Elite all-girls school fields blowback from parents over policy to allow biological males to apply

Source: Hot Air

Harpeth Hall School in Nashville recently implemented a new policy to allow applications from anyone who identifies as female, not just those who are biologically female. An email was sent to parents and a “Gender Diversity Philosophy” document was included. Any student who identifies as a girl would be allowed to apply. As you might guess, parents were not impressed with this woke decision.

The school goes from grades 5-12. Imagine choosing to send your daughter to an elite all-girls school for middle school (tuition $32,810) or high school (tuition $33,280) and then receive a letter informing you that boys will be admitted because “our mission as a school for girls resonates with them,” as the Gender Diversity Philosophy document explained. The document went on to state that any student who “communicates a desire to be identified as male or adopt he/him pronouns” may not be served well at Harpeth Hall. But a boy calling himself a girl is still a boy.

The decision of the board to include this nonsense as a part of its diversity outreach has now been paused. Fortunately, this school, founded in 1951 with an alumnae base of more than 6,000 girls, has parents with spines. Instead of mutely going along with the latest trend of full acceptance of transgenderism, no matter what, they spoke out against the policy. They say that the board is more interested in political activism than in education.

Parents, alumnae and donors of an elite all-girls school in Tennessee are calling for the resignation of those involved with implementing, then pausing, a policy which would allow biological males who identify as female to apply to the school.

“We are writing to you today as an expression of a belief that the Harpeth Hall Board of Trust and the school administration has been more focused on political activism than on educating our girls,” the letter, obtained by Fox News Digital, said. “Current events are simply a symptom of that activism.”

Good for them. Get rid of everyone who had a hand in this ridiculousness. The email was signed by the board of trustees and head of school Jess Hill, so start there. How could they think that admitting boys as long as they don’t call themselves boys or use male pronouns was a good idea? This is going further down the path of canceling anything involving girls or women exclusively. All-girls schools provide a unique opportunity for girls to learn in an environment without pressure to dumb down in STEM courses and concentrate on their coursework without the distraction of boys. It sounds outdated in today’s world but the benefits of all girls or all boys schools are still as applicable today as they always were. Developing self-confidence and leadership skills are important parts of the equation. The board and the head of school clearly do not understand the value of the school they lead.

The parents, donors, and alumnae criticized the way the school communicated the updated policy. They said the school sought to divide them and used “one-way, filtered Zoom calls” to push their message without answering questions. They also complain that the school did not provide a town hall forum that was “requested by more than 1,000 members of the Harpeth Hall community.”

“We call today for the resignation of members of the administration board who have been proponents or enablers of political activism and division,” the letter continued, calling specifically for the departure of the board chair and executive committee, among others. “We will withhold all financial contributions to the school until this action takes place.

The letter also stated that the authors will submit to the board “the name of a female leader to be named the Chair of the Board, effective immediately, so that she can begin the process of reconstructing the school as a place of excellence.”

The policy has been paused and board wants to engage in a broader discussion. Perhaps they should have had that broader discussion before announcing a new policy without getting feedback from parents. The email announcing a pause said that the school is committed to educating girls and school leadership doesn’t want to alter existing admissions practices. What? That is the opposite of the new policy. Admitting boys absolutely would alter the current admissions policy.

Director of communications Jessica Bliss previously said the gender diversity statement — approved by the board in June — was an internal philosophy created for faculty, students and parents. “That philosophy is being misinterpreted by some as a change in the admission policies at Harpeth Hall,” Bliss said. “We are and always have been an all-girls independent school.”

Thursday’s email stated school administration will share next steps for gathering community input.

What a mess. It’s all self-inflicted by arrogant woke leadership at the school who apparently just assumed that parents would go along. Good on them for standing up and saying enough is enough.