Op-Ed: Society of Woke

Originally published in City Journal.

The Society of Friends has educated children in America since 1689, when William Penn urged his new city, Philadelphia, to open Penn Charter. Over the centuries, Quaker schools became some of the East Coast’s most prestigious educational institutions. That legacy of excellence, though, is now in jeopardy as Quaker schools embrace critical race theory, undermining more than 300 years of commitment to objective truth and betraying the tenets of Quakerism itself.

This “woke” trend has overrun Quaker education in Greater Philadelphia, where about two dozen Quaker K–12 schools and three Quaker colleges operate, from tony Main Line suburbs to the bucolic countryside. Among the 22 regional K–12 schools listed by the Friends Council on Education, 17 have adopted similar diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements. Chester County’s Westtown School, for example, touts programming that will “strive to uncover and undo our collective and individual biases.”

While such vague pronouncements might seem innocent, they reveal an effort to teach students that they’re forever separated by identity and bound by the historical sins associated with those identities. At Abington Friends School, parents are told that their newly “conscious community” will “provide necessary resources to support both institutional transformation and individual self-exploration and growth around issues of difference.” Wynnewood’s Friends’ Central similarly declared that it’s “engaged in an ongoing journey to confront and unlearn bias and racism personally and collectively to become a more equitable, anti-bias school.”

Such language indicates…

Read more at City Journal.