• Elite NYC Schools Roiled By Israel-Palestine War Fallout

    June 26, 2024
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    David Lourie, former Collegiate School Head (X screencap).

    POV: it's 2023, and you're a head of school at a $60,000+ per year Manhattan private high school. Your salary is in the $1 million range. Your housing is provided by the school. You bumbled through Covid, but now everyone is back in class. Life is good.

    Enter October 7th.

    What to do when your donor class parents--many of them Jewish--are at political odds with many of your Palestine-sympathizer, cultural Marxist faculty? What to do when your TikTok-informed students begin chanting slogans they learned online and ostracizing each other?

    This dilemma has unfolded across the country, and indeed the globe, in recent months. But perhaps nowhere in America is the divide so acute as in New York City, where the Jewish population is roughly 1 million, and Middle East Muslims abound, though counting them precisely in the census is fraught with identity politics.

    In response, the Department of Education rolled out new curriculum that purports to educate students and teachers about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in January. The Manhattan has reviewed examples of the the educational material, which, as might be expected, is full of generalizations about both cultures.

    Collegiate

    The academic friction that unfolded on the national collegiate stage has now come to preparatory schools near you: witness the ugly events leading to the ouster of the leader of the Collegiate School, a top private boys' school on the Upper West Side.

    The Manhattan spoke to one Collegiate parent who wishes to remain anonymous earlier this month. The father of a boy who attends the school claimed that David Lourie, the former Collegiate head of school, did not "step down" as the New York Times claims, so much as he was forced out by a group of Jewish parents. "He wasn't balanced between the two sides," the parent claims. "There was no way he was going to make it."

    If he went willingly or not, Lourie, who successfully navigated Covid after taking the helm at Collegiate in 2020, is out after a brief four year tenure.

    LREI

    The Little Red School House and Elizabeth Irwin High School, aka LREI, is a progressive private elementary and high school. Annunal tuition is $55,000. As The Manhattan reported on June 4th, LREI hosts a Communist Party USA summer school where children can learn the tenets of Marxism.

    Now, as the New York Times reports, school staff, parents, and the head of school are struggling to find the right balance between celebrating diverse cultures and demonstrating enough sensitivity over the Hamas-Israel war.

    A Quiet Political Reordering, From Bowman To Ivies To Private Schools

    It is striking to notice the national and local changes taking place in the wake of the Israel-Gaza war. Yesterday, Jamaal Bowman was ousted after a record AIPAC spend on his campaign. Rep. Elise Stefanik (D-NY) led the charge against the Ivy League presidents who didn't sufficiently condemn Hamas. And now, the purge continues in our private high schools.

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