Report: Elite Boarding School Goes Woke, Separates Kindergarten-Age Kids Into Race-Based 'Affinity Groups'
Milton Academy is an elite day and boarding school in Milton, Massachusetts, founded in 1798 and serving kids between kindergarten and 12th grade. It’s the kind of place you’d expect — if the hoary leftist clichés were accurate — to be dripping with unchecked white privilege.
The school’s website, for instance, features a drone video highlighting a verdant, red-brick campus located on 130 acres of land, with the Boston skyline in the background. Alumni include poet and critic T.S. Eliot; U.S. senator, attorney general and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy; U.S. senator, presidential candidate and dissolute wretch Ted Kennedy; former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick; and current Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
This is the kind of place where you would imagine people with names like T. Phineas Algernon-Postlewait IV meet in secret societies with nary a non-WASP to be seen — to say nothing of black people — and where the latest gossip involves why so-and-so’s dad only got the Porsche 911 and not the 911 Turbo.
You’d be partially right, but not the way you think. According to a report from the conservative group Parents Defending Education, yes, students at the Milton Academy are segregated into groups — starting in kindergarten, no less. However, these groups aren’t secret societies but racial “affinity groups” that parents have been told to choose for their child.
(This is hardly the first time we’ve seen racist policies implemented in America’s schools; it’s a worrying trend we’ve been keeping abreast of here at The Western Journal. We’re going to keep bringing you the truth about this strain of toxic wokeness. You can help us by subscribing.)
According to the report, a concerned Milton Academy parent said they were told to pick affinity groups for their kids in October.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Milton Academy in MA separates students as young as five into race-based ‘affinity groups’ after conducting online “climate” survey https://t.co/3OSXrr0ZER
— Parents Defending Education (@DefendingEd) March 16, 2022
During a webinar with parents, Milton diversity and inclusion consultant Philip McAdoo — who describes himself as an “LGBTQ activist” — characterized the affinity groups using a definition from the National Association of Independent Schools, which describes them “as a bringing together of people who have something important in common, e.g. race, gender, profession, or special interests.”
The affinity groups are part of the diversity, equity, inclusion and justice program at Milton.
“To be effective, we know that our DEIJ work must infuse every part of the community,” the school’s website reads. “With this in mind, we have devoted ourselves to four related areas: teaching and learning, identity and affinity programming, professional development, and parent engagement.”
“The Lower School offers a robust student affinity group program, scheduled during the school day, that seeks to engage all K–5 students in age-appropriate activities related to healthy identity development.”
The NAIS featured heavily in McAdoo’s presentation to Milton parents during the January webinar.
“If you attend an NAIS conference, you’ll see the students participate in a parallel conference, which is really grounded in their sense of identity and affinity groups,” he told parents. “I … remember walking into NAIS and just seeing a sea of people and all the different spaces and places and ways that people were finding connection. People were finding affinity.”
Milton staff and students attended a 2017 NAIS conference at which critical race theorists Kimberlé Crenshaw and Ta-Nehisi Coates were headlining speakers.
“Faculty, staff, and students attended an action-packed conference in Anaheim, California,” Milton boasted.
“The adults attended the People of Color Conference; its focus was ‘Voices for Equity and Justice Now and in Every Generation: Lead, Learn, Rededicate, and Deliver.’ The students attended [the Student Diversity Leadership Conference]; its focus was ‘Making our Voices Matter: leading the March to Common Ground.’”
The talks from Crenshaw and Coates were described as “some of the most defining and exhilarating moments of the conference.”
One imagines “some of the most defining and exhilarating moments” of 2022 will involve the staff of Milton Academy defending affinity groups against parents, conservatives and (potentially) lawyers.
The parents might be the hardest group to fend off. Granted, wearing the woke hair shirt may be the newest form of white privilege, but affinity groups are likely a bridge too far for many.
As for the lawyers, it’s worth noting that Parents Defending Education settled a lawsuit in February with Wellesley Public Schools, 25 miles north of Milton. PDE filed the suit after the school system implemented affinity groups in the district.
Obviously, there are some differences between a public school system and a private boarding school, but the group’s complaint — which contended that the school district “repeatedly violated students’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Massachusetts Students’ Freedom of Expression Law” — applies to both public and private schools.
WPS thought it wise to eliminate the affinity groups and settle the matter. Milton may well find itself following suit in short order.
Whether or not it does, however, affinity groups remain indefensible. It’s segregation lite, but segregation lite remains a form of segregation — no matter how woke and pseudo-enlightened one makes it.
And yes, Milton may be an elite boarding school. But that doesn’t mean this won’t be coming to your public school soon.
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