Parents start petition to “halt” DEI programs at St. Paul’s Schools

A petition urging The St. Paul’s Schools to halt its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives has gained traction in recent weeks. The petition alleges the administration is implementing DEI programming in a manner that “lacks competence or good judgment.”

Specifically, petitioners voiced concern that some DEI-related discussions have been “inappropriate and unnecessary.” They are asking the school board to present a formal DEI plan for community feedback before continuing implementation.

“They’re asking for the board to simply present a plan, a program for their DEI initiatives that the community can then you know, give feedback,” said Alexis Nester of Parents Defending Education, which supports the petition. “That’s the most basic thing that this school could do for these families.”

In response, St. Paul’s maintained its commitment to DEI as an Episcopal school, stating: “It’s our duty to equip students with the empathy and awareness to engage with different beliefs and perspectives, thereby preparing them to thrive in a culturally and ideologically diverse world.”

The school emphasizes on its website that inclusiveness, diversity and respect for all are integral to its educational philosophy and founding principles.

Supporters of the petition counter that some aspects of the DEI programming seem politically motivated or age-inappropriate. They hope an open review process will address their concerns before initiatives advance further. The debate reflects broader tensions nationwide around how schools address diversity and social justice issues.