The following are written excerpts of communications from The Stevenson School. There are many examples of what is said verbally to students, and what is and isn't being taught.
January 10, 2022 “Monday Minutes” sent by email:
Student Action Items
EDUCATE, ADVOCATE and ACTIVATE!
Monday is the formal honoring of Dr. King. This year, his daughter Rev. Bernice King has asked us to commemorate her father’s day by doing what her father would have done: “speak and act in a way to ensure that this nation lives up to its promise of democracy by putting pressure on our United States Senate to bypass the filibuster and instead of taking the King holiday off, they should make it a day on to pass the Voting Rights Act.”
[Without any background information or explanation of the issues, the school asked students to write these letters.]
In a March 19, 2021 letter from the head of school to everyone (students, teachers, parents, etc. regarding the shooting at an Atlanta, Georgia spa where 6 out of 8 killed were Asian.
“Even what some might mistake for inconsequential moments--a conspiratorial smirk behind someone’s back; a question which, though asked without either malice or empathy, is nonetheless insensitive; someone casually employing a stereotype that, by diminishing someone else’s unique identity and self-esteem, lands with the violent force of a closed fist--represent monumental opportunities for us to bravely stand up for what is right, for ourselves as well as for others. To fail to take action when such opportunities appear is to imperil others’ wellbeing, as well as our School’s core values, and may haunt us for the rest of our lives. And if a peer rises up to correct what they perceive to be your error, greet their courage with the respect it deserves, and give some serious thought to your actions, regardless of your intent.”
In another letter from the head of school about the Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd:
“Some in our School community enjoy the privilege of indifference to the trial’s outcome and wake. For others—specifically, people who know that their race, ethnicity, or some other visible aspect of their identity could lead to their death later today at the hands of police during a routine traffic stop—this trial and the emotions it provokes (including fear, anger, sadness, and exhaustion) are as real and as inescapable as the air we all breathe. Sadly, this sharp divergence of consciousness is as American as apple pie.”
February 7, 2022, -from a parent bulletin describing the school’s commitment to
GUEST SPEAKER NOTICE. We are thrilled to welcome Rosetta Lee, professional outreach specialist, who will work with our faculty and staff in a full-day inservice on February 18 and subsequently offer a series of parent/guardian educational sessions to our community beginning this month with PK–4 families. Since 2004, Rosetta has been a diversity speaker and trainer on a variety of topics, including cross cultural communication, identity development, implicit and unconscious bias, gender and sexuality diversity, facilitation skills, and bullying in schools. Please visit this link to learn more about Rosetta’s offered webinars and trainings and take a moment to peruse this expansive (and growing) resource list for additional information.
In. February 17, 2022 letter from the head of school to parents, where he confirmed the school is now fully adopting the Critical Race Theory and anti-racism ideology. [Emphasis added by me]
This year’s annual PK-12 full-day in-service employee training will be held tomorrow. It features Rosetta Lee–a nationally-recognized expert on diversity, inclusion, and equity in independent schools. [Students will not attend classes tomorrow or on the Monday that follows.] In the morning, Ms. Lee will meet with me and other administrators; over the rest of the day, she will direct division-specific sessions on cultural competency and inclusive teaching. Over the rest of the semester, she will facilitate a series of virtual meetings for interested families. I hope you will consider participating in these opportunities to learn, reflect, and connect–dates and topics will be announced in upcoming editions of Monday Minutes!
Ms. Lee’s visit represents a renewal of work that we took up in earnest in 2015, and that we had to temporarily suspend during our period of remote instruction. Her visit also represents our continuing commitment to our School’s core values–safety, trust, respect, inclusion, and belonging–and to our seriousness of purpose in rigorously aligning our practices with these values across all three divisions as we seek to deliver a superb education and supportive environment to our students.
It’s hard to imagine a better person to help inspire focused attention on effective care for our community than Rosetta Lee. Over almost twenty years, she has established herself as a leading national voice in this crucial area of modern school-keeping. Many of us have attended her keynote speeches and workshops, and so share an appreciation for her wisdom, patience, and student-centered perspective informed by both her research and her experiences as a practitioner at Seattle Girls’ School. Given the degree to which she is in high demand across the United States, we are thrilled to be able to welcome her in person tomorrow.
Such work doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Indeed, it is often now politicized. This is one of the reasons I write: to affirm that our School’s fundamental mission is to educate young people, not just by teaching skills and facts, but also by striving to embody the habits of heart and mind upon which the future of civil society arguably depends. [I can’t say we always get it right, but I do believe we try!] One key factor in this project is our teachers’ shared commitment to cultivating their students’ capacity for free inquiry and independent thought in the context of our School’s core values–a commitment that demands perpetual discipline, critical reflection, and frequent training. That is precisely why, with humility and perseverance, we periodically turn to distinguished experts like Rosetta Lee. We look forward to reporting soon on what we learn from tomorrow’s experience!
With these thoughts in mind, please click on the following links for more information regarding our School’s mission and to learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Stevenson.
"NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS: Stevenson School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs."
The Director of Diversity and Inclusion teaches "Qualitative Research Methods" which is defined in Wikipedia, "Qualitative research relies on data obtained by the researcher from first-hand observation, interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, participant-observation, recordings made in natural settings, documents, and artifacts. The data are generally nonnumerical."
--also known as anecdotal evidence.
The following are the "allied" groups on campus.
Black Student Union
Latin Student Union
AAPI affinity group
Submitted: Feb 19, 2022