When given the choice between indoctrinating students in critical race theory or quitting, one New Jersey prep school teacher decided to leave her job. When my New Jersy prep school began this same type of brainwashing, we would have been lucky to have a teacher like her.
Dana Stangel-Plowe taught English at the Dwight-Englewood School, where she observed this racist ideology being forced onto the students. She published a letter of resignation, claiming that the school “is failing our students” due to “[embracing] an ideology that is damaging to our students’ intellectual and emotional growth and destroying any chance at creating a true community among our diverse population.”
Stangel-Plowe detailed the means by which this ideology is being fed to the students, who “accept this theory as fact,” due to early indoctrination and for lack of other options. “The school’s ideology requires students to see themselves not as individuals, but as representatives of a group, forcing them to adopt the status of privilege or victimhood. They must locate themselves within the oppressor or oppressed group, or some intersectional middle where they must reckon with being part-oppressor and part-victim. This theory of power hierarchies is only one way of seeing the world, and yet it pervades D-E as the singular way of seeing the world.”
She went on to explain how this thought process harmed the intellectual discourse in the classroom, writing, “In my classroom, I see up close how this orthodoxy hinders students’ ability to read, write, and think. I teach students who recoil from a poem because it was written by a man. I teach students who approach texts in search of the oppressor. I teach students who see inequities in texts that have nothing to do with power.” When the entire world is viewed through the postmodern lens of power imbalances, they become omnipresent. Intellectual, engaging discussions about flawed characters or imperfect writers become impossible.
The teacher did note that while the school attempted to create a culture wherein all students mindlessly buy into a worldview hyper-fixated on power imbalances, “not all students are true believers.
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