High school student calls out ‘political bias and intellectual intolerance’ of elite NYC private school
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A student at an elite private school in New York City called out the institution for being an “incubator of political bias and intellectual intolerance,” and said many moderate or conservative students choose to self-censor for fear of repercussions.
Ryan Finlay, a senior at the elite Horace Mann School in the Bronx, said in an op-ed for the school paper, The Record, last week that the institution appears, on its face, to be politically a “remarkably homogeneous community,” with a curriculum drawn from the latest progressive theories.
“One could easily conclude that there are very few non-progressive students at HM, but this is an illusion; the community contains silent multitudes,” Finlay wrote.
Despite this, Finlay said the school, which costs more than $50,000 a year, is “hostile” to those who do not ascribe to progressive politics.
“Every classmate I know who is not progressive self-censors in class during discussions of current events and politics,” Finlay wrote, noting that many students stifle their views in order to not jeopardize their academic success at the school.
Finlay specifically called out a student seminar where an equity vs. equality comparison is portrayed in a cartoon graphic depicting three people of different heights attempting to see a sports game over a fence. In the equality diagram, all three people are given the same size box to stand on. As a result, the tallest two viewers can see over the fence, while the shortest one cannot. In the equity diagram, on the other hand, all three participants are given boxes of different heights, allowing all three to see over the fence.
“This approach gets students bogged down in a false impression of simplicity, leading to such conclusions on meritocracy that frequently include: the system is broken, unable to be reformed, rotten to the core, and deserving of demolition,” Finlay wrote.
He concluded the piece, published last week, by calling on the school administration to “clarify policies on political expression,” “actively protect and sanctify diversity of thought,” and “disentangle itself from the progressive political agenda that has turned the school into an incubator of bias and intellectual intolerance.”