An elite Chicago private school at the center of the New Veritas Project offers affinity groups for 4-year-olds that white students can’t attend.
Francis W. Parker School went viral Wednesday after Project Veritas posted a video of Dean of Students Joseph Bruno talking to an undercover reporter about LGBTQ sexuality education at the school.
“I walked into our LGBTQ+ health center [to the classroom]”, Bruno said in the edited video. “They gave my students butts and dildos – talking about unusual sex, using oil and spitting.”
“They go around like dildos and butt plugs,” he continued. “And we had a drag queen come over to hand out cookies and brownies and take photos.”
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That school, whose tuition is over $40,000, offers monthly Students of Color Affinity Groups (SOCAs) that are exclusively for students of color in grades K-12. intended.
“SOCA is open to all students in grades JK-5 who self-identify as students of color and are interested in participating,” says the school’s website. “Although SOCA groups are open only to students of color, through direct, intentional programming in the curriculum in the Lower and Middle Schools, all students are empowered to express their racial identity. and it has the opportunity to consider how they behave.”
“While White identity development is critical to a child’s development, we believe that the racial identities of young children who may benefit from direct programming differ from those of White students. “We know that there are a number of factors involved in the development of identity.” adds
The school’s website notes that “individuals in the United States begin to consider their racial identity as early as age three,” which is why affinity groups are needed for younger grades.
Nikki Neely, founder and president of the parent education advocacy group, slammed affinity groups as “immoral.”
“Segregating students of any age based on race is immoral, but to do that to 4-year-olds at a $40,000-a-year school is mind-boggling,” he said. “Instead of teaching young, innocent children to be kind to all people, the authority figures they and their parents trust are teaching students to view all human interactions through the lens of skin color .”
“Francis Parker’s administrators should be ashamed of themselves and families should voice their grievances to end this program,” he added.
When reached, the school refused to reach out to affinity groups and only responded to the controversy surrounding Bruno. In a statement, the school appeared to confirm that Bruno was in the classroom and directed its criticism at Project Veritas, which it accused of misrepresenting its words.
“Last week – at an industry conference – one of our employees was targeted by a member of Project Veritas who was led to believe he was talking to another conference attendee over coffee,” the school said. “She was filmed without her knowledge or permission while portraying an example of our inclusive, LGBTQ+ affirming and comprehensive approach to sexuality education. Veritas maliciously edited the video.”
“Parker administrators and Parker’s Board of Trustees support Parker’s programming, the strength and inclusiveness of our curriculum, and the dedicated and talented faculty and staff who teach it,” the school said.
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Project Veritas previously published a letter from director Dan Frank to the “Parker community” that accused the conservative group of “malicious” intent.
“We are outraged by this group’s deceptive tactics, invasion of a People of Color convention, and attack on the LGBTQ+ community,” Frank’s letter reads.
In response, the school did not deny what Bruno said or that what he said happened in the classroom.
The school did not respond to questions about whether it would provide further explanations about what happened in the classroom or whether sex toys were included in any classrooms the students attended by school officials.
The school also did not respond to a question about whether exclusion from fraternity groups based on skin color is not a racist policy.