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Teacher at posh NJ prep school quits over critical race theory
A prominent black Columbia University professor has called on New Jersey parents to pull their kids out of a prestigious Bergen County prep school after an English teacher resigned over what she called a “hostile culture of conformity and fear.”
“All hail Dana Stangel-Plowe, who has resigned from the Dwight-Englewood school, which teaches students ‘antiracism’ that sees life as nothing but abuse of power, and teaches that cringing, hostile group identity against oppression is the essence of a self,” John McWhorter, who is also a contributor to The Atlantic magazine, tweeted Tuesday.
“Truly antiracist parents, in the name of love of their kids, should pull them from the Dwight-Englewood school as of next fall,” McWhorter continued. “Only this will arrest these misguided Elect parishioners from their quest to forge a new reality for us all.”
In a resignation letter posted on the website of the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism Tuesday, English teacher Stangel-Plowe accused Dwight-Englewood administrators of “failing our students” by embracing critical race theory.
“[S]tudents arrive in my classroom accepting this theory as fact: People born with less melanin in their skin are oppressors, and people born with more melanin in their skin are oppressed,” she wrote. “Men are oppressors, women are oppressed, and so on. This is the dominant and divisive ideology that is guiding our adolescent students.”
Stangel-Plowe’s letter went on to describe students “who recoil from a poem because it was written by a man” and “approach texts in search of the oppressor.”
“One student did not want to develop her personal essay — about an experience she had in another country — for fear that it might mean that she was, without even realizing it, racist,” the teacher wrote. “In her fear, she actually stopped herself from thinking. This is the very definition of self-censorship.”
Stangel-Plowe also claimed that Dwight-Englewood Head of School Rodney De Jarnett “told the entire faculty” on multiple occasions in 2017 and 2018 “that he would fire us all if he could so that he could replace us all with people of color” and described a recent faculty meeting that was “segregated by skin color” and at which white teachers were told “to ‘remember’ that we are ‘White’ and ‘to take responsibility for [our] power and privilege.
McWhorter, an associate professor of English and comparative literature at the Ivy League school, has drawn a substantial following on social media for his criticism of critical race theory.
Earlier this year, McWhorter released a book called “The Elect: Neoracists Posing as Antiracists and their Threat to a Progressive America” in serial form on Substack. In it, McWhorter decried what he called “Third Wave Antiracism,” which he said teaches that “racism is baked into the structure of society, so whites’ ‘complicity’ in living within it constitutes racism itself, while for black people, grappling with the racism surrounding them is the totality of experience and must condition exquisite sensitivity toward them, including a suspension of standards of achievement and conduct.”
Joe Algrant, the principal of Dwight-Englewood’s Upper School, told The Post Tuesday that he could not comment on personnel matters.
“In this case all I can say is that Ms. Stangel-Plowe notified us several months ago that she would not be returning next school year,” he said in an email.
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