There is a lot of shock and awe over this tape.
And here is the head of the school Dan Frank’s response.
Some background. I am a pro-life and free-market capitalist that believes strongly in small government. I sent my children to Francis Parker but they have long since graduated. Dan was the Principle of the school then and he is an alumnus of the school. I had some disagreements with Dan, and I supported him in times when there was a lot of animus towards him. He has a very tough job believe it or not and while we don’t agree politically for certain, I do have empathy for him.
Friends of mine that were like me sent their kids to Parker and Parker’s competitive schools too.
To liberal parents who might be outraged that other people are outraged over what was described in the video, I want you to imagine this whole scenario a bit differently. Suppose those weren’t dildos. Suppose Mr. Bruno was someone from the NRA and they were guns. The feeling that is creeping into your gut and that hot rush of anger that is making your blood boil is the same feeling a lot of parents get when they hear kids are being educated by a gay man about sex toys and drag queens are parading around schools.
For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t support that either. It has nothing to do with Mr. Bruno. It has everything to do with the subject matter. I wouldn’t want Mother Theresa or Hugh Hefner teaching my kids about that subject either.
If you are expecting this blog post to be full of vitriol and accusations about how Parker is a terrible place and all the people involved are terrible people you should probably click away now. They aren’t terrible people that are trying to ruin America. I am sure conservatives will not like everything that I am going to type here and I will be called a lot of names and that I am not with the program. If liberals read this, or a lot of the other content on my blog they won’t be happy either and will think I am one step away from Adolph Hitler.
Does this incident surprise me? No. If you know the “elite class” in the United States, it shouldn’t be a surprise. This is not a shock and if you have been following events in both private and public education, along with events at both private and public universities, you should not be surprised or shocked at all. Elites are so far inside their bubble they don’t know how far to the left they have moved. Objective critical thinking is optional for them but dressing correctly and going to the right resorts is imperative.
That doesn’t mean I agree. I don’t agree that Project Veritas is a “right-wing fringe group”. I think Dan is wrong in his assessment. PV has a right-wing point of view for sure. It’s not different from mainstream media’s left-wing point of view and the stories they choose to expose and magnify. Or, should we be calling people like Jim Acosta fringe left-wingers? Project Veritas is bringing transparency to lots of stuff that is going on not only in schools, but in private companies, abortion clinics, the regulatory bureaucracy, voting and campaign workers, and the halls of Congress. Mostly when people make accusations against Project Veritas, it’s because they are upset that things have been uncovered.
Veritas certainly made a mistake trying to do an attack interview on the steps of the school. They ought to apologize for that.
I would encourage Project Veritas to release entire videos of their conversation if they haven’t already. If they are edited, say so. But, if they aren’t, then people are free to draw their own conclusions and everyone experiences their own consequences and has to take responsibility for their own actions.
That’s what freedom is about, isn’t it?
Mr. Bruno, the guy in the video, is a nice person. He has done a lot for that school and my kids knew him. He didn’t groom my children and he isn’t grooming kids. Did he go too far? Based on the video it sure sounds like it to me.
Do I think Parker and virtually every school have swung way too far to the left? You bet. I think they are off the rails and have lost their way. This isn’t new information. Francis Parker is not the same kind of school I paid to send my kids to.
When my kids were at Parker, they did have a sexual education class. Parents were informed prior to the class. As a parent, if you wanted to pull your kid from that class you could and if you wanted to talk to the school people ahead of the class, you could. The class included everything, including gay sex. The sex ed teacher gave the kids the “sex talk” but it was designed to be inclusive and informative, not grooming. Not only did it give kids the information they needed to know about STDs, but it would have made a kid who might have been struggling with being gay a little less alone. It wasn’t grooming. There were no drag queens or actual sex toys along with instructions on how to use them. At the time, it was seen as fairly radical.
It is true that the hard left wing has taken over school systems nationwide. It’s a freight train that is running off the tracks. It will take someone with a lot of courage to right the train. I don’t see a person of courage coming forward anywhere inside the educational system. When they do summon the courage to try they are summarily kicked out.
Parker used to embrace people of courage and idolize them. However, it will be hard for that community to see someone that wants to stand up to the hard left as a hero like they might an innocent who stood up to totalitarians or some nameless person that stood up to Jim Crow.
People might wonder about the psychology of the person that sends their kids to a place like Parker when they are a conservative. Let me try to enlighten you.
When you are a conservative that chooses to live in an urban area, you accept the fact that most of the people you will interact with on a daily basis are liberals, and a lot of them are very liberal. Guess what? Your kids will go to school with other kids who will have liberal ideas due to the fact that their parents are liberal. It’s just a fact that there aren’t a lot of conservatives in urban areas but we do find each other.
There aren’t a lot of choices when it comes to schooling your children.
Everyone knows that urban city public school systems are not an option. They suck. They sucked in the 1970s and they still suck fifty years later. Most people that can’t afford a place like Parker or aren’t a fit for parochial schools leave the city when kids are school age.
When we chose to move to the city from the suburbs, we sent our kids to Francis Parker. We interviewed at Parker’s competing schools, Chicago Lab and Chicago Latin. The price tag at all those schools is similar and, my educated guess is that they are teaching similarly. The parents are similar too.
I like to joke that because we were out-of-the-closet conservative suburban white Republicans we were a diversity pick at Parker.
Believe it or not, when my kids were accepted at Parker we didn’t know if we wanted to send them there. We almost didn’t. Parents that read this post who fought like cats and dogs to get their kids into the JK class at the Lower School to ensure their kid will be at Parker all 14 years will shake their heads.
In our case, the head of the middle school sat us down for a couple of hours and talked to us about the “Parker philosophy”. We asked a lot of questions since Parker was not traditional in the way they do a lot of things. For example, there are no AP classes at Parker or class rankings at Parker and they have a really great reason why they do what they do. He patiently explained why they do what they do and what sort of results they were getting.
It’s actually a fantastic way to educate a kid and my kids had really great experiences at the school.
I will briefly sum up the Parker philosophy the way I understood it. First off, they do all they can to teach kids using experiential learning. You don’t just read and discuss it. You go do it if you can do it. Secondly, you aren’t pigeonholed. If you are a jock and you want to be in the chorus or school play, you can do that. If you are a nerd and want to play sports, you can do that. Plus, all the way up into high school, even the nerds play. The kids get a chance to experience something.
The other thing that Parker is big on fostering is “community”. That is a truly loaded word these days. In my opinion, Obama and other Democrats have bastardized the meaning of it. They have twisted the word into some sort of force that you cannot oppose.
When my kids were at Parker, “community” meant you were tolerant. You were understanding. You pulled for each other and when there was a failure, you were supported. Success was celebrated. The way “community” was administered allowed kids who might be very fearful of taking a risk to take that risk. Go for the brass ring and we are here to catch you if you fall. We will make sure you have another chance at grabbing that ring and if you fall, we will catch you again.
It is my opinion that conservatives would not get the benefit of that tolerance or understanding at Parker today. They would be discriminated against. No chance at the brass ring. Follow actions, not words to come to your own opinion.
This whole hard-left indoctrination movement was just getting started when our kids were at school. The great thing from my perspective as a conservative parent was my kids could get exposed to it at school and I would be able to have an objective critical argument at home with them.
Interestingly, here is a different way to look at it. My kids had the benefit of interacting with liberals, understanding where they were coming from, and then discussing in depth at home with their capitalistic parents. The liberal kids didn’t get that benefit and they are worse off for it.
When you are in bubbles like Parker, it can often be very hard to speak out as a parent. There is fear of being ostracized like in any bubble. If you are conservative and don’t think there are bubbles, you are incorrect. We conservatives have our own bubbles too.
The important thing is to recognize that when you are in a bubble to pop it. It’s often very hard to do because you get so emotional it is hard to be objective and only objectivity can help you pop the bubble. Standing up takes courage and that’s the sort of courage that Parker used to teach their students. I am sure that sort of objectivity is taught at Parker but it is only taught from the liberal perspective. That means when a conservative stands up to a liberal mob, it’s not popping bubbles, it is something else.
I think it’s important to emphasize this. Today if a parent spoke out at Parker on this issue, they would be not only socially ostracized, but they could be putting their business life in jeopardy as well. If you disagreed you’d be construed as being anti-Gay no matter what. Look at the big law firms that are working to move out partners that disagree with recent Supreme Court decisions on abortion and guns.
On the other hand. It is a private school. Everyone that was offered enrollment chose to send their kids there. The school can teach whatever it wants, the way it wants, as long as there is nothing against the law being done. As a parent, you don’t have to pay to send your kid there and as a member of the overall population, you don’t have to agree with it.
But what is the alternative if you live in the city? Move to the suburbs or go to a parochial school?
Ask my friend Dan Proft about his Catholic high school Benet Academy. Ask friends of mine that send their kids to the public New Trier High School in the tony Northern suburbs of Chicago. Could the exact same thing happen there and be endorsed by the school administration?
I think I speak for most conservatives when I say that when it comes to educating our children about sex, we’d like that discussion to be in our own private homes. I think that I’d find common cause with some liberal parents too.
Tolerance is not agreement. We live in a pluralistic society.
I am a huge supporter of school choice. It is as important to our current time as the Civil Rights movement was important to its time. I once got into a discussion over school choice with Senator Chuck Schumer a long while ago when he visited the CME. He asked and I paraphrase, “What if a radical Islamic school was set up in your neighborhood and taught radical Islamic concepts to the students there?”
A bit jolting, right?
Those of us that support school choice sometimes assume that schools will teach the fundamentals of Math, Science, History, and English and stop there. However, it’s “school choice”. Schools can teach what they want using the methods they want.
As long as the schools aren’t engaging in, or teaching things, to our children that are illegal it doesn’t matter. The invisible hand of the market will have a say at some time in the future.
Again, the incident at Parker is yet another example of why America must enact school choice where dollars follow the kids. That is much better than them instead of funneling them into a bureaucracy that doesn’t educate our children.
I think this is true too.
If you stand up to them, they hate you too. If you are clear about your beliefs and even if you put data behind them, they hate you and will do anything they can to compromise and hurt you.
To reiterate, I am a pro-life fiscal conservative free market capitalist. I believe in merit and in very small government. I believe that freedom means that you have responsibility for your choices, and you accept the consequences of your choices in your life. That didn’t play well in places like Chicago. Discrimination was and is real and it was and is currently harsh.
For another example about how far off the rails academia and education are, click this link: https://twitter.com/realchrisrufo/status/1599943691023835137?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1599943691023835137%7Ctwgr%5E69f854bc311c39be92225b5e003bf3a40b709694%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Facecomments.mu.nu%2F%3Fpost%3D402205 If you don't want to click the link, "Rutgers professor says that "white people are committed to being villains" and falsely claims that Africans arrived in North America before white Europeans.
"Whiteness is going to have an end date," she warns. "We gotta take these muthafuckers out."
Excellent article, thank you.
The problem is that the Left has decided that culture is now part of the educational process. And that there is a "good" culture (theirs) and a "bad" one (traditional norms to a large extent). They see education as the most effective tool to changing our culture, which is their number one goal.
The Right, on the other hand, views education as objective. It should teach skills and be unbiased. Let people decide, and leave culture to the centuries of traditions that individual families have built. Those things used to be sacred. As Americans we respected pluralism, were proud of it, in fact. The Left has now decided that those things can be bigoted, and they can't help but try to "fix it."
The anger comes from the Right feeling violated that other adults are attempting to change their own culture by back-dooring their children to be someone that reflects the Left's values, and not the Right. It's a fundamental intrusion into basic family rights and a violation of privacy and freedom.
I see that as why this is so heated, yet the Left doesn't understand it. They're just trying to "show us tolerance and what's right" after all. They think the Right is angry because it is bigoted or intolerant, when it's truthfully the intrusion that's driving it. Most people on the Right have a "live and let live" philosophy. Yes, there are extremes, but that exists on both sides.
In trying to change society, the Left is making cultural choices for your family, and that's infuriating. They are attempting to take away our essence, and that's a dangerous thing to try to do to someone.