Grace Church School (GCS) in Manhattan is defending its head of school, who the school says is “taking responsibility” after audio surfaced with him admitting that equity lessons were demonizing White people.
The audio featured head of school George Davison listening to and apparently agreeing with complaints from Paul Rossi, who has been “relieved of his teaching duties” after openly criticizing the school’s alleged “indoctrination” on race.
“The partial recordings of George Davison, our Head of School, have caused hurt and confusion within our community, and he takes responsibility for any mistaken impression his comments have created,” reads a message from the school. “These were excerpts of a larger conversation with a disgruntled member of the faculty with whom George has deep disagreements — but with whom he was nonetheless trying to find common ground in an attempt to reason together.”
The statement adds: “George and the school remain steadfast in our commitment to combatting racism, consistent with our values — building an inclusive community committed to educational excellence and equity.”
The school maintains that Rossi’s op-ed wasn’t the reason for relieving his teaching duties, saying instead that “because numerous students requested to be removed from his classroom because of Paul’s unprofessional conduct and because he demeaned them publicly in the press.”
Regardless, Rossi’s op-ed has engulfed the school in controversy. In the fall out of his op-ed, the mathematics teacher posted an email in which he accused Davison of agreeing with him on some serious criticisms leveled against the equity teachings.
After Davison accused Rossi of misquoting him, the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism released audio between the two.
“So you agree that we’re demonizing kids,” Rossi purportedly tells Davison in a phone call from March.
“We’re demonizing… ki– we’re demonizing White people for being born,” he responded, according to the audio provided by FAIR.
“And are some of our students White people?” Rossi followed. After Davison said “yes,” Rossi asked why he wouldn’t “just say” that the school was demonizing White kids.
“We are using language that makes them feel less than, for nothing that they are personally responsible for,” Davison purportedly said.
Another tweet from FAIR claims to contain audio with Davison saying that he shared some of Rossi’s concerns about anti-racist ideas. One of those included the “demonization of being White” and “the attempt to link anybody who’s white to the perpetuation of white supremacy.”