Tony Maryland Private School to Hold Black-Only Event

$30,000-a-year prep school says skin color will determine who attends social justice event

The Key School in Annapolis, Maryland / Screenshot from Twitter
August 7, 2020

An elite Maryland private school is dividing parents in virtual social justice sessions based on race.

Key School, a private school located in Annapolis, plans to host a virtual "affinity dialogue" for black parents only. The school's diversity, equity, and inclusion page claims these sessions are the first of multiple steps in the school's journey toward "reconciliation, restoration, and justice." While the diversity office at the $30,075 per-year school publicly claims that all parents are welcome to join in such events, a school official acknowledged that it will hold one virtual session that is only available to black people.

"The Dialogues for Justice session on August 11 is specifically an affinity meeting for our African American/Black parents," a spokeswoman told the Washington Free Beacon. "The Dialogues for Justice session on August 3 is for all of our parents."

A concerned parent—who spoke to the Free Beacon on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution—said administrators have ignored those who have raised concerns about segregated events. The parent of two claims the school does not want to have a discussion that "goes against the narrative of white supremacy."

"[Key School] talks about inclusivity, then holds school-sponsored meetings that separate people based on the color of their skin," the Key School parent said. "It's just not right, but parents have no outlet to voice their complaints. If you speak out against these tactics, then they term you a racist, and your life is essentially over. So, we all stay quiet and hope common sense will prevail."

Key School's diversity training for faculty and staff includes the mandatory reading of Me and White Supremacy, a book that claims all white people are complicit in white supremacy and tanning is a form of cultural appropriation. The book is part of the school's 28-day "journey to combat racism."

The book's author, Layla F. Saad, is a British social media figure who claims white people are "complicit" in white supremacy due to their melanin count. In her book, Saad claims that prejudice lives inside of white people regardless of whether a person would ever say or believe such stereotypes.

"Racist stereotypes fester internally as subtle, dangerous, and logical-seeming reasons that explain why racism is justified," Saad wrote. "Though you would never say or consciously believe those stereotypes out loud, they do live inside you. And when coupled with the power you hold as someone with white privilege, these prejudices give you the ability to enforce white supremacy."

The book also claims that white people who help black neighbors participate in "white saviorism," a form of white supremacy. The Key School parent of two said such a message sends the wrong message to children.

"I do not want my children being told that because they were born white, they are guilty of oppressing another culture," the parent said. "They are being bombarded during the school year with racist rhetoric that paints them as an oppressor because of their skin color, that scares me…. That is racist behavior I cannot support."

In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, schools and higher education institutions have rushed to incorporate antiracism and bias training for students, parents, and faculty into their curricula. Christopher Rufo, the director of the Discovery Institute's Center on Wealth & Poverty, told the Free Beacon that schools are being overtly racist in their so-called antiracist training.

"Hard-left activists are reviving the practice of race-based separation in the name of social justice," Rufo said. "It's astonishing that so many elite institutions, including the most expensive private schools in America, have bought into the pseudoscience of 'whiteness' and 'blackness'—which is no better than the race essentialism of a century ago. Let me be perfectly plain: This is racism masquerading as 'antiracism.'"

A race-based virtual seminar could also mire some schools in legal problems. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits "discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance." University of Pennsylvania law school professor Amy Wax said such rules may not apply at some private schools.

"Certainly this would be highly suspect and almost certainly illegal at a public school. Technically, private schools that are entirely self funded can do what they like, and discriminate if they like," Wax said. "The ones who don't approve should vote with their feet.... Stop paying those exorbitant fees for a school that doesn't 'share their values,' stop sending your kids to a school that has gone overboard with the antiracism craze."