Campus

Teachers at Elite NYC Private School Make List of 24 ‘Anti-Racist’ Demands

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: The Dalton School Chorus performs at the Shinnyo Lantern Floating for Peace 2014 at Hearst Plaza, Lincoln Center on September 21, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for Shinnyo-en)

Teachers and faculty at one of New York City’s most elite private schools created a list of 24 demands for school administrators to combat "anti-Blackness." 

The Naked Dollar blog on Friday posted a petition signed by 120 members of the Dalton School staff asking school administrators to implement a series of anti-racist measures. Teachers and faculty asked the K-12 school to pay off student loans for black faculty and abolish advanced courses if black students are not performing on par with white peers by 2023. The list also invites each member of the Dalton School faculty to "produce individual public anti-racist statements." 

Other items on the list call for revising curriculum. Teachers proposed that administrators add mandatory courses that "center Black liberation and challenges to white supremacy" with a credit requirement "equivalent to or greater than" other departments. Anti-racist curriculum should be "embedded" in the school's curriculum, just like English and math, the teachers said. 

Teachers and faculty also asked administrators to publish staff salaries based on race and gender and collect and release data on student discipline and race. 

Months of racial unrest led by the Black Lives Matter organization "inspired" teachers and faculty at the $54,000-per-year school to create the proposals, teachers said in the petition. Teachers also said they felt "heartened" by measures the school has already taken to fight racism, such as developing an "anti-racism and inclusion plan" and revising course content.

Schools across the United States have taken a variety of steps to implement critical race theory, which holds that laws and society in the United States are inherently racist. Some districts, including in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., have looked to rename buildings with namesakes deemed problematic. And Seattle Public Schools hosted a critical race theory training session for teachers that claimed the U.S. education system committed "spirit murder" against black youth.