One of the most prestigious private schools in the nation, based in Manhattan, hosted an LGBTQ+ “Ally Week” for students last week.
Marymount School of New York, a pre-K through 12 all-girls Catholic institution with a tuition near $54,000 per year in the elite Upper East Side of New York City, hosted four days of leftist gender theory indoctrination. Each day had a theme. The themes, in order, were “Sexuality & Gender,” “LGBTQ+ history and important figures!” “How To Be An Ally,” and a “Day of Silence.”
Ally Week was hosted by “Prism,” a campus group that hosts “Bias Awareness Day” in addition to Ally Week and “aims to increase awareness about sexuality and gender diversity within Marymount and in the greater community.” Jacqueline André, a French teacher who serves as an advisor for the group, did not respond to a request for comment.
One father who is pulling his eighth-grade daughter out of the school due to disagreeing with the week, among other administrative decisions, told The Federalist “the school is veering too hard left of its core mission of teaching students to be great critical thinkers with good values.”
Indeed, the school’s founding mission statement written in 1926 by Irish nun Marie Joseph Butler bears no relation to the attempts by the administration to bring politics into the classroom while not providing students a dissenting viewpoint. The mission statement reads: “Marymount School is an independent, Catholic day school that seeks to educate young women who continue to question, risk, and grow—young women who care, serve, and lead—young women prepared to challenge, shape, and change the world.”
The school has come under pressure lately. On Tuesday, Daily Mail broke a story that found Marymount hosted an exclusive welcome reception for “parents of new students of color” as part of its “anti-racist” initiative. “Marymount is one of many posh private schools that has recently been roiled over progressive platforms,” the New York Post said.
An alum who spoke to Daily Mail on condition of anonymity asked a simple question: “Where is the protection of innocence?”
Ally Week, Day One
Ally Week began with the theme “Sexuality & Gender.” The email sent out to students attempted to explain the supposed differences between sexuality and gender, noting that “[t]ypically people incorrectly conflate the definition of sex with ‘sex assigned at birth'” and that “[g]ender is associated with how a person expresses themself.” The school also claimed there are “upwards of 46 different sexes.”
Dr. Yajun Wu, assistant department head of biology and microbiology at South Dakota State University, said in an interview that “when we talk about biology, we talk about female and male.”
“That’s [what] everyone knows,” Wu added.
Yet, included in the Marymount email was a diagram called “The Genderbread Person.” The diagram implies identity is associated with the brain, while sex is related only to one’s genitals. It also goes so far as to say masculinity and femininity are part of “gender expression.” See below:
Mary Hasson, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the director of the Catholic Women’s Forum, said the above diagram is frequently used to promote gender ideology.
“This image and its variations (gender unicorn, gender elephant, and earlier iterations of the genderbread person) have been used for years now by activists in government, education, and elsewhere to promote a flawed understanding of the person,” Hasson said. “The idea of the person, as presented in this diagram, is incompatible with the Christian understanding of the person. It does not belong in a Catholic school. Ever.”
“It is brainwashing,” the father of the eighth-grade daughter concerning the diagram. “It’s the equivalent of giving drugs. They’re normalizing bad behavior in sweet, innocent tones for things that are very weird and very complex.”
Students were instructed to answer the following questions after reading the day one material:
- “Can you explain the difference between sexuality, gender, and sex?”
- “Why is gender not a binary concept?”
- “Why are using affirming pronouns important? If stuck here, read this Guide to Pronouns for LGBTQ+ Allies from UC Davis!”
Ally Week, Day Two
On Wednesday, Ally Week focused on “LGBTQ+ history and important figures.” Students read in homeroom about figures including drag queen Marsha P. Johnson, Danish transgender artist Lili Elbe, National LGBTQ task force co-founder Bruce Voeller, and transgender actress Ellen Page. All were celebrated because of their perceived gender identity.
“Elliot Page is an actor and activist who has been working in film for many years, and in December 2020, he came out as a transgender man,” the email said. “Throughout his career, Page has campaigned for LGBTQ+ representation and has starred in and produced films that highlight the community.”
Students were told to purchase the music of artists mentioned because they are “LGBTQ+.”
“There are also SO many musicians who are part of the LGBTQ+ community,” the school said. “So many that we in Prism can’t decide on the best ones to recommend to you! So we will let you explore on your own. Ultimately though, the best support you can give is to buy their music!”
Ally Week, Day Three
On Thursday, the theme was “How to be an Ally.” Marymount told students they must “confront your own bias, even if it is uncomfortable.” The school claimed straight people “have a different kind of privilege.” Just as critical race theory communicates to students that silence indicates racism, Marymount claimed “[t]here is no such thing as a silent Ally.”
Marymount linked to a video by Lifehacker instructing students on “how to be a better Ally.” One of the speakers argued that straight people need to stop talking over LGBTQ+ peers.
After watching the video, students played a game in homeroom called “Put a Finger Down.” The object of the game was for students to reaffirm the points outlined in the email by raising their fingers if they agree with the controversial sentiments put forth by the school. For example, students gained points in the game if “[y]ou work to normalize gender inclusive terminology (having your pronouns in your instagram bio, using partner or significant other at times).”
However, students were awarded negative points in the game for things like if “[y]ou consider yourself an Ally but haven’t taken any concrete steps for that statement to mean anything” or if “[y]ou rely on your LGBTQ+ friends for education on LGBTQ+ topics.” Below is the document The Federalist obtained from Marymount explaining the game.
Ally Week, Day Four
The final day of Ally Week was in regard to the “Day of Silence.”
“The Day of Silence is a national student-led demonstration where LGBTQ students and allies all around the country—and the world—take a vow of silence to protest the harmful effects of harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ+ people in schools,” the email to students read.
In addition, students discussed “coming out” and Prism advised students on the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of gender theory. One of the things the school instructed students against is assuming a student’s “identity,” even though of course one can discern someone else’s sex by appearance.
Praying To Their Woke Version Of God
A parent who wishes to remain anonymous forwarded The Federalist an unlisted video published by a user named Alice Kearney Alwin of a school chapel service on April 12. Sure enough, gender ideology was heavily infused. The school subsequently made the video private.
The very first clip of the chapel service is a student placing an LGBTQ rainbow mask over a statue of Mary. Subsequently, students hold up various messaging posters — with one saying “Black Lives Matter.”
An educator who is employed in the Religious Studies department spoke for about 10 minutes. At around the seven minute mark, the teacher condemned the Vatican for its position that priests and ministers cannot bless same-sex marriages due to the biblical view that homosexuality is a sin. Note that in the Bible, (Leviticus 18:22) it says, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is abomination.”
The teacher cited an article by The New York Times on the topic, and used Jesus to condemn the church and society.
“After reading this article, I couldn’t help but to recall Jesus’s words to love your neighbor,” the teacher said. ” …As we embark on a journey to widen the circle of inclusion, we must also face the reality that we as humans need to do more than simply extend the circle. We need to dismantle and redefine the entire circumference of inclusion. Just as Jesus was doing 2,000 years ago.”
“We are humans who bear witness to systems of power and oppression on a daily basis, ” the teacher said at around 11 minutes.
The French teacher who helped organized Ally Week led a prayer at around 13 minutes. In the prayer, André said that “LGBTQIA+ people have been ostracized, oppressed, and marginalized.”
“We pray that humanity can grow and evolve to make space for all forms of love,” André said. “Let us work to see, respect, and appreciate everyone, in our community and to be inclusive in our thoughts, words, and actions. We pray to the Lord. Lord, hear our prayer. For LGBTQIA+ people and for those whose sexual or gender identifiers make them feel set apart. That they may know they have allies in their struggle for full acceptance in the church and in the world …we pray to the Lord. Lord, hear our prayer.”
At the end of chapel, students watched the music video for rapper Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis’s song “Same Love.”
The father who is moving his daughter to another school said the purported Catholic school “is effectively normalizing [being LGBTQ] and making it cute.”
“When you’ve got girls that are just learning about all these things, which they really shouldn’t be doing at school anyway, it’s very confusing,” he said. “It’s very problematic to tell a girl that it is not just mom and dad, but that there are 46 sexes. What nonsense is this?”
The father added that the teachers are acting like “extreme political leaders.”
“Schools exist to serve families, to assist in educating their children according to a shared vision,” Hasson said. “So, at least for private schools, parents are in the driver’s seat. Parents should question the administration and make their concerns known. If a school is unresponsive or insists on promoting this devastatingly harmful ideology, then parents should withdraw their children and find another school.”
“If enough parents do so, then I suspect some of these schools will rethink their attachment to gender ideology,” Hasson said.