Suburban Chicago New Trier High School to Host One-Sided Race Seminar

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By Nancy Thorner and Joseph Morris

A group of parents of New Trier (Illinois) High School students is concerned about what their teens will be taught during the forthcoming “All School Seminar Day” planned for February 28, 2017, titled: Understanding Today’s Struggle for Racial Civil Rights.  

New Trier High School is often ranked among the best in the country. It serves the prosperous suburbs north of Chicago — Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe, most of Northfield, and parts of Glenview — an overwhelmingly white area.   The township was traditionally conservative and Republican but now leans liberal and Democratic. Its main campus for sophomores through seniors is located in WinnetkaIllinois, US, and a freshman campus in Northfield, Illinois, with freshman classes and district administration. 

A 25-page catalogue of courses, programs, seminars, and other events scheduled for the day presents a rather bold and raw effort at hard-left propaganda with decidedly anti-American, anti-free-market, anti-family, anti-parent, and bigoted biases on display.  Click here and here to learn about some of the workshops and speakers.

Below are several of the scheduled workshops and speakers

  • “Whose Civil Rights?: Transpeople of Color Navigating the U.S.”: “Civil rights are social and political freedoms that everyone in our society is supposed to have access to; however, because of socialization, bias, and discrimination, many trans people (particularly trans people of color) do not have access to these freedoms. In this session, we will explore the current cultural climate that enforces a gender binary and, therefore, forecloses civil rights for many transpeople. We will examine how trans people are challenging and changing these systems.”
  • “21st Century Voter Suppression”: “A group discussion about the methods and regulations used in the US to deny or limit the voting rights of various minority groups…..The main emphasis of the workshop will be how to recognize, identify, and combat modern voter suppression tactics. Attendees should come out with a few concrete plans or ideas to help address the problem moving forward.”
  • “A People’s History of Chicago”: “In the tradition of Howard Zinn, A People’s History of Chicago is a poetic, progressive history that celebrates this great American city from the perspective of those on the margins whose stories are not often told.” 

As Laurie Higgins, an acclaimed writer at Illinois Family Institute, David Smith, Executive Director, further explains: “For those who are unfamiliar with Howard Zinn, he was a far Left historical revisionist who wrote The People’s History of the United States, which is used in many high school social studies classes. Eminent economist Thomas Sowell said this about Zinn’s pseudo-history book:

It speaks volumes about our schools and colleges that far-left radical Howard Zinn’s pretentiously titled book, “A People’s History of the United States,” is widely used across the country. It is one indictment, complaint, and distortion after another.  Anyone who relies on this twisted version of American history wold have no idea why millions of people from around the world are trying, sometimes desperately, to move to this country.  The one virtue of Zinn’s book is that it helps you identify unmistakably which teachers are using their classrooms as propaganda centers.”

  • “Western Bias in Science”: “Newton, Darwin, Curie…Can you think of a non-European or non-American scientist in history? Come examine the western bias in science education, its sources and its implications, in this interactive workshop.
  • “Developing Empathy & Acceptance by Reading Picture Books to Children”: “Come to the Northfield Library and read picture books to a group of children (ages 3-5). The picture books will focus on themes of embracing diversity…and social justice. Students will lead activities related to the books with the young children.”  As questioned by Laurie Higgins, “One wonders what picture books students will be reading to toddlers and who chose them? What forms of “diversity” will be depicted in these picture books?”

Andrew Aydin was described accordingly by Laurie Higgins as the keynote speaker at the Northfield campus. “Aydin is a policy advisor to liberal Congressman John Lewis. Aydin has contributed to the ethically impoverished Southern Poverty Law Center and the dystopian feminist comic book Bitch Planet.”

Monica Trinidad will share “her organizing work with We Charge Genocide. . . She will then lead a hands-on workshop that will guide participants through a discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement today.”  This quote about Trinidad is from Laurie Higgins:  “Trinidad is “a queer, latinx artist and organizer born and raised on the southeast side of Chicago.”

OiYan A. Poon: “Dr. Poon challenges students to critically analyze systems of higher education, student affairs practices, and to understand their power to transform oppressive structures as social justice change agents. . . Dr. Poon had received “a 2013 National Distinguished Educator award from the Pacific Education Group’s Courageous Conversations Summit.” As Laurie Higgins remarked:  “An award from the Pacific Education Group is confirmation that Poon is a Leftist.”  The Pacific Educational Group is a consulting firm committed to forging racial equity.  The PEG believes systemic racism is the most devastating factor contributing to the diminished capacity of all people, and especially people of color and indigenous people, to achieve at the highest levels.

Attributed to Laurie Higgins: The partial list of workshops offered at New Trier’s mandatory event “reveals a Leftist dream for what the Left considers education.” Instead of attending a conference based on White Privilege, “New Trier parents can just send their kids to school for the day long smorgasbord of ideologically non-diverse seminars to learn all about Understanding Today’s Struggle for Racial Civil Rights.”

Parents at New Trier express anger and outrage

It is not surprising that those on the Left are angry by the fact that parents of students attending New Trier have the audacity to object to the forthcoming February 28 “All School Seminar Day” of leftist indoctrination. This has resulted in the objecting parents and students being subjected to merciless bullying in social media and even face-to-face in school.  

Any dissent from the official line is labeled as “racist” and “privileged”; the parents’ calls for reasonable balance in discussions of such volatile issues are met with oppressive sloganeering along the lines of, “Calls for fairness and balance are themselves evidence of racism and privilege”.  The bullies wish to tolerate no dissent. The parents’ website is found here

The parents’ website is replete with background information on the agitprop program and some of the schemers behind it.  It contains calm and lucid information which is accurately and neutrally presented.  Visitors to the site can click through to the websites of sponsoring organizations and read their propaganda and statements of their aims and worldviews in their own (vicious and bigoted) words.  One can also sign an on-line petition in support of the parents and in opposition to unfair and unbalanced programs of this kind.

Here is the latest written statement issued by parents on Monday, February 5, 2017 on its website under the heading, Parents of New Trier High who Say ‘White Guilt’ Isn’t Enough are Being Attacked.” 

While you are at the parents’ website, have a look at the “In Their Own Words” tab where you will find some examples of the bullying and some illustrations of the vicious race-hatred and political propaganda of which the “experts” invited into the school for the indoctrination sessions are capable. Visit also the “What You Can Do” tab.  Of important is that you speak out on social media and elsewhere in defense of the concerned parents and students at New Trier High Schools. 

Respectful and thoughtful participation is likewise encouraged and would be very welcome and timely on the Facebook page devoted to discussion of the New Trier All School Seminar Day (and its one-sided program of “anti-racist” and “anti-white-privilege” indoctrination).

Concerned parents organize opposition 

Betsy Hart is one of the key leaders of the Concerned Parents of New Trier. Betsy Canfield Hart, the well-known nationally-syndicated pro-family columnist, has children in the school.  

Many in education claim they desire diversity, but their actions speak otherwise, Hart explained. Regarding New Trier’s seminar, parents are not trying to shut down the February 28th seminar.  They just want a seminar that will be more challenging for kids.  As such, parents are calling for balance and diversity to bring other ideas into the one-sided program being presented at New Trier.  Parents have asked to include some topics and hire speakers of their choice, but so far requests have been denied. 

The nearby city of Chicago is literally blowing up with many people who are suffering.  Exploring how to keep kids out of gangs or a seminar program that would help involve students in inner cities ministries would be far more beneficial than asking parents and children to reflect on white privilege.

Reports about New Trier’s racist seminar have spread beyond local media attention

The Chicago Tribune on Monday, February 6, 2017, reprinted in the front section of its main paper a report carried over the weekend by its suburban local paper, the Winnetka Talk on the growing controversy regarding the forthcoming day-long mandatory leftist indoctrination program that will be held at New Trier Township High School, once thought to be among the best public schools in the nation but now, alas, descending into the cesspool of inflammatory racist, antisemitic, and other miasms of the ascendant academic left.  

Here is the on-line Chicago Tribune link to the report first published in its suburban local paper the Winnetka Talk over the weekend, as published in Section 1, Page 3, Column 1 of the Tribune on 2/6/2017:  New Trier High School parents debate planned civil rights seminar.  

For additional excellent insight about the upcoming New Trier’s High School’s planned “All School Seminar Day”, please check out this Monday, February 6, 2017 report by Mark Glennon’s, founder of Wirepoints:  Authoritarians at the Gate:  How One High School is Ripping Its Community Apart .

Mr. Glennon begins his article with this message: 

Not since the Vietnam War have I seen as much strife and personal hostility within an otherwise friendly community.  Thank the administration of New Trier High School in north suburban Chicago. This story is about the madness on college campuses now being crammed down into a public high school. More importantly, it’s about an angry brawl now growing rapidly.

For the very latest, read the following article published February 6, 2017 at the Illinois Family Institute by Laurie Higgins:  Controversy Grows Over Imbalanced Seminar on Race.  

Will your school be next?

If you are in and around Chicago, you might wish to attend the school board meeting scheduled for Monday, February 20, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. at:  Multipurpose Room (C234), Building C, Second Floor, at New Trier High School – Northfield Campus, 7 Happ Road, Northfield.  Even if you don’t get on the agenda to speak, your presence in support of parents and students who do speak will be important and comforting against the hostility with which they are sure to be greeted.

What is happening at New Trier High School is not just an isolated incident.  Know what is happening in your own local high school.  Progressive education is now the rule of thumb in Illinois and in other states and is being supported and abetted by the Illinois Education Association. 

(NOTE: Apologies to Laurie Higgins for mistakenly failing to attribute appropriately in the original version of this column.)

[First posted at Illinois Review.]