Thursday, October 25, 2007

Shame on a Large Wealthy Quaker School

Friends Seminary is a large (650 students) Quaker prep school located in 'ultra liberal' land - the East Village of New York City. The school's tuition costs $30,000 per year. Movie actors’ children attend. One such film family (albeit very talented) lives across the street from me here in Manhattan and the Head of School also on my block, lives in a fancy condo next to my old building.

There is a news report about a modern war-protest adaptation of a Greek play. The subject of this report is an affront to Quakers and to working parents of children everywhere, who need their jobs and the love of their children. And this report would show the situation at Friends Seminary as even more pathetic, if more of the public and more Friends knew of this ridiculous and elitist waste-of-time being produced. Isn't there more important and useful work in the manner of Friends to be done at Friends Schools? The Friends Seminary play apparently ended with the children holding up an upside-down American flag.

Compare the Friends Seminary (New York City) story emphasizing the use of 'force' and 'cold-shouldering' with the Scattergood Friends School (West Branch, Iowa) story, which emphasizes young people learning applied horticulture, and taking on useful responsibility.

Please see Quaker Schools.

Also....The AFSC, like a raft adrift is now attempting to tether itself to another free floating raft - large expensive Quaker prep schools - themselves freely adrift off the shore of the Religious Society of Friends’ mainland. The AFSC is attempting this apparently at its Annual Public Gathering Nov. 3, in Philadelphia. There they both possibly might also like to tether to the celebrity status and wealth of Oprah Winfrey.


At 10/30/2007 10:22 AM, Blogger Andy said...

It seems to me that Friends Seminary students are eager to participate in a play that speaks to their experience. (Of course, only 5% or less of the 625 students are involved, so it's a stretch to say the whole school reflects, or is reflected in, this project.)

It also seems to me that the content of the play - speaking criticism and withholding approval from those in seats of power - emulates the Editor of QiN. Indeed, I suspect that the motives of the producers and actors in the school play are similar to the motives of the QiN Editor, even though their tastes may differ.

I personally would not choose that school or that play. But the story basing the play is an established classic. My family member acted in the original version of "Lysistrata" produced by her public school decades ago. It is apparently valued by educators as well as striking a chord with students!

Whether drama has educational value is a valid question. But if it does, then drama that engages the minds and passions of the students is the right drama for a school.

At 4/09/2012 4:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm afraid it is not a matter of drama or plays, which are educational, it's a matter of what is being educated. It's a matter of kulturkampf.
In a society adrift without any sense of obedience or rules, the school is indoctrinating the children not in Peace but in Anti-War and the Protest Ideology as well as in using the family as a place to manipulate people according to your politics. This is not going to end war, it's going to expand a war between nations into a war between family members.
Quakers, and their schools have become a place out of touch with the realities of ordinary people, where middle-class intellectuals create soldiers for their class war on the rich.
Notice that no ordinary family can afford the tuition and how few poor people one finds at Meetings. Friends used to raise funds in order to run they run schools in order to raise funds. They depend upon the children of the rich for their existance and it changes the dynamics completely. Standing up to the elites that butter your bread for you? a play perhaps, but not in real life.


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