The ritzy Los Angeles area Brentwood School is being sued by the father of a former student for its allegedly “racially divisive, anti-Semitic” curriculum which he claims changed dramatically and turned decidedly “woke” after the death of George Floyd. The suit is being brought by frustrated father Jerome Eisenberg, who claims his daughter left the school rather than be subjected to the new environment at Brentwood.
According to DailyMail:
Eisenberg said he was happy with the school until the summer of 2020, when the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer led to an alleged ideological overhaul of the school’s policies and teaching.
He accused the school of holding racially segregated meetings, encouraging students to treat Jewish people as ‘oppressors’, and discriminating against a Jewish group of parents.
‘Everything at Brentwood radically changed after the death of George Floyd,’ the lawsuit said.
Eisenberg is suing the school for breach of contract, violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act—which protects individuals from discrimination by California businesses—and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The private, K-12, $50,000 a year school says the claims are “baseless” and a “work of whole fiction.”
The school is located in the tony Brentwood area of Los Angeles and boasts celebrity alumni including Jonah Hill, Adam Levine, Jack Quaid, and wait for it… Andrew Breitbart. Parents of alumni meanwhile include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Reese Witherspoon, and Jack Nicholson.
Like many schools and universities across the country, Brentwood began heavily focusing on “diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice,” or “DEIJ,” after the death of George Floyd and the months-long riots that followed. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is clear about what it expects from its 1,900 members:
NAIS believes deeply that addressing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging helps all students and adults thrive, and the association encourages its member schools to engage in this work in ways that embody and reflect the school’s mission.
There’s been plenty of pushback nationwide. Critics of DEIJ claim that it’s actually CRT, or Critical Race Theory, in a disguise that makes it more palatable to some parents and administrators.
It’s not palatable to Eisenberg though, who charges that Brentwood replaced its traditional teaching with “an identity-based ideology of grievance, resentment, and racial divisiveness” and “started indoctrinating [students] into what to think, based on Brentwood’s preferred political fad of the moment.” He charges:
In the girl’s literature class, To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies were replaced by Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped, which Eisenberg said included ‘ahistorical, racially inflammatory perspectives on this country’s history with no legitimate pedagogical purpose.
“[The] English Department told parents that if they wanted their children to read Shakespeare or Hemingway, they should do it in their own free time,” Eisneberg’s legal complaint said.
Not surprisingly, Brentwood isn’t taking this lawsuit lying down:
‘The curriculum changes have not affected interest in Brentwood. In fact, more people have wanted to come to Brentwood than ever before,’ the source said.
A parent at the school, who also asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘It’s only a few parents who have a problem with the changes to the curriculum. The students by and large, including my own, have no problem with it.’
It’s hardly surprising that some students have no “problem with it”—after all, for them to speak out is to risk incurring disapproval or wrath from their teachers. They’re minors; it’s hardly their place to fight against the administration.
Brentwood’s drama is just a microcosm of clashes going on all over the country—consider that at least 42 states are exploring laws to outlaw CRT in schools or severely curtail their use.
This drama will continue to play out as parents who feel that teaching everything through the “lens of race and racism” isn’t the right approach attempt to fight back.
Says Eisenberg’s attorney David Pivorak:
You have a lot of very unhappy parents who, in woke progressive LA, are terrified to stand up and oppose this stuff.
With the cancel culture that’s been proliferating throughout the country, standing up and opposing the woke regime is akin to having a scarlet letter on your forehead. You’re ostracized from your friend group, you’re ostracized from society in general.
Not only are they afraid to lose their social standing, but they’re also afraid of what’s going to happen to their kids, their college admissions letters and their ability to proceed in life.
While many parents have been too scared to speak out, as Pivorak points out, they’re starting to find their voices. A huge number of them are no longer content to bend the knee, so expect the DEIJ wars to reach boiling point in the near future.