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Parents Revolt at Westminster Schools in Atlanta Over ‘Critical Social Justice’ Political Activism, File IRS Complaint

Parents Revolt at Westminster Schools in Atlanta Over ‘Critical Social Justice’ Political Activism, File IRS Complaint

A public letter alleging an NAIS member school violated its tax-exempt status represents a new strategy in the fight against political indoctrination at private schools.

Parents at the elite private Westminster Schools in Atlanta are rebelling against the imposition of Critical Social Justice on their students. Westminster is a member school of National Association of Independent Schools.

A letter sent to the Internal Revenue Service signed “a Taxpayer” includes a list of 16 partisan incidents the author says qualifies Westminster as an “action organization,” violating the school’s tax-exempt status.

The full text of the letter is available on “Wokeminster,” a dissident parent group’s website. Examples cited include teachers allegedly denigrating Trump as a candidate, voicing wishes that Trump die from COVID, and assignments that favored Democrats.

Three of the allegations claiming electioneering in the classroom

A Spanish teacher allegedly asked students to translate “Donald Trump lost the election” and told children that it would be “muy bueno” if President Trump lost. In another incident, students were allowed to wear Biden/Harris t-shirts while a student who wore a “Make America Great Again” hat was reprimanded. The letter also claims the school distributed political cartoons characterizing Trump as “the Grinch who stole the 2016 election.”

An art teacher allegedly urged his students to draw President Trump as a fascist giving a salute characteristic of Hitler. The school displayed these visual art projects publicly both during and after the campaign season.

Political partisanship like this often finds expression in NAIS school classrooms, where zealous teachers abuse their power by pushing their biases on students. Administrators often interpret this behavior as aligned with NAIS’ Principles of Good Practice, particularly “Equity and Justice”.

On a Westminster Facebook message thread, Marjorie Mitchell, Director of Enrollment management, responded to a enthusiastic supporter of Senate candidates Raphael Warnock (D) and Jon Ossoff (D) by saying the school “got the current seniors registered, so we just need to sweep for any late birthdays” to identify any non-Seniors who were 18 or over. A parent also reported that teachers directly urged students in their “advisory” sessions to vote for Democrats.

However, non-profit educational institutions must refrain from partisan political activity. As Debra Wilson, NAIS legal counsel wrote in 2012:

“Under the Internal Revenue Code, Section 501(c)(3) organizations are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office” at the federal, state, and local level. As will be explained below, this is an institutional prohibition against partisan campaign activities by the school itself and others acting on its behalf.”

Wilson goes on to say in that publication that “partisan comments should not be made, however, in official school publications or at any official school functions.”

Yet Westminster’s Center for Teaching made extremely partisan statements referencing the 2020 Presidential campaign, both on the school’s website and on Twitter.

It is unclear how the IRS will respond, or if legal action will ensue. In Georgia, the Secretary of State is responsible for oversight of charitable organizations like Westminster Schools. I will continue to monitor the response to political indoctrination as it develops in Atlanta private schools, both at Westminster and at the prestigious neighboring Lovett school, which has also been in turmoil in recent months.

A truck billboard at last year’s traditional football game between Westminster and neighboring rival Lovett.

This is the sixth in a series of articles devoted to exposing the radical influence of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) on the culture and curriculum at their 1,900 member schools, which include some of the most elite K-12 institutions in the country.

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Paul Rossi is a high school mathematics teacher, tutor, and writer. In April 2021, he went public about the impact of Critical Race Theory and pedagogy on his students at Grace Church School, where he had taught since 2012. He is currently an advisor to the Educational Liberty Alliance and a co-host of Chalkboard Heresy (launching soon) Please send tips and stories to [email protected] or DM on Twitter at @pauldrossi.

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Comments

Ooh-rah!

Unfortunately, the chances that the IRS will sanction them are very small. If they were doing things to campaign FOR President Trump it would be different but they weren’t.

Still, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have bothered. I wish more people would take actions like this. Many more.

    Temujin in reply to irv. | March 22, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    It is more likely that these parents will be subjected to TAX AUDITS, which would embarrass a proctologist, than the NWO “private” schools.

Perhaps. Then again, the Republicans control GA and they oppose racist Democrats. This will go before the Secretary of State who should stop the resegregation and racist hatred the Dems are proposing.

Hopefully one thing to place on the budget chopping block should be the DOJ the moment we regain congress.

These parents are heroes and we should support them by putting the DOJ/AG in the poor house.

“It is unclear how the IRS will respond, or if legal action will ensue.”

Mmmmmm. No. It’s very clear how the IRS will respond. They will ignore it.

And it’s very clear if legal action will ensue. No, it will not.

    jb4 in reply to dging. | March 21, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    But what will happen to enrollment?

      TargaGTS in reply to jb4. | March 21, 2022 at 10:21 pm

      Absolutely nothing. I live in ATL. My kids went to rival prep school not far from Westminster. Atlanta Public Schools are so horrible, there will always be more applicants than openings even at the most expensive schools like Westminster…which has long had a bit of a reputation as a progressive school.

They need to lose their Pro-Choice “ethical” religion, and recognize diversity of individuals, minority of one. Baby Lives Matter (BLM)… All Lives Matter.

Social justice anywhere is injustice everywhere.

Eejits. Every 501(c)(3) knows that there’s a line you can go right up to but can’t cross. You can say Trump is a fascist, he’s the very Devil, he deserves to die, but you can’t say not to vote for him. If you do that you lose your status.

    jagibbons in reply to Milhouse. | March 22, 2022 at 9:48 am

    It appears, however, they jumped across that line in 2016 and 2020. Which I see many black churches doing every election cycle.

    BLSinSC in reply to Milhouse. | March 23, 2022 at 11:15 am

    Do TROLLS get an extra nickel from soros if they use derogatory terms that can escape detection by the “polite police”?? And if you look at all the activities and messages, it’s VERY CLEAR that there was an ORGANIZED campaign to oppose PRESIDENT TRUMP and other R’s! Of course you DO see it, but it is NOT in line with your usual left wing excuse making for BLATANT VIOLATIONS by the LEFT!

Time to start a new school

Good effort but probably a non-starter. GONZOTX is right, time to put that school out of business. The main thing I got from this is that just because it’s not a public school, doesn’t mean it’s not a bad one.

Clown 1396 XL | March 22, 2022 at 10:12 am

Ahhh, the handwringing of the wealthy. Normal parents would just find another school for their children. But these parents know that Westminster is the ticket to a grand future, if only CRT were removed. What to do? Let’s get the IRS involved.

Seems like an easy fix at the State level. Create a simple neutral standard for political content as part of State level accreditation. Let the current accreditation bodies do the pedagogy heavy lifting but require a few simple standards for State approval. Commitment to free speech, expression and academic inquiry, prohibition on partisan political activity, Parental rights remain paramount and so on. Any school, private or public which violates these is subject to revocation of it’s authority to operate. Students can take the funding with them to an alternative and the State takes over the operation of the School until the next election durimg which every board seat is up for election.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Rossi, you rock!

Good on them and good on you, Mr. Rossi!

I highly doubt the biden IRS will pursue this or even ACKNOWLEDGE it’s receipt! It will take GA’s Governor and some others to make sure this is taken seriously! There are many CHURCHES as well that need to be rendered from the “tax free” political machine of the LEFT!

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