Updated: Aug 31, 2021
The nation's largest private school certifying body begins anti-racist trainings.
By Savannah Hulsey Pointer
Parents wanting an off-ramp to the WOKE mania sweeping the nation, paying tens of thousands of dollars a month on private school education may have believed in the past they were insulated from the “woke” culture of the public education system. But that is no longer the case in many elite private schools, and the problem is expanding throughout the country.
The Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), the largest regional independent school association in the country, has recently announced that it will be pushing the progressive agenda aggressively at its yearly conference.
SAIS has school affiliations all over the southern United States. They offer the accreditation needed for independent schools to be able to give parents a guarantee of education their institution provides.
The accreditation group is particularly well connected in the south with their board of trustee officers hailing from North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia.
A schedule for the 2021 Summer Conference for the SAIS which took place June 23-35 shows that the private school accreditation organization plans to make "anti-racist" policies a key part of their 2021-22 school year training.
The SAIS conference schedule shows sessions on "conversations from within" that focus on "inclusive wellness" as well as a breakout session on "Understanding and Developing Anti-Racist Policies and Programs."
SAIS's website states that it is a membership organization of over 380 independent K-12 schools, claiming to help schools "attain a level of excellence they could not achieve through other means." However, it's difficult to understand how that mission statement is accomplished through pushing member schools to create Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs for social justice, as is the focus of another one of their conference sessions:
SAIS partners with national and international agencies to accredit or co-accredit schools and their website cites 30 related associations across the nation that makeup thousands of schools, primarily in the United States. Shockingly, almost half of the schools associated with SAIS are non-secular or religious-affiliated in some way:
Parents in thousand of private and Christian schools can expect the leadership of their schools to attend meetings just like this one and come home equipped to implement "anti-racist" and other DEI training on educational campuses well funded by the parents who hope to offer their kids something better than public school educational fare.
SAIS didn't invent the idea of "woke" theology in public schools, however. Just this year multiple cases of parents removing their children from private schools over progressive teachings have made the news.
In February of this year Larry Sand, the president of the California Teachers Empowerment Network wrote an expose published by The Heartland Institute where he showed how some parents are paying $50,000 a year for their children to be indoctrinated. Sand pointed to several schools where “woke” theology has spread like a virus, including Brentwood School which according to Sand has “‘Community-Building Sessions’ are right out of the Jim Crow South.”
Another California school, Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles, boasts a hefty price tag of $41,300 tuition per year, part of which goes to a the Glasgow Group for their specialty training, which is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion planning.
In addition to some suspect work on "Civic Engagement" in K-12 schools, the "equity" training group offers advice on how to engage with students during virtual learning saying they planned to, "develop a system to support previously identified marginalized groups" as well as identifying new marginalized gourds that could "emerge." They also cited the use of "diversity practitioners" as part of their schools' "equity and inclusion" initiative.
Along with the teachers adjusting their actions toward the students, they also have a structured plan to change how students interact with each other and made the troubling assertion that they felt some students in the schools they service could find themselves "family structures" that present "complications."
On the opposite coast, New York City's Dalton School costs parents around $55,000 and according to Sand's research has done away with its liberal arts studies in an effort to leave more room for progressivism, including hiring 12 full-time diversity officers and multiple psychologists to assist students in “coping with race-based traumatic stress.” The faculty also requires “anti-racism” among a plethora of other initiatives that they claim will bring them into the progressive movement.
"I've committed Dalton to becoming visibly vocally, structurally anti-racist institution. Like each of you, I want Dalton to be a place where community embers thrive and reach their fullest potential."
- Jim Best, Head of School
The details of Dalton's new progressive attitude toward education were outlined in a checklist-style plan on the school's website, some of the topics included meetings about their diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, a special racial equity task force as well as a "restructuring" of all volunteer programs.
The school also indicated that they planned to implement "surveys" "evaluations" and other "metrics" to measure progress and help with "accountability."
“There’s no willingness to debate, there’s no willingness to dissent or discuss. You're either on board with this or you’re a racist,” Gutman said during his interview with Martha McCallum. “And we don’t want you in the school. That’s what they’re doing."
“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.,” Gutman wrote in his 1,700-word diatribe against his daughter’s institution of learning.
While there are more examples of this kind of progressive "woke" culture invading private schAccording to the Daily Mail, this program's manifesto prompted widespread dis-enrollment on the part of concerned parents who cited their belief that the school “has totally failed in its mission to uplift the very people it professes to help.”
The same problem was highlighted in a story from New York dad Andrew Gutman whose child was formerly enrolled at The Brearley School. Gutman’s story went viral after it was published on Common Sense with Bari Weiss where he cited what he called an “obsession with race” that began to “creep” into even private schools during the George Floyd riots and has only gained momentum since.
In addition to other measures the school is requiring that a parent or guardian participate in "required anti-racist training and ongoing reflection," and the application form requires parents to "share how your family values align with the School’s commitment," according to documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
Parents have fled the public school system in favor of a privatized education for students who they wish to shield from the dangers of modern government schools, only to find that the progressive guilt trip has made its way into the private sector as well. The only difference between progressive theology in many public and private schools today is the price tag.