Parents at the exclusive LA private school Harvard-Westlake have had enough of “woke weaning”, says Caroline Graham in The Mail on Sunday. Celebrity parents regularly choose the $43,000-a-year institution for their children, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg included, and it has always encouraged diversity. But recently things have spun out of control, according to one mother. “My son came home the other day and said he was ‘bad’ because he is white and that makes him racist and an oppressor. It’s nuts.”
Another casualty of curriculums at woke Californian schools is To Kill a Mockingbird (banned from English classes for being too white), while Newton’s laws have had to be renamed to be more inclusive. Shakespeare is still permitted at Harvard-Westlake – just. Students can read the playwright but must “remain true to their best selves when faced with the external and internal pressures” within his work.
Of course, “the hypocrisy of elite schools swinging so radically to the left is lost on no one”, says Graham. Especially when you consider the clientele. “Our children are being fed a constant diet of ‘America is bad, capitalism is bad’,” says one parent, while another wonders “why I’m spending nearly $50,000 a year to have them indoctrinated against me”.
Not quite cricket
When he ruled England, Oliver Cromwell banned the playing of cricket on Sundays, says Tunku Varadarajan in the Wall Street Journal. Now, “modern-day puritans” over at ESPNcricinfo – the most popular website devoted to the game – have discontinued the word “batsman” in favour of the gender-neutral “batter”. The problem isn’t that “batsman” and “batswoman” are offensive, says the site’s editor-in-chief, but that the former is the sexist default. Yet, when cricket’s governing body last revised the game’s rules in 2017, the female players they consulted said “batsman” was “an intrinsic part of the game”. ESPNcricinfo is robbing us “of more than 400 years of sporting and cultural tradition”.