CRT Ideology Used in Schools Degrades the Individual: NYC High School Teacher

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Paul Rossi says some level of societal indoctrination is inevitable in education, but when students are taught an explicit political ideology and prohibited from questioning those teachings, the results are damaging, the former teacher said.

Rossi, who taught high school mathematics and persuasion at Grace Church School in Manhattan for 10 years, left the school in 2021 after publishing an essay titled “I Refuse to Stand By While My Students Are Indoctrinated” on the blog of former New York Times editor Bari Weiss.

“What was happening was explicitly a political indoctrination that was based around the idea of a moral imperative … a collective morality, which focused on certain maxims like ‘impact regardless of intent,’” Rossi said in a March 24 interview for the EpochTV program “American Thought Leaders.”

Students and faculty at Grace Church School were taught, and expected to abide by, the tenets of critical race theory (CRT), a race-based ideology that divides people into classes of “oppressors” and “oppressed,” he said.

Rossi explained that white students and faculty were considered the “oppressor” group while nonwhite students and faculty were considered the “oppressed” group, and the oppressed had the moral high ground. The people in the oppressed group were allowed to say whatever they wanted to the so-called oppressors, but the oppressors were expected to remain silent, he said.

This type of ideology is causing damage to students “because it’s cheapening, it’s warping, it’s diminishing the individual,” he said.

Rossi, who considered himself a left-leaning liberal at the start of his tenure at Grace Church School, said he initially embraced the school’s equity and diversity training as benevolent, but that he soon saw how destructive this type of indoctrination was and how it lacked objectivity and truth-seeking.

He said there was an understanding that you could traumatize and harm someone else merely by sharing an opinion that was unwelcome or provocative.

“This created a kind of environment where certain politicized ideas—ideas about race, ideas about identity, ideas that align with the left-liberal wing of the Democratic party blatantly, ideas about climate change—these were not open to discussion,” Rossi said. “Or if they were they, were done in a very perfunctory, dismissive way.”

Rossi provided an example of how CRT might be discussed.

By Masooma Haq and Jan Jekielek

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