Elite private schools in New York City are teaching students that American society is irredeemable and must be destroyed.
That’s according to high school senior Ryan Finlay, a student at Horace Mann School, where famous and well-connected New Yorkers pay $60,000 a year to send their children. Finlay penned a brave op-ed detailing the strict adherence to radical left progressive dogma in the classroom.
In relaying his take, Finlay offered a somewhat comforting observation that there are more “non-progressive” students than we are led to believe.
“An entire philosophy on American society and its future is packaged and distributed to the student body, and too often, as designed, students accept it at face value,” he wrote. “There’s something rather important missing from this picture: a vast swath of the political spectrum. One could easily conclude that there are very few non–progressive students at HM, but this is an illusion; the community contains silent multitudes.”
The New York Post said Finlay’s “very public essay is a tacit rebuke to parents,” citing an open letter from parents complaining about an “anti-racist” curriculum at the exclusive Dalton School, before noting that they “were too timid to sign their names to the seven-page complaint.”
The senior explained that “like so many other academic institutions today,” Horace Mann “fosters a learning environment that I believe is hostile to those who do not subscribe to progressive politics.”
“This includes not just conservatives but also centrists and moderates on the left,” Finlay said. “As a result, our school has developed a political bubble in which the majority of the views expressed in classrooms are far to the left of the mainstream views of both the American public and the actual political average of the student community. A fantasy is built for progressive members of the student body, making them believe that their most radical opinions are far closer to the mainstream than is actually the case.”
Horace Mann “like so many other academic institutions today, fosters a learning environment that I believe is hostile to those who do not subscribe to progressive politics. This includes not just conservatives but also centrists and moderates on the left.” https://t.co/IALqoFQGGd
— William A. Jacobson (@wajacobson) June 12, 2022
He said students who don’t buy into the progressive ideology are often “unwilling to express their political views in class,” and said faculty believes they have an obligation to inform these students.
“I recently spoke with a faculty member about the school’s political bias. This faculty member made the case to me that many teachers feel obligated to open students’ eyes to the inequality that surrounds them, as though taking off the horse blinders that supposedly plague children of economic privilege,” Finlay wrote. “Something is clearly being lost in translation. The result is a continuous pressure in the classroom to embrace visions of wholesale societal reform. Time and time again, when students attempt to contradict these ideas, they are criticized for failing to recognize the lived experiences of others, as if the lived experiences of their own families are irrelevant.”
He spoke of morality being “weaponized to reinforce” the progressive bubble and that faculty can be relied upon in to preach right versus wrong.
Another expectation is that dissent is not tolerated.
“The choice of equity seems so plainly obvious that if you argue for equality, it appears as if you are an elitist who doesn’t want people without certain resources to enjoy their lives. There is never any dynamic discussion on the real effects of either choice,” the student explained. “Equality and equity are philosophies on access, but the real pros and cons of choosing one over the other, details which are decidedly complex and unable to be reduced to childish cartoons, are practically ignored. When the principle of the sports game is applied to the real world, it proposes either a rejection of meritocracy, or a denial that it exists in the first place.
“This approach gets students bogged down in a false impression of simplicity, leading to such conclusions on meritocracy that frequently include: the system is broken, unable to be reformed, rotten to the core, and deserving of demolition.”
While the left is quick to decry bullying, Finlay detailed what he described as “casual and sanctioned attacks” on non–progressive views being “integrated into classes,” with some teachers “choosing to fan the flames.”
“In one instance, a student was decried by their classmates after voicing support for deportations,” he said. “Our community member was labeled immoral for speaking honestly about their political beliefs — beliefs which are accepted as perfectly normal across the country. In the Horace Mann classroom, however, this person became a punching bag for their progressive classmates.”
The end result here being “self-moderation.”
“Every classmate I know who is not progressive self-censors in class during discussions of current events and politics,” Finlay said, noting that some students feel “the perceived risks of speaking their mind are too great.”
“Looming over HM’s conservative students, there is the fear of unknowable and arbitrary reprisal by those in power,” he said.
The op-ed concluded with a call for school administrators “to actively protect and sanctify diversity of thought” and to “disentangle itself from the progressive political agenda that has turned the school into an incubator of bias and intellectual intolerance.”
“Show us we are free to develop our own moral compasses,” Finlay said. “Only action can reassure us that it is okay to disagree at HM. Prove that we should be — and can be — confident, and the school will truly have safe spaces.”
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