Grace Church Teacher ‘Relieved’ Following Scathing Op-Ed On School’s ‘Anti-Racism’ Training

A high school math teacher at an elite private school was “relieved” of his teaching duties for the rest of the semester after penning an opinion article about the “anti-racism” curriculum being pushed at the school. 

On April 13, math teacher Paul Rossi published an article titled, “I Refuse to Stand By While My Students Are Indoctrinated,” in journalist Bari Weiss’s “Common Sense” Substack letter. The article detailed how Rossi publicly questioned race-based ideologies, such as “critical race theory,” within his school and was subsequently reprimanded by school leadership. 

“I raised questions about this ideology at a mandatory, whites-only student and faculty Zoom meeting,” Rossi said. “I also questioned whether one must define oneself in terms of a racial identity at all. My goal was a model for students that they should feel safe to question ideological assertions if they felt moved to so.” 

Rossi argued that the critical pedagogy pushed on faculty and students is harming their ability to speak freely in the classroom. 

“As a teacher, my first obligation is to my students,” Rossi wrote. “But right now, my school is asking me to embrace ‘antiracism’ training and pedagogy that I believe is deeply harmful to them and to any person who seeks to nurture the virtues of curiosity, empathy, and understanding.”

Following his letter, Rossi received threats from a member of the Grace Church community. According to the New York Post, the head of school, George Davison, told Rossi to stay home for his own safety. Rossi believed that Davison used the threats as a pretext to bar him from the school, as the head of the school had said that Rossi’s philosophical challenges caused “harm” to students.  

On April 18, Davison sent a letter to the Grace Church community announcing that Rossi would no longer be a teacher at the school. 

“The response from the school community about Paul Rossi has been clear and strong concerning his lapses in professionalism,” the letter reads. “Students have requested to be removed from his classes in light of his published demeaning comments that the school has cultivated in them ‘despondency, resentment, and moral superiority.’” 

In the Substack article, Rossi said that he knew that there would be consequences for publishing his thoughts. 

“I know that by attaching my name to this I’m risking not only my current job but my career as an educator, since most schools, both public and private, are now captive to this backward ideology,” Rossi said. 

According to the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR), the head of the school also claimed that Rossi had “misquoted” him in his article. FAIR released audio from a conversation between Rossi and Davison that confirmed the quotes. 

Grace Church is among many prestigious private schools in New York City under fire from faculty and parents for pushing “anti-racism” on students. The headmaster at the Dalton School resigned following parental pushback for the school’s embrace of progressive politics. 

At the Brearley School, an elite all-girls private school on the Upper East Side, a father penned a letter decrying the school’s embrace of “anti-racism.” The father explained in 1,700 words why he was pulling his daughter, who had been enrolled since kindergarten, from the school. 

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