April 14, 2023
On March 17, 2023, we sent an email detailing The True History of the Founding of Lake Highland Preparatory School and received multiple replies from parents including the following:
“Thank you for shining the light of truth of the founding of LHPS!”
“I had no idea that this went on during Admiral Harms tenure. I agree with the plan to remove the association with the NAIS as well as the changes made to the school’s procedures by this DEI movement.”
“We’ve withdrawn our children from LHPS, and they will be going to different schools next year. Over the years I’ve taken the personal sacrifice to pay massive amount of cash for private school to specifically keep my kids away from wokeism and to allow for Christian values education. LHPS is no longer that school.”
After our March email that included Harms’ 2021 letter, several emails were sent to President McIntyre concerning that letter and more importantly the Wikipedia description of LHP’s founding as an all-white school. Please see this corrected link Lake Highland Preparatory School - Wikipedia Lake Highland Preparatory School - Wikipedia click on the history tab.
Also in the last month, alumni have met with President McIntyre and Crystal Raphael, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) concerning the revised history of the school. Obviously, Jim McIntyre was not here when Harms sent his letter. Ms. Raphael claims no participation in its origin. The fact remains that the school continues to promote this false narrative sent by Harms and published on the Internet for the world to see.
Admiral Harms and the Board of Directors revised the history of the school to justify the changes they were making and no one in the current leadership is willing to challenge it or the changes. The most notable change was the establishment of a DEI Department. Other changes include the lack of transparency on the school website including abbreviated class descriptions, limited parental online access to the school libraries, and no parental access to all class descriptions or to online courses. DEI has replaced Christian Values on the school website in the dropdown menu under the About tab. Teachers are adding pronouns to their names in email correspondence. LHP sends teachers and children to the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) People of Color and Student Diversity Leadership Conferences. Some traditional awards and celebrations have been discontinued such as the 100th Day of School. Kindergarten students are not referred to as boys and girls. These and other changes expand each school year.
It is inexplicable that Lake Highland would describe its founding as it has on Wikipedia. There is so much to be proud of about our school. We should revere the people who had the vision to create LHP on the grounds of a closing college in the heart of Orlando. Their foresight allows us to enjoy all that Lake Highland has become. To question their motives with no facts is not only false and egregious but frankly, irresponsible. The school admitted they made up this story when they stated in Harms’ letter, “we found no definitive documents that indicated discrimination...” Yet they proceeded to surmise the motives of the founders along with the parents who enrolled their children there.
To date and to our knowledge, no one who recently sent correspondence to the school concerning our March 2023 email has received a reply. In 2021, numerous letters, emails, and requests for meetings about Harms’ letter were blatantly ignored by the school President and Board. Currently, the Wikipedia page continues to slander the history of our school. We ask that the school leaders, specifically the Board of Directors, address these untruths and correct the fabricated depiction of Lake Highland Prep as racist. You, the parents and alumni, have the power to demand they do so.