Trucks hauling digital billboards flashing quotes like “Diversity Not Indoctrination” and “Teach How To Think Not What To Think” showed up outside of six private schools on Monday, including the Upper East Side’s Dalton and The Brearley School, the NY Post first reported.
Behind the campaign, which the Post reports cost $10,000, was a group called Prep School Accountability, which is self-described as “a group of concerned parents who believe there is a better way to promote diversity and inclusivity at leading independent schools in NYC without sacrificing quality education for all students.”
A Horace Mann father told the publication that “You have to get things right where you don’t disparage anybody for any bad reason and you also have to respect everyone’s opinion,” adding that “I think it just comes down to basic common sense. If the woke thing is alienating people and making people uncomfortable it’s wrong but if it’s getting everyone to come together to think it’s good.”
One Twitter user called the campaign’s strategy “ironic” and “tone deaf,” stating that “the parents who started and funded this should actually come out, engage, debate and convince – there are clear merits to some of their views. But anonymous antics are easier obviously.”
Among several supportive quotes mentioned by the Post, one came from a mom of two UES private school girls. “I’m a minority. I grew up with this and I think this creates more differences.”
Another parent, a father of a seventh grader at The Brearley School, wasn’t so onboard with the campaign’s message. “I think it’s a gross exaggeration- – if anyone reviewed the curriculum – they’d realize the curriculum is a diverse curriculum,” he said. “It’s pooling authors and scientists from across the world and it’s not about indoctrination.”
Three of the targeted schools – Dalton, The Brearley School and Columbia Grammar and Prep on the Upper West Side – all made recent headlines for curriculum-related controversies and the reactions they sparked among some parents.