REPORTED BY: SPENCER LINDQUIST | JANUARY 27, 2022
Amid ongoing supervision from parents across America, the Episcopal School of Dallas has sought to reassure parents it is not teaching critical race theory or targeting students on the basis of their race. Despite this attempt, documents obtained by The Federalist prove that the institution is teaching critical race theory while telling parents it’s not.
The elite private school, which bears a whopping tuition price of $26,945 for kindergarteners and $34,075 for high school seniors, sought to insulate itself from backlash on its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page, which preemptively responds to common critiques. The page warns against “misinformation” before assuring parents the school is “not teaching critical race theory,” nor is it teaching “that being part of an ethnic or racial group makes a person responsible for systemic problems, or to cast blame on or shame any member of the community for actions that took place in history.” According to other school documents, however, these claims are false.
Student assignments show the school is teaching the left-wing extremism that targets children in so many government-run K-12 schools.
CRT In The Classroom
One Episcopal School of Dallas reading assignment for a middle school history class titled “This Thing Called White” exhibited the defining characteristics of CRT. The assignment claimed that “Whiteness is a constantly shifting boundary separating those who are entitled to have certain privileges from those whose exploitation and vulnerability to violence is justified by their not being white.” It goes on to contend that race was created “with the purpose of giving power to white people.”
In an 8th grade history class taught by Ron Frankland, students were required to listen to a podcast from the 1619 Project’s Nikole Hannah-Jones.
Frankland also signaled his support for CRT while bemoaning the wave of pushback from parents who’ve voiced their opposition to the ideology.
Nevertheless, attempts to turn students into leftwing activists through indoctrination appear to be working. An open letter titled “Our Turn To Rise Up,” penned by students as part of a history assignment at the school, condemned America as “diseased” and endeavored to “spark a fire of revolution.”
Faculty Members Endorse CRT
Furthermore, several faculty members, including many who are in key positions, have demonstrated an allegiance to the doctrines of CRT, as well as expressed their intent to incorporate the divisive theory in the classroom.
Jennifer Jarnagin is the chair of the school’s Classical and Modern Languages Department, as well as a sponsor of the Middle School Diversity Club and a middle and upper school Latin teacher. Several of Jarnagin’s tweets display an anti-cop and anti-white bias informed by the teachings of critical race theory. During the height of the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots of 2020, Jarnagin implied all police officers were violent.
She also stated that she was happy to “disrupt white nonsense,” and that she dreams of “throwing 90% of straight white men into the ocean.”
In Jarnagin’s Twitter bio, she states that she’s “dismantling white supremacy, misogyny and heteronormativity” and that she’s a “Latin teacher interested in proficiency, inclusion, and empathy.”
Tolly Salz, an English teacher and the chair of the English Department, has also signaled her support for ideas endemic to CRT. On Twitter, Salz promoted an article titled “White People’s Fear of Critical Race Theory is Based in Ignorance,” as well as one from Learning for Justice, a project of the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, titled “Confronting the Weaponization of Whiteness in Our Classrooms,” which claims that white supremacy is “baked into America’s foundation.”
The article also condemned white womens’ emotions as instruments of oppression, making the claim that “Men going to war with armor is the same as white women waging war through tears.”
Salz also promoted a guide labeled “Teaching with the New York Time’s 1619 Project.”
Critical race theory also appears to have affected the Christian school’s religious leadership.
Antoni Luc-Tayengo, who recently became a chaplain at ESD, has publicly advocated for CRT. In an article titled “Predominantly White Churches & Racial Justice: Discern The Next Right Thing,” the female chaplain argues people should “look for color” and frames involvement in the openly Marxist Black Lives Matter movement as a moral imperative for Christians.
Her article also links to a “well-cultivated list of resources for anti-racism education of all ages.” The page includes the 1619 Project and work from critical race theorists Robin DiAngelo and Kimberle Crenshaw, among various others.
Rev. Nate Bostian is a senior chaplain at ESD. While his public remarks have not carried the same vitriolic tone of many others at the school, from his public remarks it’s clear that leftwing ideology influences his religious understanding. In this prayer he gave for LGBT pride month, Bostian begins by referring to God as the “God/god of Diversity and Inclusion.”
In another post, he cites infamous critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi before going on to provide a theological argument for diversity, inclusion, and equity.
ESD’s Institutional Ties To CRT
None of these examples are isolated incidents. Despite telling parents that they do not teach CRT or engage in shaming tactics against children on account of their race, ESD, as an institution, has done both. ESD sent parents a list of CRT information compiled by Elizabeth Goatley, the school’s director of diversity and inclusion. Parents were directed to a page called “Anti-Racism 102: Why Not All Discrimination Is ‘Racism.” Intended for children in grades K-4 and adorned with colorful cartoons, the page erroneously claims that white people cannot be the victims of racism, saying “reverse racism isn’t a thing. Stop trying to make reverse racism a thing.” It also claims everyone is complicit in systemic white supremacy and that “whiteness” must be “de-centered.”
The recommended reading list included Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility,” material from critical race theorist Kimberle Crenshaw, Kendi’s “How To Be An Anti-Racist,” the 1619 Project, “Anti-racism for Kids 101,” and Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” among others. The list also linked to a “K-8 Racial Literacy” curriculum from an organization called Pollyanna. Pollyanna’s Conferences for School page sheds light on the type of material the organization presents to children.
Topics include “Race, Privilege, and Community Building,” “Shaping & Sustaining Safe Schools for LGBTQ+ Community,” “Intersectionality,” “Cultivating Racial Awareness and White Engagement,” and “Implicit Bias.” The organization also claims systemic racism “permeates every aspect of our society and transcends person-to person interactions,” a core belief of CRT.
The school’s DEI page explains that both staff and students frequently attend several conferences, including the People of Color Conference hosted by the leftwing National Association of Independent Schools. The POCC overtly teaches CRT. One presentation from the conference describes kindergarteners as “natural social justice warriors,” while others explicitly outline how to create a curriculum based on CRT.
Another presentation condemns the American system, telling the audience to “burn sh-t down.” It also discusses the “White People Way,” with the presenter condemning “perfectionism” and “power hoarding” as defining characteristics of white people.
The Federalist reached out to multiple school staff for comment, inquiring about the 1619 Project, racially charged statements made by a faculty member, and CRT in the classroom. The Federalist also asked why the school was present at the POCC event, where teachers were taught how to develop a curriculum grounded in CRT, if there was no intention of teaching the racially charged ideology.
In response, ESD’s Director of Communications Julie Clardy provided the following statement: “We present challenging material that asks students to consider multiple points of view. For instance, we present the 1619 and 1776 projects together and ask students to analyze and argue their merits. Students are edified, not damaged, when they are asked to examine ideas they may disagree with.”
ESD Is Not The Only School Deceiving Parents
The Episcopal School of Dallas is by no means the first academic institution to lie to parents about teaching critical race theory. Over the summer, President of the American Federation of Teachers union Randi Weingarten falsely claimed CRT is not being taught in K-12 schools despite her organization previously bragging on national television about teaching the ideology.
The Federalist reporting has revealed that officials at both Riverside School District and Los Angeles Unified School District lied to their school communities, falsely claiming they did not teach CRT. Despite the obvious parallels with previous instances, the state of the Episcopal School of Dallas demonstrates that elite private schools are not immune from the left’s push for CRT in America’s K-12 institutions.