The principal of an elite Manhattan private high school said he was “disappointed” by a teacher who publicly cast his Noho building as a $57,000-a-year indoctrination site.
Grace Church High School math teacher Paul Rossi said the institution has developed a manic fixation on race and a stifling academic climate.
In a letter to parents Thursday, principal George Davison chided Rossi — without naming him — for exposing the exclusive school’s internal operations.
“The process of building a community is often challenging, and I am disappointed that this individual felt it necessary to air his differences in this way,” Davison wrote.
Writing on commentator Bari Weiss’ substack newsletter, Rossi wrote that white students are encouraged to view themselves as vehicles of oppression.
The teacher claimed that Grace students were pushed to form their opinions and positions based less on personal inquiry than skin color.
“In reality, all of this reinforces the worst impulses we have as human beings: our tendency toward tribalism and sectarianism that a truly liberal education is meant to transcend,” he wrote.
But Davison staunchly defended the school’s approach Thursday, arguing that it had a responsibility to combat the forces of “bias, hate, and fear that exist in our society and that seek to diminish so many in our midst.”
Rossi said the school enforced ideological conformity and that diverging viewpoints are hurriedly confronted, condemned, and quieted.
One staff administrator informed Rossi that his objections to school policy could potentially be categorized as “harassment,” the teacher wrote.
Davison conceded Thursday that his school has some room for improvement.
“We have always held the goal of fostering an environment that is safe and welcoming for all members of the community across a myriad of differences,” he wrote. “This is a work in progress, and while we are not always successful as we would hope, we know that it requires the constructive engagement of everyone in the community.”
Founded in 1894, the school counts actor David Duchovny and writer David Brooks as graduates.
“We take our values seriously,” Davison continued in his note to parents. “We will respond to any criticism with a renewal of our commitment to live them out in practice — and with an equal resolve to hear all points of view about how we can best do so.”