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A Los Angeles area private school is being sued by a father of a student who attended the school, claiming that it treats Jewish people as “oppressors” and operates under a “racially divisive, anti-Semitic” ideology.
The lawsuit, filed by Jerome Eisenberg in Los Angeles court, alleges that the head of Brentwood School, Michael Riera, pulled a “bait-and-switch with the school’s curriculum and culture” after accepting parents’ tuition payments. Eisenberg alleges in the lawsuit that Riera and Brentwood School have a “scheme to transform the school under a racially divisive, anti-Semitic ideology that seeks to indoctrinate children to reject Western values.”
When Eisenberg and other Jewish parents expressed concern over the school’s curriculum, the lawsuit alleges that the school “intentionally shut them out of the policy deliberations” and “openly welcomed parents that comprised the school’s various other ethnic and racial affinity groups into the decision-making process.”
Eisenberg is suing the school for violating the Unruh Civil Rights Act, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and other claims.
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The father stated in the lawsuit that his daughter was kicked out of the school, which has a tuition fee of almost $50,000, because of his efforts pushing back against the school’s “virulent discrimination.”
He states that Brentwood was a “meritocratic, academically rigorous institution” that “radically changed” after the death of George Floyd.
After enrollment commitments had already been paid in the Summer of 2020, Eisenberg states that “Brentwood surreptitiously changed its curriculum and policies,” in part, by giving control of its “curriculum and community policies to its Office of Equity and Inclusion.”
He alleges that the result of this action shifted the school’s focus away from “giving students a classically liberal education and towards a forced re-education that rejects Enlightenment values in favor of an identity-based ideology of grievance, resentment, and racial divisiveness.”
“The curriculum change shifted away from teaching students critical thinking skills—how to think—and started indoctrinating them into what to think, based on Brentwood’s preferred political fad of the moment,” the lawsuit states.
For example, in his daughter’s class, the books “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Lord of the Flies” were removed and replaced with books such as “Stamped” by Ibram X. Kendi.
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“For instance, English Department told parents that if they wanted their children to read Shakespeare or Hemingway, they should do it in their own free time,” the lawsuit alleges.
Before the start of the 2020 to 2021 school year, the school’s head allegedly announced that it would bring in a Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity consultant and shift the shool’s operations to an “antiracist” model. When Eisenberg inquired about the new change in policy, “Riera said that the school was comprised of educators who knew what the students needed to learn, not the parents, whose ideas were now outdated,” according to the lawsuit.
The selection of the consultant, according to the lawsuit, sought partial input from parents, students, and community members that were in “affinity groups,” which represented “almost every imaginable race and identity” at the school, but not Jewish people.
When Jewish parents attempted to form an affinity group, the school “intentionally stifled” them.
“No other affinity group at Brentwood was stifled, sandbagged, or controlled by defendants in the intentionally discriminatory manner that the Jewish affinity group was,” the lawsuit alleges.
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The lawsuit also alleges that students were “forced” to study charts on “Becoming Anti-Racist” that made “bigoted assumptions about them and required them to engage in political activism based on those assumptions.”
Students were also given a chart called “How am I addressing White Supremacy” that accuses them of “‘racism’…based purely on the color of their skin,” according to the lawsuit.
In a statement to the New York Post, the school denied the allegations stated in the lawsuit.
“The allegations contained in the complaint are baseless, a work of whole fiction and nothing more than a desperate attempt to embarrass the school,” the school said.