Take-Aways from State of the School Speech
President Harm’s gave his last State of the School speech on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. What seemed most significant was what he didn’t say or do. As in years past, he was able to highlight how LH’s deep 50-year tradition continues to serve its students well. He talked about the Mission Statement and the Honor Code and how LH’s principles of the pursuit of excellence thru individual competitive merit, the search for truth thru reason and inquiry, and its commitment to Judeo-Christian values have resulted in another award-winning class of young men and women. We share his warm thanks for all the talented and dedicated people who make LH such a wonderful and special school.
What he did not say was anything about the subtle but significant changes that he and LH leadership put in place over the past 2 years. Not a word.
- The words “diversity, equity or inclusion” never came out of his mouth. They only appeared 2 times on the screen in the hour-long slide show and were buried within an entire page of text. No discussion of the other neologisms, jargon or mantras of critical race and gender pedagogy was adopted in the middle of the Covid lockdowns.
- He said nothing of the “Diversity Training” mandated for every LH employee in 2020 nor the scientifically discredited Implicit Bias Testing LH still utilizes.
- There was no mention of the new DEI Director position or its mandate to “initiate programmatic and curricular…changes to all schools” in 2020. No mention of the DEI director’s edict in January, 2022 banning the “100 days“ tradition for our little ones or the DEI speech code prohibiting kindergarten teachers from using the phrase “boys and girls”. In fact, as of May 2, 2022 LH leadership still has not formally announced either of these changes to LH parents.
- No mention of last year’s celebratory embrace on LH’s website (since removed) of the NAIS’ People of Color Conference or Student Diversity Leadership Conference where LH is still sending our faculty and children for “leadership training”. No discussion or defense of LH’s continued affiliation with NAIS and its indefensibly racists segregationist ‘training” seminars. No mention of LH embrace of the NAIS’ “Affinity Groups” policy in which some LH students are excluded from student clubs based on race, ethnicity and other group identity categories.
- No mention of the 2020 replacement of the words “Christian Values” with “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” in LH’s self-description on its website.
- No mention or explanation whatsoever of the 2020 removal of the Atlas curriculum browser from LH’s website and the resulting curtain dropped between LH parents and the content of the education LH intends to give their children in this new era of DEI Initiatives and “programmatic and curricular…changes to all schools.” No mention of the same limitations placed on LH parent’s ability to see what titles are on LH’s library shelves in early 2021.
- No mention of whether the politicized and scientifically absurd Gender Studies is still a part of LH’s curriculum.
President Harm’s speech was also significant for what he didn’t do. Every year after the State of the Speech LH parents have had an opportunity-actually their only opportunity to publicly ask questions regarding the state of the school. After electronically censoring such questions last year, President Harms simply refused to field any questions this year. It would appear that, once again, the Board of Trustees and the administration have decided just to ignore many of the parents' concerns. His last words: “If you have any concerns send me an email.” We suggest you should do exactly that.