Father Pulls Daughter Out of NYC’s Exclusive $53,000-a-Year Brearley School over ‘Cancerous’ Antiracism Policies
Jennifer Smith, Daily Mail, April 17, 2021
A father has pulled his daughter out of an exclusive Upper East Side private school in outrage over the school’s extensive anti-racism policies that include training for parents, and which he says are teaching kids to hate their own country.
Andrew Gutmann penned a scathing letter against The Brearley School, an all-girls school in Manhattan where fees are $53,000-a-year, which he sent to more than 600 other parents.
Brearley’s alumni includes Caroline Kennedy, the actress Tea Leoni, Elisabeth Murdoch, Dorothy Schiff and Alice Gore King.
In his letter, Gutmann mapped out what he called Brearley’s ‘critical race theory’ which he said is ‘advocating that Blacks should forever be regarded as helpless victims’.
One of the examples he gave was the school’s ‘sophomoric’ and ‘simplistic’ anti-racism training sessions for parents, and the fact that materials that have been taught for years are now suddenly considered offensive in light of the BLM movement.
He didn’t say which books had been pulled but said it applied to his daughter’s fourth grade class.
Gutmann fumed that the girls are being taught to hate their own country and that white students are being judged for the color of their skin.
He also denied that there was systemic racism in the US, saying there hadn’t been since the 1960s.
‘Systemic racism, properly understood, is segregated schools and separate lunch counters. It is the interning of Japanese and the exterminating of Jews. Systemic racism is unequivocally not a small number of isolated incidences over a period of decades,’ he said.
He also called out the school for claiming to care about diversity with its race stances while also prioritizing legacy students, siblings of other students or ‘families with especially deep pockets’.
‘I cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin, but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs.
‘By viewing every element of education, every aspect of history, and every facet of society through the lens of skin color and race, we are desecrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and utterly violating the movement for which such civil rights leaders believed, fought, and died,’ he said.
Gutmann, a 45-year-old investment banker, went on to say that the school was ‘indoctrinating’ the girls into a single mindset that is ‘most reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.’
‘Over the past several months, I have personally spoken to many Brearley parents as well as parents of children at peer institutions. It is abundantly clear that the majority of parents believe that Brearley’s antiracism policies are misguided, divisive, counterproductive and cancerous.
‘Many believe, as I do, that these policies will ultimately destroy what was until recently, a wonderful educational institution.
‘But as I am sure will come as no surprise to you, given the insidious cancel culture that has of late permeated our society, most parents are too fearful to speak up,’ he said, urging other parents not to stay quiet and assuring them many feel the same way he does.
In response, Brearley doubled down on its position, waving Gutmann and his daughter goodbye.
They said that many of the parents who’d received his letter complained to them, calling it ‘deeply offensive’ and saying it frightened them to even receive it.
‘Many have written to say that they found the opinions expressed in the letter to be deeply offensive and harmful and we agree
‘Our students noted that as this letter, which denies the presence of systemic racism, crossed their doorways, the evidence of ongoing racism – systemic and otherwise – is daily present in our headlines
‘Many of our students of color, especially those who identify as Black, felt the letter questioned their belonging in the Brearley community.
‘Their belonging and their excellence are unquestionable,’ Jane Fried, the head of the school, wrote.
The school’s antiracism and diversity plans are extensively described on its website.
It is the latest example of a prestigious, private school, pontificating to the parents who keep them afloat about how to behave.