Faculty at Elite NYC School Make 24 Anti-Racist Demands, Including the Canceling of Courses in Which Performance Isn't Racially the Same

Anja Niedringhaus

 

Faculty at an elite school are fed up.

Hence, they’re demanding a change: They want anti-racism, and they want it now.

As reported by The Washington Free Beacon, a group of staff at New York City’s Dalton School have allegedly petitioned the administration to implement a series of “anti-racist” measures.

In case you’re not hip to the term, anti-racism isn’t the lack of racism.

Per CNN, it “means more than ridding yourself of racist attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. It means you’re also actively fighting that reprehensible trinity as it manifests in your life on a daily basis.”

“Calling people racist names or threatening people on the basis of race,” the outlet reports, is merely “the tip of the iceberg.”

Anti-racism means losing “a range of subtle but insidious attitudes, behaviors and policies.”

That includes microaggressions:

[Microaggressions] are brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, [psychologist Beverly Tatum] said.
Microaggressions can be intentional, unintentional or even well-meaning, but they communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial assumptions to the receiver. And they have an insidious effect on a black person’s psyche and continuing racist assumptions.

A couple sample microaggressions provided:

  • “All lives matter.”
  • “I’m colorblind; I don’t care if you’re white, black, yellow, green or purple.”

One hundred twenty members of the Dalton staff are gung-ho for the idea.

Therefore, they’ve provided a list of 24 proposals they want practiced pronto.

As noted by the Free Beacon, the bunch wants “the K-12 school to pay off student loans for black faculty and abolish advanced courses if black students are not performing on par with white peers by 2023.”

Here’s more:

Other items on the list call for revising curriculum. Teachers proposed that administrators add mandatory courses that “center Black liberation and challenges to white supremacy” with a credit requirement “equivalent to or greater than” other departments. … Teachers and faculty also asked administrators to publish staff salaries based on race and gender and collect and release data on student discipline and race.

From the group’s petition, meet #3:

Commit to racial equity in leveled courses by 2023; at that time, if membership and performance of Black students are not at parity with non-Black students, leveled courses should be abolished.

The list is concerned about racial incidents for anyone not white:

[B]lack students and students of color at Dalton must perform under more challenging conditions than their white peers; for instance, one recent paper suggests that exposure to police violence leads to a persistent decrease in GPA for Black and Hispanic students. Other research shows that racist incidents on campus also have negative effects on GPA and mental health for Black students and students of color. In order to move towards equity within the classroom, we should ensure that there is no correlation between a student’s racial background and their ability to be successful at Dalton.

The group also wants an auditing committee, with a sizable racial quota:

Convene a committee of students, alumni, parents, and faculty to audit progress and develop new suggestions to supplement these measures by 2023. At least half of the committee participants should be Black.

And they want students schooled in identity:

In the same way that subjects such as English, art, physical education, and mathematics have been embedded within the Dalton experience, so too should coursework that is explicitly anti-racist. No Dalton student should graduate without taking classes that center race, identity, difference, and social justice.

Parents must be educated, too:

All faculty, staff, administration, Parent Association volunteers, and trustees should undergo yearly anti-racist training.

Moreover, teachers should be required to personally come out publicly in favor of anti-racism:

Administrators, faculty, and staff should produce individual public anti-racism statements. Faculty should also include anti-racist resources for each class they teach. Each department/grade level should publish its DEI-related efforts in an annual report.

In addition to safe spaces, the 120 signees want a liaison to all students who aren’t white:

Hire a staff member outside of the DEI office whose entire role is to support Black students and students of color who come forward with complaints and/or face disciplinary action.

And any nonwhite student used in marketing gets paid:

Going forward, any Black student or student of color who appears in Dalton’s promotional materials should receive reduced tuition, or be retroactively compensated the equivalent amount if they graduate before their likeness is used.

The group also calls for an audit to ensure “that Dalton is partnering with Black-owned businesses wherever possible. Publish yearly reports detailing Dalton’s vendors and third-party contracts.”

And it all starts at the beginning:

Offer a special orientation session for incoming students and families of underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds. Provide anti-racist orientations for all families on a yearly basis.

For the list in its entirety, see here.

The group surmises, “The previous few weeks have been a stark reminder that Black students and students of color do not receive the same educational experience as their white peers. For some of these students, the benefits of attending Dalton are undermined by otherness, exclusion, and trauma.”

That’s certainly a terrible thing — tuition for grades K-12 is $54,180. That doesn’t include the After School Program, global trips, or high school student activities.

One thing’s for sure: The landscape of education has certainly changed.

So — it appears — has that of not being racist.

The blog user who posted the petition wrote thusly:

Looks like it’s signed by most or all of the faculty. I’d like to meet anyone who didn’t sign. That would be a very brave person.

-ALEX

 

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