by Kendall Tietz
An elite K-12 day and boarding school in Massachusetts separated students into race-based “affinity groups,” according to a report from Parents Defending Education.
In October, Milton Academy (MA) in Milton, Massachusetts, asked parents to pick affinity groups for their children to separate them based on race, according to a report from Parents Defending Education (PDE). The groups are now being implemented among MA students as young as five, a parent told PDE.
“The lower school offers a robust student affinity group program, scheduled during the school day, that seeks to engage all K–5 students in age-appropriate activities related to healthy identity development,” the MA Lower and Middle School website states. “Lower School faculty, staff, and administrators also engage in adult affinity groups.”
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Milton Academy in MA separates students as young as five into race-based ‘affinity groups’ after conducting online “climate” survey https://t.co/3OSXrr0ZER
— Parents Defending Education (@DefendingEd) March 16, 2022
“To be effective, we know that our DEIJ work must infuse every part of the community” through “teaching and learning, identity and affinity programming, professional development, and parent engagement,” according to the MA website. “Weekly time” has been allocated at the lower school for the DEIJ K-5 curriculum “which addresses each of the 20 social justice standards outlined by the organization Learning for Justice.”
Faculty and administrators also “work together to connect the DEIJ curriculum with students’ learning experiences in social studies, specials classes, reading, writing, and mathematics.”
MA hosted a virtual panel as part of an “Equity & Inclusion Speaker Series” on Jan. 25, where consultant Philip McAdoo was asked if “you need to personally identify with the affinity group, or can you attend as an ally,” to which he responded “there may be times …. where people will invite you in for the purpose of sharing and getting to know but most of the time, it’s specifically for their group,” according to PDE.
“The term affinity group is described as a bringing together of people who have something important in common, e.g. race, gender, profession, or special interests,” McAdoo said during the webinar, as defined by the the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), PDE reported.
“Any significant historical movement” can “probably be traced to the actions of people who share a common experience,” he added, according to PDE.
MA prohibits “demeaning language and images” and “any student from using words or images that demean or denigrate other individuals on the basis of social identities,” according to its handbook, obtained by PDE.
NAIS hosts a People of Color Conference, which MA staff have attended in the past, according to PDE. At one conference, prominent Critical Race Theorists Kimberlé Crenshaw and Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke, which an MA attendee described as “some of the most defining and exhilarating moments of the conference.”
Critical Race Theory (CRT) holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
PDE filed a complaint in October against Wellesley Public Schools (WPS) in a Massachusetts federal court “alleging that the district has systemically and repeatedly violated students’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Massachusetts Students’ Freedom of Expression Law through the use of segregated ‘affinity groups’ and an onerous speech code featuring a ‘bias reporting’ program,” the DCNF previously reported.
The lawsuit was settled in February after WPS agreed to end its use of race-based “affinity groups,” according to a PDE press release.
Milton Academy and McAdoo did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Kendall Tietz is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Milton Academy” by Milton Academy.