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Parent At Exclusive NYC Brearley School: “demand an end to the destructive and anti-intellectual claptrap known as antiracism”

Parent At Exclusive NYC Brearley School: “demand an end to the destructive and anti-intellectual claptrap known as antiracism”

“Brearley’s obsession with race must stop. It should be abundantly clear to any thinking parent that Brearley has completely lost its way. The administration and the Board of Trustees have displayed a cowardly and appalling lack of leadership by appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal mob, and then allowing the school to be captured by that same mob….”

Increasingly, parents at exclusive and expensive New York City prep schools are speaking out against the Critical Race Theory agenda being imposed on the students by liberal administrators and teachers.

We previously covered the controversy at The Dalton School. The headmaster of the school is leaving at the end of this year after a firestorm about the abusive race-shaming tactics at the school.

Now a controversy had broken out at The Brearley School via a letter circulated to parents and published at Bari Weiss’ substack by parent Andrew Gutman. Weiss gives some background:

I was planning to publish a roundup today of the many thoughtful responses to Paul Rossi’s essay. I’m going to save that post for Sunday, because I was just sent this letter that has my jaw on the floor. It was written by a Brearley parent named Andrew Gutmann.

If you don’t know about Brearley, it’s a private all-girls school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It costs $54,000 a year and prospective families apparently have to take an “anti-racism pledge” to be considered for admission. (In the course of my reporting for this piece I spoke to a few Brearley parents.)

Gutmann chose to pull his daughter, who has been in the school since kindergarten, and sent this missive to all 600 or so families in the school earlier this week.

[Sidenote: Rossi will be a panelist in an online webinar Legal Insurrection Foundation is planning for May.]

Here are excerpts from Guttman’s letter to other parents:

Our family recently made the decision not to reenroll our daughter at Brearley for the 2021-22 school year. She has been at Brearley for seven years, beginning in kindergarten. In short, we no longer believe that Brearley’s administration and Board of Trustees have any of our children’s best interests at heart….

It cannot be stated strongly enough that Brearley’s obsession with race must stop. It should be abundantly clear to any thinking parent that Brearley has completely lost its way. The administration and the Board of Trustees have displayed a cowardly and appalling lack of leadership by appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal mob, and then allowing the school to be captured by that same mob….

I object to the view that I should be judged by the color of my skin. 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….

I object to a definition of systemic racism, apparently supported by Brearley, that any educational, professional, or societal outcome where Blacks are underrepresented is prima facie evidence of the aforementioned systemic racism, or of white supremacy and oppression. Facile and unsupported beliefs such as these are the polar opposite to the intellectual and scientific truth for which Brearley claims to stand. Furthermore, I call bullshit on Brearley’s oft-stated assertion that the school welcomes and encourages the truly difficult and uncomfortable conversations regarding race and the roots of racial discrepancies.

I object to the idea that Blacks are unable to succeed in this country without aid from government or from whites. Brearley, by adopting critical race theory, is advocating the abhorrent viewpoint that Blacks should forever be regarded as helpless victims, and are incapable of success regardless of their skills, talents, or hard work. What Brearley is teaching our children is precisely the true and correct definition of racism.

I object to mandatory anti-racism training for parents, especially when presented by the rent-seeking charlatans of Pollyanna. These sessions, in both their content and delivery, are so sophomoric and simplistic, so unsophisticated and inane, that I would be embarrassed if they were taught to Brearley kindergarteners. They are an insult to parents and unbecoming of any educational institution, let alone one of Brearley’s caliber….

I object to the gutting of the history, civics, and classical literature curriculums. I object to the censorship of books that have been taught for generations because they contain dated language potentially offensive to the thin-skinned and hypersensitive ….

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.

But speak up you must. There is strength in numbers and I assure you, the numbers are there. Contact the administration and the Board of Trustees and demand an end to the destructive and anti-intellectual claptrap known as antiracism. And if changes are not forthcoming then demand new leadership. For the sake of our community, our city, our country and most of all, our children, silence is no longer an option.


Andrew Guttman

While Guttman didn’t get into a great deal of specifics, last July Brearley announced the sort of ‘antiracism’ initiative we are seeing throughout K-12 and higher ed (including Cornell):

The Board of Trustees and the administration have listened carefully to and consulted extensively with several committed and concerned groups of students, parents and alumnae over the last few weeks. There is collective agreement to enact the following measures, among other initiatives. Most are already in active development, and all will be moving forward by the beginning of the school year. Through them we are taking significant steps toward creating an inclusive, anti-racist community that ensures that the identities of all families and students are respected, supported and celebrated. External experts are guiding the work as needed to help us make certain that we are using the upcoming months to make important and necessary progress. At Brearley we will:

  • Conduct an independent equity audit and climate survey of our school led by Dr. Jacobs.
  • Conduct an independent audit of our hiring processes and incorporate recommendations to increase the number of faculty of color.
  • Initiate the development and teaching of an inclusive curriculum that evidences cultural competence. This will be accomplished in partnership with content area experts and pedagogical coaches.
  • Establish a K-XII anti-racist program for students.
  • Create an explicit response to racist comments and actions in our Code of Conduct and explore a reconciliation model for those who are harmed.
  • Begin mandatory anti-racist training for trustees, faculty, staff, students and parents.
  • Hire an Associate Director of Equity and Community Engagement and appoint equity leaders in each division.
  • Develop and invest in new programs for Black students including funding for affinity group activities, alumnae mentoring and counseling support.
  • Develop an external reporting mechanism for incidents in conflict with school policies.
  • Amend our mission and diversity statements to reflect our commitment to being an anti-racist community.
  • Include commitment to anti-racism in admission and hiring materials, and the commitment and consequences for acts of racism in Student, Parent, Faculty and Staff Handbooks.
  • Include anti-racist practices and pedagogy criteria in faculty/staff hiring and performance evaluations.
  • Include an intolerance for racism in student enrollment and employee contracts and Trustee responsibilities.
  • Provide detailed updates to the community on a regular basis.

Our focus moving forward is to foster a more equitable and inclusive community in which every student, past and present, can thrive and feel enriched and proud of their experiences at The Brearley School. We cannot do this until we also center the reconciliation work that must be done to repair, to the extent possible, the impact of systemic racism at Brearley.

Brearley has a glossy brochure promoting the initiative, and published a calendar of ‘antiracist’ events and programs.

It’s goint to take a lot more people speaking out and pulling their kids out of schools before there will be any change.


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Remove your children and start a new school. If you can afford Dalton or Brearly, then you can afford to leave them behind.

    n.n in reply to geronl. | April 16, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    That’s what the older generations assumed. They were wrong, and the progressive corruption has been unyielding and inclusive.

So glad to see that more people are speaking against these hustlers and pseudo-intellectuals and their dangerous claptrap. The counter-culture is on its way and its growth is fueled by these very same people that believe they are our betters and have the right to dictate with their love.

The Friendly Grizzly | April 16, 2021 at 9:57 pm

How many of those with the the money to put their Meghans and Brandons away from purchasing schools voted for candidates that want to shove that claptrap down the throats of the peasantry?

Diversity (i.e. color judgment)

The Friendly Grizzly | April 16, 2021 at 10:13 pm

They should change the order on the sign. Diversity. Inclusion. Equity. DIE.

This is no longer about racism. Certainly, it excludes racism (or race-based hate) directed against whites. It now includes oppression of black people and of indigenous people. So, I wonder what Pollyanna, Inc. will teach the parents in the mandatory training: “Hey, parents, do you think that buying Manhattan for $28 worth of trinkets was fair? Why don’t you make things right by donating your east side condo to a local tribe? Donate your summer home in the Hamptons to a different tribe. Liquidate your white privilege and send your daughter to the NYC Public Schools.”

    JusticeDelivered in reply to lawgrad. | April 17, 2021 at 9:44 am

    What I have been seeing for the past 5 years is unbridled black on all others racism. It is ironic that blacks hold their hands out as victims of racism while being the most racist group in America today.,

      Albigensian in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 17, 2021 at 10:31 am

      There are obviously some racist black people in America. Which should not surprise anyone, as few are willing to challenge a black racist for being racist.

      Nonetheless much of this “anti-racism” agenda seems to be championed, promoted and driven primarily by progressive white women.

      Who, in the aggregate, seem to be marching far in advance of the black Americans whose interests they claim to represent.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 17, 2021 at 10:33 am

      Or, just hold their hands out and demand. Gimme!

    jb4 in reply to lawgrad. | April 17, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Because of the risk of “liquidating” your daughter by sending to the NYC Public Schools, what they are actually doing is moving out of NY City altogether. I recently heard of a $1.0 million home in a good suburb going for more that $170K above the asking price (from the unsuccessful bidder’s realtor). You can now get a one year lease, with 3 months free, in a nice Battery Park City (Manhattan) apartment building.

Bravo Mr. Gutmann!

Diversity and excellence are mutually exclusive terms.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Romey. | April 17, 2021 at 9:23 am

    Cultures are not created equal.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 17, 2021 at 12:09 pm

      Decades ago, I read an observation someone made about a library in what was then politely called, a “mixed neighborhood”. The black kids were out on the front walk, break-dancing, while the brown kids watched. The Asian kids were inside, studying.

      Exactly. The belief that some people are born superior to others is racist and wrong. The belief that some cultures are superior to others is blindingly obvious, and it takes a real moron to deny it, let alone to claim that acknowledging it is wrong.

“Antiracism” is a euphemism for racism, where people are judged not as individuals, but by the color of their skins.


Marxists are master manipulators. They use terms like “Anti-Racist” and “Black Lives Matter” to undermine any critique. Think about it. No one can write “I’m against Anti-Racism” or “I’m against Black Lives Matter”.

You have to rebrand them as “Neo-Racist” and in “I’m against the neo-racists”.

Words have impact. They know it. We can’t allow ourselves to fall into their trap. Do not let them set the terms of the verbal battlefield.

    The one point that seems to have an impact on them is that they are reenacting the McCarthy witchhunts. This works not because they are against witch hunts (they are not) but because the left invested decades mischaracterizing what the House UnAmerican Committee was about. Now that they are doing exactly what they falsely claimed McCarthy was doing, they are hard-pressed to fight that accusation.

    In other words, we have to learn what they fear and loathe and fire it back at them. They railed against McCarthy and “McCarthyism” for so long and so hard that they can’t defend their own, far worse, behavior now.

      Ben Kent in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | April 17, 2021 at 9:16 pm

      Fuzzy – Thanks. Perfect point and one I hope people who can make a difference are focused on. Famous line from those hearings = “have you no decency ?”

Language has been weaponized by Marxists who brand themselves as “Progressives”. Notice how all their branding is we thought through – so that you look bad for criticizing them. Typically they brand the opposite of what they are all about. “Anti-Racist” when the agenda is actually racist. “Progressive” when the agenda is Regressive. “Equity” when the agenda is to destroy personal value.

This letter should be displayed with our founding documents.

Wow, that’s a pretty well-written letter. I trust it will fall on deaf ears, though, no matter how rational the author’s arguments are, to sane persons.

    Ben Kent in reply to guyjones. | April 18, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    The school leadership has already responded by rejecting the letter and doubling down on the crazy woke agenda.

    You can never expect the insane to suddenly fid sanity.

      guyjones in reply to Ben Kent. | April 18, 2021 at 6:02 pm

      The school’s response is as predictable as the Sun rising in the morning. They can’t formulate a persuasive or cogent rebuttal to the parent’s thesis and arguments, because there are none. So, true to infantile and arrogant Leftist form, they simply dismiss it, entirely.

    Ben Kent in reply to guyjones. | April 18, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    typo/ should say… “find sanity”