Private School Staffer Placed On Leave After Admitting She Pushes Political Agenda On Students

A staff member at the prestigious Trinity School in NYC was exposed for pushing her political ideologies on students.

By Kari Apted | Published

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Jennifer Norris, Director of Student Activities at Trinity School NYC, has been placed on paid leave after a disturbing undercover video of her surfaced. In the video by Project Veritas, the private school leader admitted how her role makes it easy to promote her personal political values in the classroom. She also confessed discriminatory feelings toward one specific student demographic.

Trinity School NYC is an acclaimed 209-year-old K-12 institution located on the city’s Upper West Side. Ironically, it promises on its website that students will receive “a balanced educational program for body and mind, heart and soul” in exchange for their nearly $60,000/year tuition. Perhaps that was once true of the school, but now it appears specific ideologies have crept in to tarnish that reputation.

Norris said that when she first started at Trinity School, she felt like a “double agent” because she was unsure if she could be open about her off-campus liberal activism. Once she befriended like-minded staff, she felt free to inject her personal belief system into the classroom. “It’s just nice we don’t have to hide our activism outside of school. We don’t have to hide who we are. Like, we can bring our whole selves to work and do the important work now.”

Though Norris failed to define this “important work,” the overall conversation indicates she is on a mission to convert as many young minds to progressive values as possible. “I mean, we [Trinity School NYC] are not as left as I am, for sure. But it’s definitely a school where conservatives would not feel comfortable.” For example, Norris said that as a key decision-maker for student activities, right-leaning speakers and ideas would not be presented to the students. Her quote seems to indicate that Trinity School’s principal agreed with her stance. “There are some speakers I am not even going to put on the plate for them [students], and if that’s a problem, I cannot be in charge of that.” And he [principal] was like, “No.” He said, “This isn’t the time for both [political] sides.” He said, “We’re not in that place in our society.”

Although Norris herself appears to be white, she expressed disdain for her white students, particularly males. “It’s the white boys who feel very entitled to express their opposite opinions and just push back. There’s a huge contingent of them that are just horrible.” When the undercover journalist asked if she thought there was any hope in redeeming “these Republican white guys” Norris cemented her feelings for that demographic. “I don’t know. I think they need to go. I think they’re really awful people.”

Norris’ comments and actions contradict promises Trinity School makes on its website. Although Norris is just one of the school’s employees, her blatant statements could lead to an assumption that the school’s environment is one where she feels comfortable saying such things. This is in direct contrast to the image their website attempts to convey.

For example, on the “Our Vocation” tab, it says, “The conversation between student and teacher is the heart of our school; all that we do must be born of and nourish that relationship.” On the “Our Obligation” tab, Trinity School says, “We must ask our young people what they believe in so they can know themselves in the world.” These quotes cannot coexist with Norris’ self-confessed mental and ideological manipulation.

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According to a New York Post article, Trinity School officials released a letter in response. They stated that Norris’ sentiments did not reflect the school’s mission or values. They also said that they found it “deeply disturbing” for Norris to be recorded “without her knowledge or permission by someone who misrepresented himself.”

Head of Trinity School John Allman and President of the Board of Trustees, David Perez, wrote, “The School is retaining outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation. Ms. Norris will be placed on paid leave while this investigation is underway. As part of this process, in conjunction with the work of our outside advisors, we will also review school protocols and practices that are in place to ensure that we are living up to our determination to build a more inclusive community.”

Project Veritas was founded by right-wing journalist James O’Keefe and is known for its undercover videos, often filmed while the unaware subjects think they’re on a date. Part one of their “The Secret Curriculum” series revealed a Connecticut public school assistant principal admitting that he refused to hire conservative staff, especially Catholics. Similar to the Trinity School incident, Jeremy Bowland discussed how easy it was to make students adapt leftist values and how progressive teachers are allowed to deliver one-sided information in the classroom. Both incidents highlight the concerns parents have over their children being taught political rhetoric instead of their ABCs and 123s.