Middlesex Head of School, David Beare (pictured) notes that the school has ‘utmost respect’ for Hannah-Jones and apologized that they ‘did not reach out in a more formal way to express our appreciation for her professional achievements and contributions to the field and discuss the situation with her’
The head of a $70,000-a-year Ivy League feeder school in New England is taking a leave of absence after facing backlash over a decision to cancel a diversity symposium speech by 1619 project creator and SpeedyPaper Discount New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.
The news comes after David Beare, the head of Middlesex School in Concord, , last week disinvited Hannah-Jones from speaking on campus due to the ‘noise’ her presence would create.
The decision caused an uproar among alumni, which includes actors Steve Carell and William Hurt, as well as Pulitzer Prize winner Conrad Aiken.
Current students also staged a walkout and as many as 100 faculty members reportedly wrote and signed a letter of protest as well.
In a note directed to the Middlesex community on Thursday, which was obtained by The Daily Beast, Beare said that his decision to take a leave of absence ‘serves the best interest of the students and the School.Thank you to everyone in the School community who has reached out to me and my family during this challenging time.’
Hannah-Jones said she was initially invited to speak at Middlesex, a prestigious Ivy League feeder boarding school in Massachusetts that costs up to $67,000 per year, during a planned diversity symposium in February but claims the school has since rescinded the offer.
Posting on , she shared an email from someone allegedly associated with the school that reads: ‘According to my head of school and board, the ‘noise’ associated with having Nikole as the speaker would take away from the overall experience.
‘I then suggested that Nikole be a featured speaker for our BIPOC alumni and was told ‘this is not the right thing for our community.»
The Middlesex School has blocked Nikole Hannah-Jones (pictured) from speaking on campus due to the ‘noise’ her presence would create
The Ivy League feeder boarding school, located in Massachusetts, (pictured) claims that while Hannah-Jones would provide valuable insight, they were ‘concerned that individuals from outside our community might inadvertently distract from the insights and perspective that she intended to share’
Middlesex, founded in 1901 in Concord, Massachusetts, is a traditionally white institution, the reported.
After the decision to rescind her invitation was made, Hannah-Jones wrote on Twitter that although the ‘president and board canceled my talk, I don’t feel ‘canceled.»
‘This is clearly the result of the hysteria and successful propaganda campaign that has pretended elite white schools trying to deal with the legacy of racism are stoking the new Salem Witch trials and must be exposed.
‘The campaign has been successful here,’ she alleged.
‘They were likely afraid that by having me — a NYT journalist & college professor — there, they’d invite backlash & another of the ‘woke’ people are ruining America’ stories.
‘Like I said: I’m good.I’m done fighting my way in. But the lack of courage in these times is so very sad.’
In another note published late last week, and signed by Beare and the president of the board of trustees, Stephen Lari, the pair offered to apologize for what they called a ‘profoundly wrong’ decision.
‘We deeply regret it and have had many gut-wrenching conversations within our community regarding the decision, how it was made, and the disrespect we showed Professor Hannah-Jones,’ they added.
The board of trustees stated that the entire group had not been consulted on the matter in advance.On Thursday, the school board announced that assistant head of school, Karlyn McNall, would be take over Beare’s role on an interim basis.
They also launched an independent review ‘to determine the facts and draw the necessary lessons’ from last week’s fiasco.
Hannah-Jones posted an excerpt of an email to Twitter in which someone allegedly connected to the school claims: ‘According to my head of school and board, the ‘noise’ associated with having Nikole as the speaker would take away from the overall experience’
Middlesex Head of School David Beare issued a statement to the Daily Beast, acknowledging the cancellation of Hannah-Jones’ talk at the time he disinvited her:
‘While we are confident that her insights would have been valued by our students, we were concerned that individuals from outside our community might inadvertently distract from the insights and perspective that she intended to share.’
He reportedly added that Middlesex has the ‘utmost respect’ for her and apologized that the school ‘did not reach out in a more formal way to express our appreciation for her professional achievements and contributions to the field and discuss the situation with her.’
The school did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Last week, the school’s Board of Trustees did release a public letter expressing its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
‘As an educational institution, we believe an open exchange of viewpoints is vital to student development and intellectual excellence.
‘We believe that respectful debate and disagreement are not only healthy, but the very ground upon which a learning community thrives.
‘We realize that, at times, that discourse may become uncomfortable,’ the letter reads.
‘There is no ground, however, for any behavior, policy, or social climate that elevates some individuals over others based on race, class, religion, gender, or identity.
‘It is antithetical to our Mission and our desire to develop an inclusive community.
‘The Board recognizes the need for increased accountability when an individual’s personal identity is used against them.
‘The use of power in support of harm is deeply concerning and fundamentally unacceptable at Middlesex.’
The letter also outlines several ways the board and school will work to create a ‘truly inclusive community,’ including — but not limited to — broadening recruitment efforts to create a more diverse student body, continuing to review curriculum to ensure diverse voices and perspectives are taught and making sure all students are treated equally.
Last week, the school’s Board of Trustees did release a public letter expressing its commitment to diversity and inclusion