speaking up against the ideology is made more difficult by the fact that white students are asked to interrogate their “white saviorism,” but also “not (to) make their antiracist practice about them.”
A recent faculty email chain in the Manhattan school received enthusiastic support for recommending that the teachers “officially flag students who appear ‘resistant’ to the ‘culture we are trying to establish,'” Rossi wrote. When he questioned what form this resistance takes, examples presented by a colleague included “persisting with a colorblind ideology” and “just silence.”
Antiracist ideology was present in the Grace Church high school as early as 2019. As Rossi writes, “in a special assembly in February 2019, our head of school said that the impact of words and images perceived as racist – regardless of intent – is akin to ‘using a gun or a knife to kill or injure someone.'”
Paul Rossi has tried to stand up against leftist ideology, and wanted to invite a university professor whose writings express a nuanced, centre-right position on racial issues in America. The school leadership rejected his proposal, saying the professor’s ideas would “only confuse and/or enflame students, both those in the class and others that hear about it outside of the class.”
The teacher concluded his article with a recent experience. A current student visited him a few weeks earlier. He was anxious but he said he had come to ensure Rossi of his support for speaking up at the meeting. Rossi asked him why he seemed so nervous. The student told him he was worried that a particular teacher might notice this visit and “it would mean that I would get in trouble.” He told Rossi that the other teacher once gave him a lengthy “talking to” for voicing a conservative opinion in class. He then remembered with a sigh of relief that this teacher was absent that day. Rossi told him he was a brave young man for coming to see him, and that he should be proud of that.