There were hopeful signs last week that reality might slowly be dawning on the tony Trinity School on the Upper West Side, when the board of trustees issued a statement subtly repudiating the headmaster’s clueless handling of the racist “Dexter” scandal.
In a statement to parents, David Perez, president of the board of trustees, did what headmaster John Allman failed to do the previous week when a senior teacher was caught on video saying that “we just need some vigilante Dexter” to get rid of the “horrible … white boys” at the school.
Since Dexter is a TV serial killer, Trinity teacher Jennifer Norris appeared to be advocating for white male students to be murdered when she was secretly recorded by gonzo journalism outfit Project Veritas.
Perez was lead author on last week’s revisionary statement assuring parents that he and Allman “categorically denounce the derogatory and antagonistic comments in the recently released video about our white students … Bias of any kind or the threat of violence toward any person has no place at Trinity School.
“The comments made in the video do not reflect the mission or values of Trinity School. Ms. Norris is not speaking for Trinity School.”
Well, that’s a relief. But why is Norris still employed?
As of Sunday, she was still on paid leave, according to Kevin Ramsey, Trinity’s director of communications.
School’s initial silence
Why did it take five days and two statements for the school to state the bleeding obvious? You’d think it was a no-brainer to immediately come out and say that Trinity does not share the values of a teacher who thinks white boys should be murdered by a serial killer.
But no, the previous week the school had issued a tone-deaf statement expressing anger — at Project Veritas. The primary complaint was “the reprehensible way Ms. Norris and our school community were targeted,” and that she was recorded “without her knowledge and permission by someone who misrepresented himself.”
The hateful bigotry expressed by Norris was mentioned only as a mild afterthought, something that “does not reflect the mission or values of Trinity School.”
No surprise, really, considering Norris implies that other school members share her hostile view of conservatives, and considering Allman’s bizarre outpouring of grief in 2016 after Donald Trump was elected president.
When Norris told Veritas that Trinity is “definitely a school where conservatives would not feel comfortable,” she was telling the truth.
In the end, Perez must have felt enough heat to issue a stronger statement a few days after the school’s initial limp offering.
Maybe there has been a change of heart. Or, more likely, the trustees don’t enjoy getting calls from journalists.
It’s a prestigious gig to sit on the board of trustees of an elite Manhattan private school whose annual fees start at $61,000, and it’s guaranteed to earn you esteem in the social pecking order, and all the best invitations.
The last thing the trustees want is to be engulfed in a scandal.
But they are involved. The board “bears ultimate responsibility for the well-being of the school,” says its mission statement.
It’s their fault that the nation’s oldest Episcopal school, a once-great institution of learning, has gone so far off the rails.
It is not onFe teacher but the entire woke ethos of the school.
Perez, a Cuban-born investment banker, must understand from life in his former homeland the lethal trajectory of far-left ideological manipulation in schools.
Unfortunately, calls and emails to Perez and other board members have gone unanswered, unless you count Ramsey’s emailed statements.
But take billionaire William P. Lauder, heir to the Estée Lauder cosmetics fortune, Trinity Class of 1978 and respected emeritus trustee of the school board.
Does he think it’s OK for the school to exclude conservatives, and for a teacher to advocate that white male students, like he once was, be murdered? He won’t say, but he should.
He comes from a family that is well understood the murderous nature of hate and bigotry. His uncle Ronald Lauder, as president of the World Jewish Congress, used to talk about confronting bullies: “When there is no reaction to their hate, they are emboldened. Silence gives them strength.”
He was talking about anti-Semitism, but the sentiment applies to bigotry of all kinds, including dehumanizing conservatives and plotting the painful deaths of “white boys.”
Or how about board member Rabbi Joy Levitt, regarded as one of the most influential rabbis in America, the first woman to be elected president of a national rabbinical organization. As the recently retired CEO of the Marlene Meyerson Jewish Community Center, she got every synagogue on the Upper West Side to read aloud the names of Holocaust victims, from 9 am to 7 pm on Yom Hashoah. She understands the lethal path of bigotry and scapegoating. With her power in this city, she could force Trinity to repudiate hateful wokery.
Otherwise, we have to assume the board agrees with the sentiments expressed by Norris. Perhaps any children of their own are girls, or not white, or have already graduated, so they don’t care.
A warning from history
They should remember the prophetic words of German pastor Martin Niemöller, an opponent of Adolf Hitler who survived the Dachau concentration camp:
“First they came for the communists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
“Then they came for me. And there was no one left to speak out for me.”
We owe Project Veritas for revealing the true nature of woke education — hateful, bigoted, even murderous. But one elite school in Manhattan is a tiny fraction of the problem. People in charge need to be held accountable. This poison is being injected straight into the veins of American children and if it isn’t stopped, the country is lost.