Megyn Kelly has rallied to the defense of a teacher who resigned from a $52,000-a-year New Jersey private school for requiring critical race theory in its curriculum and for creating a ‘hostile culture of conformity and fear’.
Kelly, who last year removed her three young children from elite New York City prep schools for taking a ‘hard left’ turn, also praised a black Columbia University professor for urging parents to pull their kids from the Dwight-Englewood School in Bergen County.
Dana Stangel-Plowe blasted the school in her resignation letter on Tuesday, saying it had ‘changed in ways that undermine its mission and prevent me from holding true to my conscience as an educator’.
Stangel-Plowe said Head of School Rodney De Jarnett told the entire faculty that he would fire everyone if he could to replace them with people of color. She also accused the school of segregating teachers by their skin color – and said students were also made to segregate themselves ‘within the oppressor or oppressed group.’
Former Fox News and NBC star Kelly hit out at the school online, tweeting: ‘Another loving teacher steps away from the job & kids she adores rather than force racist, divisive ideology on her students.
‘Good for her & shame on this school Dwight-Englewood.’
Megyn Kelly, the 50-year-old broadcast journalist and podcaster, rallied to the defense of a teacher who resigned from a $52,000-a-year New Jersey private school for requiring critical race theory in its curriculum and for creating a ‘ hostile culture of conformity and fear.’
‘Another loving teacher steps away from the job & kids she adores rather than force racist, divisive ideology on her students,’ the former Fox News and NBC star tweeted on Tuesday, referencing Dana Stangel-Plowe. ‘Good for her & shame on this school Dwight-Englewood.’
Kelly, who now hosts a popular podcast, also backed John McWhorter, an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University who offered his support for Stangel-Plowe. She posted a tweet with a link to a DailyMail.com story quoting McWhorter as saying: ‘Truly antiracist parents, in the name of love of their kids, should pull them from Dwight-Englewood next fall’
Kelly, who now hosts a popular podcast, also backed John McWhorter, an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University who offered his support for Stangel-Plowe.
She posted a tweet with a link to a DailyMail.com story quoting McWhorter as saying: ‘Truly antiracist parents, in the name of love of their kids, should pull them from Dwight-Englewood next fall.
‘Only this will arrest these misguided Elect parishioners from their quest to forge a new reality for us all.’
In March, Kelly appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. She revealed on the show why she and her husband, novelist Doug Brunt, stopped sending their children to prestigious Manhattan private schools.
Kelly’s sons – Edward, 11, and Thatcher, 7 – attended the $55,900-a-year Collegiate School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Her daughter, nine-year-old Yardley, is believed to have attended the $57,385-a-year Spence School on the Upper East Side.
‘We loved our schools,’ she said, explaining that the boys went to all-boys schools, and her daughter an all-girls school.
‘Loved our teachers, loved the students and faculty and parents.
In March, Kelly told HBO’s Bill Maher that she and her husband removed their three young children from elite Manhattan prep schools because of ‘hard-left’ indoctrination
New York City Collegiate School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, which her sons attended
Kelly and Brunt trick or treating near their Manhattan home with their sons Edward, 11, and Thatcher Bray, 7; and nine-year-old daughter, Yardley Evans at Halloween in 2019
‘They were definitely leftist – we are more center right – but that was fine; my whole family are Democrats.
‘But then they went hard left, and then they started to take a really hard turn toward social justice stuff.’
She said her sons’ school in particular troubled her.
When he was in third grade, she said, they ‘unleashed a three-week experimental trans-education program.’
Kelly said it was difficult for her son to understand, and not helpful.
Her son was in a class where the children were eight and nine at the time.
‘It wasn’t about support — we felt that it was more like they were trying to convince them,’ she said. ‘Like, come on over.’
She also said her kindergartner, Thatcher, ‘was told to write a letter to the Cleveland Indians objecting to their mascot.’
Kelly said: ‘He’s six. Can he learn how to spell Cleveland before we activate him?’
She added: ‘If he’s going to be activated, Doug and I should do it.’
Kelly said it was a question of ‘reason and unreason’.
Collegiate School is ranked as one of the best private schools in the country and also claims to be the oldest.
It counts JFK Jr., his nephew Jack Schlossberg, and Game of Thrones co-creator David Benioff among its alumni.
John McWhorter, an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, has called for parents to pull their kids out of a $52,000-a-year private school
He tweeted his support for Dana Stangel-Plowe – who resigned from the Dwight-Englewood School on Tuesday over the school’s teaching of critical race theory
Dana Stangel-Plowe, who taught at the Dwight-Englewood School in Bergen County, accused the school of creating a ‘hostile culture of conformity and fear’
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and CNBC broadcaster Andrew Ross Sorkin are among those who sent their children there.
The Englewood, New Jersey-based school is the latest flashpoint in a raging debate over school curriculums that now include controversial ‘anti-racist’ and critical race theory.
McWhorter, a frequent critic of anti-racism ideology, tweeted his support for Dana Stangel-Plowe – who resigned from the Dwight-Englewood School on Tuesday.
‘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,’ McWhorter tweeted.
The academic is also a distinguished journalist, who serves as a contributing editor at The Atlantic magazine.
‘Truly antiracist parents, in the name of love of their kids, should pull them from the Dwight-Englewood school as of next fall. Only this will arrest these misguided Elect parishioners from their quest to forge a new reality for us all,’ he added.
Stangel-Plowe herself retweeted McWhorter’s praise.
Stangel-Plowe said Head of School Rodney De Jarnett told the entire faculty that he would fire everyone if he could to replace them with people of color
She also accused the school, pictured, of segregating teachers by their skin color pondered if the school would start to racially segregate its students
She did so a day after accusing the school of creating a ‘hostile culture of conformity and fear’ in her resignation letter.
Her resignation letter was published by the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism, (FAIR) an organization created to combat critical race theory teachings in school.
‘I’m not doing any interviews,’ Stangel-Plowe said when reached by DailyMail.com over the phone on Wednesday evening.
The move comes after it was recently announced that Dr. Mirangela Buggs, who has served as Director of Equity and Diversity Engagement for the Dwight-Englewood School since 2017, would be leaving her post for a job at another private school in London.
The American School in London, whose fees run to $40,000-a-year, announced in a press release in March that Buggs would take on a new role as Director of Institutional Equity. Her appointment was confirmed months before Stangel-Plowe’s dramatic resignation. DailyMail.com has contacted Buggs for further comment.
FAIR said Stangel-Plowe is an ‘award-winning teacher’ and a graduate of Cornell University, as well as a published poet, in highlighting her credentials.
‘I became a teacher at Dwight-Englewood because, as a parent, I loved how the school both nurtured and challenged my own children. Today, I am resigning from a job I love because D-E has changed in ways that undermine its mission and prevent me from holding true to my conscience as an educator,’ she wrote.
‘I believe that D-E is failing our students. Over the past few years, the school has embraced an ideology that is damaging to our students’ intellectual and emotional growth and destroying any chance at creating a true community among our diverse population.’
She added: ‘I reject the hostile culture of conformity and fear that has taken hold of our school.’
The move comes after it was recently announced that Dr. Mirangela Buggs, center, who has served as Director of Equity and Diversity Engagement for the Dwight-Englewood School since 2017, would be leaving her post for a job in London
Dana Stangel-Plowe resigned from her job teaching at a private school after condemning its decision to teach students’ critical race theory, and did so via a video statement and email
Stangel-Plowe claimed that the school’s ideology requires students to see themselves ‘not as individuals, but as representatives of a group, forcing them to adopt the status of privilege or victimhood.’
‘They must locate themselves within the oppressor or oppressed group, or some intersectional middle where they must reckon with being part-oppressor and part-victim. This theory of power hierarchies is only one way of seeing the world, and yet it pervades D-E as the singular way of seeing the world,’ she wrote.
Stangel-Plowe wrote that her students would arrive in her classroom accepting critical race theory as fact.
‘People born with less melanin in their skin are oppressors, and people born with more melanin in their skin are oppressed. Men are oppressors, women are oppressed, and so on. This is the dominant and divisive ideology that is guiding our adolescent students,’ she wrote.
Stangel-Plowe claimed that critical race theory would hinder her the ability of her students to ‘read, write and think.’
‘I teach students who recoil from a poem because it was written by a man. I teach students who approach texts in search of the oppressor. I teach students who see inequities in texts that have nothing to do with power,’ she wrote.
‘Students have internalized the message that this is the way we read and think about the world, and as a result, they fixate on power and group identity. This fixation has stunted their ability to observe and engage with the full fabric of human experience in our literature.’
Stangel-Plowe added that it was her opinion that the school was failing to teach ‘intellectual curiosity, humility, honesty, reason, and the capacity to question ideas and consider multiple perspectives.’
‘In our school, the opportunity to hear competing ideas is practically non-existent,’ she wrote.
She added: ‘Sadly, the school is leading many to become true believers and outspoken purveyors of a regressive and illiberal orthodoxy.’
‘Understandably, these students have found comfort in their moral certainty, and so they have become rigid and closed-minded, unable or unwilling to consider alternative perspectives,’ she wrote.
‘These young students have no idea that the school has placed ideological blinders on them.’
She said that not all students are ‘true believers’ and claimed that many pretend to agree ‘because of pressure to conform.’
‘I’ve heard from students who want to ask a question but stop for fear of offending someone. I have heard from students who don’t participate in discussions for fear of being ostracized,’ Stangel-Plowe wrote.
Critical race theory teaches that racism is a social construct used to oppress people of color, and that it is present in almost all aspects of everyday life.
Its supporters say the theory helps illuminate the obstacles faced by BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) individuals in their everyday lives, that their white counterparts do not have to worry about.
The teaching of critical race theory has become a cultural lightning rod in recent months, particularly when taught in schools. Critics claim it is unnecessarily divisive, and teaches children that they are either victims or oppressors from an early age.
It was not immediately clear when the Dwight-Englewood School began teaching critical race theory, but the school has previously faced race-related scandals.
In 2019, the school removed and investigated a student for a racist and anti-Semitic ‘hate’ messages scribbled in the stalls of a boys’ bathroom, De Jarnett said in a statement obtained by NorthJersey.com.
After the school started teaching critical race theory, Stangel-Plowe claimed that one student even did not want to finish a personal essay about an experience she had in a foreign country over fears the essay would be racist.
Stangel-Plowe also claimed some students were ‘self-censoring’ their opinions for fear of being frozen out by peers if they said the wrong thing
‘In her fear, she actually stopped herself from thinking. This is the very definition of self-censorship,’ Stangel-Plowe wrote.
Stangel-Plowe claimed that in 2019 she tried to ‘introduce positive and constructive alternative views’ but they fell on ‘deaf ears.’
‘You expressed dismay, but I did not hear any follow up from you or other administrators. Since then, the stifling conformity has only intensified,’ she wrote.
‘Last fall, two administrators informed faculty that certain viewpoints simply would not be tolerated during our new ‘race explicit’ conversations with our new ‘anti-racist’ work. They said that no one would be allowed to question the orthodoxy regarding ‘systemic racism.’ The message was clear, and the faculty went silent in response.’
Stangel-Plowe added that the faculty members are pervaded by fear and at that the Head of School Rodney De Jarnett told the entire faculty that he would fire everyone if he could to replace them with people of color.
‘During a recent faculty meeting, teachers were segregated by skin color. Teachers who had light skin were placed into a ‘white caucus’ group and asked to ‘remember’ that we are ‘White’ and ‘to take responsibility for [our] power and privilege’,’ she wrote.
‘D-E’s racial segregation of educators, aimed at leading us to rethink of ourselves as oppressors, was regressive and demeaning to us as individuals with our own moral compass and human agency.’
Stangel-Plowe then pondered if the school would start to racially segregate its students.
‘I reject D-E’s essentialist, racialist thinking about myself, my colleagues, and my students,’ she wrote.
‘Neither the color of my skin nor the ‘group identity’ assigned to me by D-E dictates my humanist beliefs or my work as an educator.’
She added: ‘Being told that it does is offensive and wrong, and it violates my dignity as a human being. My conscience does not have a color.’
Documents provided by FAIR show the posh school’s teachings on whiteness
Joe Algrant, the principal of Dwight-Englewood’s Upper School, told the New York Post 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.
Multiple other expensive private schools have also hit the headlines in recent months over CRT. Elite Manhattan school Dalton saw some parents hit out at its alleged obsession with critical race theory.
And Grace Church School – another private facility located in NoHo – fired math teacher Paul Rossi after he spoke out against CRT.
Another high-profile critic, banker Andrew Gutmann, announced plans to pull his daughter out of elite Manhattan school Brearley over his concerns with CRT.