Dwight-englewood school tuition, embracing critical race theory

A Columbia professor has urged parents to withdraw their children from a New Jersey prep school over concerns about critical race theory.
John McWhorter, a Columbia University professor, is well-known for opposing the use of critical race theory in schools.
John McWhorter, a Columbia University professor, is well-known for opposing the use of critical race theory in schools.

A prominent black Columbia University professor has urged New Jersey parents to withdraw their children from a prestigious Bergen County, New Jersey, prep school following the resignation of an English teacher over what she described as a "hostile culture of conformity and fear" fostered by critical race theory.

“All hail Dana Stangel-Plowe for resigning from the Dwight-Englewood school, which teaches students a 'antiracism' that views life as nothing more than an abuse of power and teaches that cringing, hostile group identity against oppression is the essence of a self,” John McWhorter, a contributor to The Atlantic magazine, tweeted Tuesday.

“Truly antiracist parents should withdraw their children from the Dwight-Englewood school beginning next fall,” McWhorter continued. “Only this will deter these errant Elect parishioners from attempting to create a new reality for all of us.”

English teacher Stangel-Plowe accused Dwight-Englewood administrators of "failing our students" by embracing critical race theory in a resignation letter posted Tuesday on the website of the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism."[S]"

Students enter my classroom with the belief that those born with less melanin in their skin are oppressors, while those born with more melanin in their skin are oppressed,” she wrote. “Men oppress women, women oppress men, and so forth. This is the dominant and divisive ideology that our adolescent students are being guided by.”

Stangel-Plowe continued in his letter by describing students who "resist a poem because it was written by a man" and "approach texts in search of the oppressor."

Dana Stangel-Plowe, a Dwight-Englewood school teacher, resigned in protest of the effects of critical race theory on her students.
Dana Stangel-Plowe, a Dwight-Englewood school teacher, resigned in protest of the effects of critical race theory on her students.

“One student was adamant about not developing her personal essay — about an experience she had in another country — for fear that doing so would imply that she was, unknowingly, racist,” the teacher wrote. “In her fear, she actually ceased to think. This is the quintessential example 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 in which white teachers were told "to'remember' that we are 'White' and 'to take a stand'."

McWhorter, an associate professor of English and comparative literature at the Ivy League institution, has amassed a sizable social media following for his critiques of critical race theory.

Bergen County, New Jersey's Dwight-Englewood School.
Bergen County, New Jersey's Dwight-Englewood School.

McWhorter published a serialized version of his book "The Elect: Neoracists Posing as Antiracists and Their Threat to a Progressive America" on Substack earlier this year. McWhorter decried what he termed "Third Wave Antiracism," which teaches that "because racism is baked into the structure of society, whites' 'complicity' in living within it constitutes racism itself, while for black people, grappling with the racism that surrounds them is the sum of their experience and must condition exquisite sensitivity toward them, including a suspension of standards of decency."

Joe Algrant, the Upper School principal at Dwight-Englewood, told The Post on Tuesday that he was unable to comment on personnel matters.

“All I can say in this case is that Ms. Stangel-Plowe informed us several months ago that she would not be returning for the upcoming school year,” he wrote in an email.

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