Diversity sours at Lakeside

A push for diversity has backfired at a posh Seattle private school that happens to be the alma master of Bill Gates. Two black teachers who resigned are suing, claiming a “hostile atmosphere” promoted racial discrimination. The Seattle Weekly tells the story:

In 2003, Lakeside created a mission focus that made “diversity and inclusion” one of three goals, along with the related goal of “global citizenship” and the third goal of academic excellence.

“Diversity and inclusion” doesn’t extend to ideas, apparently. A teacher invited Dinesh D’Souza to speak on campus and then was forced to disinvite him. D’Souza’s conservative views were “judged ‘harmful’ to Lakeside’s ‘current efforts to be an inclusive community,’ according to a letter written by Lakeside Head of School Bernie Noe.”

When another black teacher, Kim Pollack, talked about masters raping slaves, some students took it personally.

“Our teen came home and said, ‘She thinks if you have sex with someone who is in power, you’re being raped,'” recalls Linda Deright, who is white and the wife of Bob Simeone, the diversity committee co-chair.

So the kids argued with Pollock, which she took as a racial insult. One student told her that she was “intellectually raping” the class. An hour later, Pollock walked into the cafeteria and heard Deright’s son talking about the teacher in an unflattering way, according to the recollections of both Pollock and Deright. Pollock says she told the boy: “You’re not the first little white boy to have challenged me — and you won’t be the last.”

Pollock defends the comment as a factual description and “not in the context of a racial put-down.”

A teacher who considers it racism if a student challenges her ideas? Pollack has now quit Lakeside too.

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Comments

  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Accusation of racism need to be treated like accusations of rape. Never brushed off, always investigated thoroughly and punished properly. False accusations of either need to be punished, too.

  2. Bill Leonard says:

    I’m curious about that mission statement.

    Academic excellence? OK, no argument here.

    Diversity and inclusion? Let’s talk that one out in detail.

    “Global citizenship”? Well, when it sounds like horseapples, and smells like horseapples…

  3. greeneyeshade says:

    Anyone remember when Jimmy Breslin got his knuckles rapped for saying something insulting about an Asian-American colleague? I observed at the time that it showed you could never be too politically correct, and a colleague, a red-diaper baby, said no, you could never be politically correct *enough.* Wasn’t he right.

  4. BadaBing says:

    I’d love to teach these kids. They’ve got chutzpah to tell their race-mongering teacher that she’s intellectually raping them. When the worm turns, leftists get nasty: You’re not the first little white boy to have challenged me—and you won’t be the last. Pollock needs to get over herself.

  5. BadaBing says:

    Testing.

  6. Can someone please give me a definition for what is referred to in the article as “white priviledge”?

    And explain the difference between “diversity” and “tokenism….”

  7. Sadly, I predict Pollock will be hired and embraced by some prep school or liberal arts college out there for her “intellectual courage” to leave Lakeside.

    A definition for diversity? Apparently, it’s “Diversity = More of the things we like to hear”.

  8. 5/1 just because a school is private and rich, doesn’t make it a good school………..glad these kids stood up to the teachers, but sad that they didn’t get to hear d’souza. PC police out in force at lakeside

  9. wayne martin says:

    > a definition for what is referred to in the article
    > as “white priviledge”?

    Notion is too broad for a definition, it requires whole “essays” to explain:

    White Privilege:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_privilege_(sociology)
    http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/freelance/whiteprivilege.htm

  10. Bill Leonard says:

    In the case of the white professor at the University of Texas (see Wayne Martin’s citation, above,) “white privilege” apparently means a self-imposed moral obligation to wring his hands and agonize about the fact that he was born white and has somehow managed some modicum of success.

    That professor also describes himself as “…not the sharpest knife in the drawer,” which may also explain why he’s teaching journalism rather than actually practicing it at a print or broadcast outlet.

  11. Gails14 says:

    Unfortunately, it will be less expensive for Lakeside to pay them off instead of going to court.

    Lakeside is not the only private school in Seattle to push for diversity. Adopted by another Seattle private school in 2003:

    Seattle Academy believes that a diverse school community is essential to education. We further believe that such a community includes and embraces a spectrum of differences in learning style, race, color, creed, ethnic and national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, and life experience.

  12. wayne martin says:

    > Seattle Academy believes that a diverse school
    > community is essential to education. We further
    > believe that such a community includes and embraces
    > a spectrum of differences in learning style, race, color,
    > creed, ethnic and national origin, gender, sexual orientation,
    > socio-economic background, and life experience.

    Most nation-states have been based more-or-less on a homogenous population, culture, religion, history, etc. Public education is a fairly new concept in man’s roughly 8,000 year-old socialized history, only gaining a foothold in the US about 160 years ago. Most countries/cultures did not provide public education until well into the 20th Century.

    It would be interesting to challenge Seattle Academy to prove their claims with examples from history and other cultures.

  13. Barb, is it a good school if most of the kids score over 1000 SAT, go on to college and obtain above average jobs?

    Or would it be a better school if 70% graduated, 20% went to college and the average earner, post education, was within poverty line + 50%…. but they had a very diverse indoctrination to their future as a global citizen?

    When we start to favor feelings and doctrine over tangible outcomes people start sending our kids to private schools.

  14. Bill Leonard says:

    Ah, but it all sounds so…uplifting! No matter if none of the kids learn anything — consider the fabulous environment in which they didn’t learn anything except to chant the diversity mantra!

  15. Tracy W says:

    You have students who really kind of feel like I can call up this teacher, if I got an A-minus, and ask why I didn’t get an A.”

    This is an interesting quote. It’s probably removed from context, but being read as it is, surely you want kids who want to know why they didn’t get an A? You know, continual improvement? What did I do wrong and how can I do it better next time?