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I wrote a letter to my kid’s private high school, Gilman School, but as I received no reply, I decided it was reasonable to post to a broader forum, here on Ricochet as well as to other parents, in the hopes of more publicly forcing a reckoning:
We are Gilman parents for three students so far, including two graduates of the high school. Never have we seen the institution engage in such blatant and shameless bullying of students as we are seeing now: our son must toe the line, or be subject to comprehensive intimidation for not having the “right” opinions. I had never understood that we were supposed to emulate the McCarthy era. Live and learn.
I am sure you have seen the letter by a Brearley parent. If you have not, I urge you to read it here. It reflects the views of this family. And “Gilman” is an obvious fit for “Brearley” in this case. Indeed, we wholeheartedly endorse and agree with the letter by other Gilman and Bryn Mawr parents that has also been circulated. The Gilman Five are undermined by the very concept that we should be defined by our skin color instead of the content of our character.
Speaking for ourselves and our own current Gilman student: Why do we have to be subjected to letters and speeches about the death of a violent felon who had triple the lethal dose of fentanyl in his system, but nothing at all about the perils to our society of jury intimidation or mob justice? Similarly our son has to spend weeks on LGBTQ issues, truly the flavor of the day. Oedipus Rex was discarded for this? Seriously?
We find ourselves on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, we find the constant stream of political dross that our son reports from Gilman repulsive and deeply discouraging for the future of our society. On the other hand, because our son is afraid to share his beliefs, or even float new ideas at Gilman, he is communicating more with his parents. There is a silver lining!
We just thought you should know that the current climate at Gilman is making at least one student deeply uncomfortable, and certain that if he so much as expresses an opinion he will suffer enduring consequences, consequences that have no place in a school which supposedly stands for free inquiry and against bullying of all kinds.
Please teach our son. Float above the politics.