Conservative high school students at the Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in Missouri are fighting an uphill battle against the school’s alumni. A group of students currently trying to start a YAF (Young Americans for Freedom) chapter and were met with disdain after expressing their concerns about anti-conservative discrimination.
Rose is a senior at the high school who wrote a letter documenting these experiences:
“The bottom line is that we, as conservatives, feel that we go to a school that does not embrace the diversity of our beliefs; we are simply asking for fair treatment.”
Head of School Lisa Lyle, to her credit, responded understandingly, noting that the school had “fallen short” in embracing and encouraging the freedom of expression. But Rose and her fellow conservatives’ efforts at MICDS ruffled the precious feathers of some alumni.
2001 alumna Elizabeth Schlesinger ranted on Facebook about how the conservatives students were confusing anti-conservative bias with simple discomfort. The Facebook page hosting this rant no longer exists. But Schlesinger is wrong; it is the group of angry alumni, including herself, that are experiencing discomfort at the fact that views alternative to theirs even exist. Conservative students can be made uncomfortable by being in a hostile environment, for sure, but the situation at MICDS breaches into the territory of discrimination when their own teachers hardly try and hide their own bias. Rose had taken screenshots of a MICDS teacher’s twitter account the day of the election and the day after:
“You’re a nation of fearful little boys chanting ‘kill the beast!’ There is a beast. And it is you. #USElection2016.”
Linking to an article about Eric Greteins being elected Governor: “I really hate this state today.”
The story at MICDS is not an isolated event. I certainly had my own anti-conservative experiences at St. Gertrude High School, a Catholic, all-girls school in Richmond, Virginia. While overall my time there is appreciated, the anti-conservative bias was evident, and I was hated by some teachers for my views. A small collection of events:
- My English teacher for junior year (who had a picture and autograph of Barack Obama by her desk) tried to pressure myself & other students into not attending the annual March for Life in D.C., a pro-life gathering. “Do you really think it’s worth it to miss my class for that?” she asked. “Yes,” I responded curtly.
- The day Osama Bin Laden was killed, my classmates and I were all talking about it at the start of AP Government. Of course, I was thrilled and celebrating. Our teacher frowned and said, “You know, I’m not sure we should be celebrating; someone died today.” Give me a break.
- I attempted to start a “Young Republicans” club, and went through the official process to do so. I acquired more than 25 signatures from members from each social class who wanted to join. But, in an effort to thwart me, I was told I needed to start a “Young Democrats” club, too. So here I was, tracking down someone to start a Young Democrats club simply so the Young Republicans club could exist. Even though I fulfilled all of these requirements, I was told that the Young Republicans wasn’t needed at the school because other “similar” clubs already existed. Like Model Judiciary. Again, give me a break.
These are just a few of my experiences in high school, and I know many conservative high school and college students face the same kind of hostile environment. If you experience political intimidation or witness political indoctrination at your school or campus, send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.