May 18, 2022 It has been a month since we sent an email to Lake Highland families and directed concerned parents to the website, LHPSWatch.com. Since then, we have had 85 anonymous signatures on the website’s petition and many positive communications from people like you. We want to reiterate that we believe this identity-based ideology is just gaining a foothold at our beloved school, and we feel we can turn things around with your help and input. For over fifty years, Lake Highland has provided exceptional education to a broad range of students. The teachers, staff and facilities are first-class and to be commended. We detail on the LHPS Watch website the subtle changes that are taking place and our concern about the lack of response from the school’s leadership. We hope with a new school president starting this summer we can get answers to our questions about changes made to the school curricula, library offerings and Lake Highland’s website. The LHPSWatch.com website has updated information on the home page under “Recent Information Blogs.” Keep an eye out for new information there and provide us with any new developments you learn about the school by sending an email to ProtectOurSchool@outlook.com. Additionally, some of our emails go to spam. Please spread the word to other LHP families to check their spam folders and to go to the LHPS Watch website and the Recent Information Blog on the home page. Many of you have contacted us, some supporting this effort and some opposed. Some have requested to be removed from further communication and we do our best to honor those requests. There is an unsubscribe option at the end of this email. A few of you have asked reasonable questions about our position. We wish to respond to those now. What proof is there that LH trains teachers to teach Woke? LHPSWatch.com shows you how LH leadership embraced the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) and its “best practices” of creating a DEI initiative and a DEI administrative structure to redesign the school top to bottom. We also show how LH’s redesigned website celebrated sending its faculty and students to the NAIS’s People of Color Conference (PoCC) and Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) for “leadership training”. Go to our website, LHPSWatch.com section titled “NAIS PoCC Courses” to read the seminar course content for these conferences. Not only are they filled with Critical Race Theory, Critical Gender Theory and other Woke ideology, the attendees are specifically trained to take this content back to their respective schools and teach these dogmas to children as young as 3 years old. In addition, we learned from those in the room, that in January, LH’s DEI Director issued a new speech code to all kindergarten teachers prohibiting their use of the phrase “boys and girls” because it is not “inclusive”. Our point is a warning: this is just the beginning. Why do you oppose “Diversity”, “Equity” and “Inclusion” or teaching the history of slavery and racism in America? We don’t oppose that at all. We say so repeatedly on the website. We’ll say it again now. In fact, on LHPSWatch.com we predicted that some supporters of LH’s embrace of Woke would attempt to “flip” the issues by accusing us of opposing an honest and fair account of history, or opposing “diversity” of thought, opposing “inclusion” of everyone and “equality” of opportunity. Go to our subsection “Understanding Woke” and the subsection within titled “The Woke Share our Vocabulary, but not our Dictionary”. As we explain and prove Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have a different meaning within Woke than what is traditionally understood. These and other terms are re-defined. In fact, throughout the website we can’t be clearer: We oppose Woke because it rejects the idea of a colorblind acceptance of every child as a unique individual. We quote the promotors of Woke and cite their training seminars at the NAIS PoCC /SDLC where Lake Highland continues to send our faculty and students. Woke demands that people see themselves and everyone around them through a lens of group identity, and judges everyone by their membership in this or that demographic category. At this point it appears that people who continue to ask us this question have not actually read the website. Where in the curriculum is LH teaching Woke? One class we know of is the Global Online Academy course titled Gender Studies. Of course, as we show at LHPSWatch.com after LH leadership was made aware of this course, they kept the course but promptly removed LH parents’ ability to see the curriculum (via Atlas browser.) So, the answer to the question is a couple of questions: How would we know? They clearly don’t want parents to be able to see the curriculum for some reason. Why? We think the answer lies in the undeniable fact that this was done at the same time they created and tasked a DEI Director and a DEI Advisory Committee with “initiating programmatic and curricular changes in every school.” We prove this at LHPSWatch.com. Further, as we explain, the initial stages of Woke involve creation of a DEI Director and adoption of cross-over words in the school’s formal policy language. These sources of power and authority are then used to transform the curriculum and school. These are exactly the changes made by LH leadership since 2020. Why mass emails? These would not be necessary if LH had what every public-school parent has: a school board meeting where parents can get answers directly from the people making decisions about their child’s education and where every other parent can discover what concerns others. Why doesn’t Lake Highland allow open questions and answers from parents? Previously, parents could ask questions at the end of the annual State of School Speech. At last year’s State of the School Speech, President Harms censored parents’ questions and at the most recent State of the School Speech he refused to take any questions whatsoever. His last quip to LH parents was “If you have a concern, send me an email.” The president is on this email list, and we just did.
May 5, 2022
It has been brought to our attention by a parent that Lake Highland has most recently removed the children’s classic and Newberry Medal winner, Strawberry Girl from the fourth-grade curriculum for being deemed “offensive.” Here is an online review of the book:
“Here's a great way to keep history alive for middle-schoolers. Lois Lenski wrote about ordinary country children, usually in agricultural occupations. Her STRAWBERRY GIRL lives in Florida and has to contend with rival families struggling to bring in the seasonal strawberry crop. While the time (ca. 1940) has now gone by, this is such a worthwhile document of Florida history that it is still in print and widely read in the Sunshine State. Perhaps your kids will enjoy it too!”
Here are a few of our questions that parents might want to ask the school: What is the standard by which the school is making those decisions? What books have they removed from the classroom and what books have they added? What books have been removed from the library and what books have they added in the last two years? Since parents are not able to view the detail of each class course curriculum or have online access to the library how would a parent know? They wouldn’t.
As we disclosed on the website the new DEI Director has been given the authority and power to initiate program and curriculum changes at all schools, lower, middle and upper schools. What qualifications and training does the DEI Director have and what is the position job description?
A larger question is why the school felt the need for a Director of DEI in the first place. We have a diverse student body, have always had multiple programs and classes to satisfy a range of student needs and interests and have worked hard to provide an atmosphere of love, concern and mutual respect, per our Mission Statement.
Lake Highland, thus far, has ignored anyone that has questioned their new direction so new information regarding changes that like-minded parents should know and understand needs to be shared between parents. Let us know and we will help you do that.