Apologies not accepted.
A group of angry parents at the exclusive Spence School in Manhattan have rejected apologies from besieged principal Bodie Brizendine over a video shown to students mocking white women – and are now targeting its board of trustees as well.
“While I was upset after hearing what happened to Spence, Bodie’s ensuing email really pushed me over the edge,” says a letter recently sent by a parent to the principal and the school board – and widely supported by other parents, according to sources. .
“Furthermore, the fact that the board has not weighed in on this issue gives the impression that the board shares the opinion that racism is indeed acceptable as long as it is in the climate of era, ”the letter said.
Spence – who counts Gwyneth Paltrow and Kerry Washington among his graduates – became engulfed in controversy after a teacher showed his eighth-grade class an episode of Ziwe Fumudoh’s Showtime series where the racist comedian asks the writer Fran Lebowitz: “What percentage of white women do you hate? And there is a good answer.
The bubbling parent letter about the incident accused Brizendine of later posting a mealy mea culpa that did not adequately address the parents’ concerns.
“This video is not part of Spence’s program,” the principal had assured the parents in her note. “Our teacher and the school agree that sharing a satirical video that made fun of white women was a big mistake.”
But the parent, who sources say has many allies on the matter, accused Brizendine of using vaporous language that downplayed the incident.
“Choosing to label the video as ‘satirical’ and that it ‘mocks’ and ‘ridiculous’ is an understatement,” the parent wrote. “That you have full confidence in the professionalism of your dedicated faculty and that you will strengthen the protocols” is not an acceptable response. “
Spence is one of the many private schools in town that have erupted into internal strife over what some parents see as a “wide-awake” fixation on race and the subordination of grassroots academics to progressive ideology.
Former Grace Church School math professor Paul Rossi launched a review of private schools in April after writing an essay accusing his institution of “brainwashing” students and suppressing dissent.
Parents at the equally exclusive and expensive Dalton School revolted last month after first graders saw sex education videos that included cartoons about masturbation.
The teacher behind the presentation, Justine Ang Fonte, ultimately resigned amid the uproar.
In the letter to Spence Brass, the parent said the school has long had a reputation of “being strong academics and helping to shape young women who are intelligent, caring, strong, capable and independent.”
“I regret that there is no longer the impression that academics, or those other qualities, are a priority,” the letter said.
The missive urged Brizendine to do more to address the school’s deepening cracks.
“Don’t get me wrong, you’ve lost my ‘trust and support’ and it’s up to you to get it back,” the parent wrote.