A New York school principal in an email to parents has controversially stated that the Trump presidency was more troubling than the 9/11 terror attacks, Vietnam and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Steve Nelson’s scorching missive managed to roil several parents at the Calhoun School, Manhattan, the New York Post reported. The principal at the progressive Manhattan private school told parents in an email last week that the Trump presidency was more troubling than Vietnam, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the September 11 terror attacks and Watergate, the report said.
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Nelson emailed a series of anguished ruminations on Donald Trump’s ascent to Calhoun parents, simultaneously calling for non-partisanship while skewering the billionaire’s policies. In a message, Nelson, who also teaches journalism, noted his intimate familiarity with several recent catastrophes – including 9/11. “I watched soot-covered New Yorkers grimly trudging north on West End Avenue on September 11, 2001. I am more troubled now,” Nelson wrote.
Elsewhere in the lengthy missive, Nelson acknowledged the theoretical need to avoid political bias in a school environment. “One in my position must be scrupulous in avoiding partisanship,” he said. But, in the same message, he later asserted that “there are matters that transcend political diversity”. “The ways in which equity and equality are now threatened are deeply troubling, including the constitutionally suspect and arguably discriminatory efforts to restrict or prohibit immigration based on religion and/or ethnicity,” he wrote.
Reacting to the Principal’s message, a parent was quoted as saying, “It was inappropriate, it was offensive, it was condescending. This is a liberal school. So I guess that’s the approach. But this was too much. To compare this to 9/11 — I think that’s just too much.” Another parent said she was not a Trump zealot but was still made uncomfortable by the outward display of political allegiance. “I just think this went too far. I understand that this is a progressive school, but at a certain point you have to have some restraint,” she said.
However, Nelson, who has been at the school for two decades and plans to retire this year, staunchly stood by his actions. “I not only stand by the statement but I wouldn’t mind it being published in full,” he said. Students at the West End Avenue school — which counts actor Ben Stiller and comedian Jordan Peele as graduates — eagerly backed their principal. Founded in 1896, Calhoun has an enrollment of 730 kids and prides itself on tackling thorny issues like racism head on.