Communication and Events

February 7, 2021 2:10pm

Pro CA Coalition – updates

Dear Pro CA Coalition,

You are receiving this email because we believe you have shown your support for our efforts to create a safe and inclusive environment for all students at CA, a non-hostile work environment for all faculty, and to refocus the school’s leadership on academic excellence. If, for any reason, you prefer not to receive these email updates, please let us know and we will remove you from the distribution list. We plan to provide important updates to this email list and will do our best not to inundate you with emails. If you are aware of someone else who supports our cause and did not receive this email, feel free to reply with the email address and we will do our best to include everyone who so desires.

Below is a brief update with where we stand and where we are headed.

On Thursday evening we emailed the attached Pro CA Open Letter, along with a much more detailed Appendix of examples, to the 22 members on the Board of Trustees. The Appendix included a disclaimer that it comprises personal experiences and sentiments from our community members, and that not everyone endorsing the Open Letter agrees with all of the sentiments in the Appendix, but that everyone endorsing the Open Letter supports an open and transparent community that respects and values other members, even with different political views. The Open Letter identified me (Amy Gonzalez) and Andrea Gross as the Primary Organizers of the Pro CA Coalition group. The letter also states that we are a large group, with more than 160 CA families and community members acknowledging support for our cause. We have not shared any other family names with the Board or CA leadership.

The current President of the Board, Jonathan Kass, emailed us back on Friday, and let us know that he received the Open Letter and Appendix and made sure that all members of the Board also received a copy. He also indicated that the Board would meet privately to discuss the issues we’ve raised in the Open Letter. Jonathan then promised to follow-up with us. The email from Jonathan was professional and we hope it indicates that the Board is taking seriously the very important issues that we raised in the Open Letter.

The Head of School, Melissa Soderberg, emailed all Faculty on Friday that the “leadership of the school received an emailed document by a group of parents and others named the Pro CA Coalition.” She acknowledged that she and others have read it and are sorting through it before they will be in touch.

Now we wait for the Board to respond. In the meantime, we are strategizing when and how to best use our massive support network (THANK YOU). We are also organizing a list of action items for the Board’s consideration, as well as working to identify the best mouthpieces to present our issues. We know that this community has raised many different issues, but we feel that we need to keep our efforts targeted and focused to give us the best chance to see positive results. We appreciate that even among the Pro CA Coalition members we do not all agree on all issues! That’s okay and to be expected!! What’s most important to our cause is bringing back to CA a community that fosters respect for others, where our children feel safe and encouraged and academic excellence is the primary focus of school leadership.

We will let you know when the Board responds and be in touch for how you might be able to help. Thanks again for all your support.

Amy Gonzalez & Andrea Gross

February 7, 2021 9:16pm

Dear Amy & Andrea,

The Columbus Academy and its Board of Trustees have established protocols in place to review concerns such as the ones brought to our attention by the Pro CA Coalition in its Open Letter. Consistent with these protocols, certain key members of Board and school leadership will make themselves available to meet with you this week. Due to Covid concerns though, we are only able to meet in virtual format over Zoom.

More specifically, the following people will be available to participate in this virtual meeting:
• Jonathan Kass, Board President
• Sandy Doyle-Ahern, Board Vice-President
• Vic Thorne, Immediate Past President of the Board
• A To-Be-Determined Member of the Board’s Executive Committee (based on schedule)
• Melissa Soderberg, Head of School
• Erich Hunker, Assistant Head of School for External Relations and Communication
• John Wuorinen, Director of Admission
• Darnell Heywood, Director of College Counseling

Given the large number of people needed to participate in this meeting, the only day our group can meet this coming week as you have requested is Wednesday, February 10. We do however have a large window of availability that day starting at 2:00 PM and extending until 9:00 PM.

Finally, please feel free to invite up to 3 or 4 other members of the Coalition’s leadership to join you when we meet.

Jonathan Kass
President, Columbus Academy Board of Trustees

February 7, 2021 9:58pm

February 7, 2021

Dear Columbus Academy Families,

Columbus Academy dedicates itself to a welcoming and inspiring educational environment for all its current and future students, their families, faculty, staff and alumni. A primary role of the school’s Board of Trustees is to ensure these values are upheld and to promote the school’s mission. Our Board of Trustees operates with complete confidence in the Head of School. Late last week, an Open Letter was sent to members of the Board of Trustees and is now circulating within parts of the Columbus Academy community. This letter, signed by two representatives designated as Primary Organizers of a group called “Pro CA Coalition,” expresses concern about an array of topics effectively calling into question some of the school’s core values.

In instances such as these, Columbus Academy and its Board of Trustees have wellestablished protocols in place to review such serious concerns that have been brought to their attention. To that end, the Board has invited the Coalition’s Primary Organizers as well as other members of its leadership to meet with several key members of the Board (including the current Board President and Vice-President as well as other Executive Committee members), the Head of School, Assistant Head of School for Development and External Relations, Director of Admissions and Director of College Counseling. Moreover, the school has begun processing the concerns that have been brought to its attention in the Open Letter and will continue to do so based on any new information it receives. As this process unfolds, the school pledges to continue engaging in civil dialogue with the supporters of the Open Letter and to communicate openly with the CA community.

Columbus Academy Board of Trustees

February 8, 2021 6:53pm

Re: Pro CA Coalition Open Letter – Response to Request to Meet


We have received your email below and we will be in touch soon.

Thank you,

Amy Gonzalez and Andrea Gross
Pro CA Coalition Primary Organizers

February 8, 2021 7:04pm

Re: Response to Request to Meet (follow up)

Sounds good, thanks.

February 9, 2021 6:05am

Dear Pro CA Coalition,

Now we ask for your help. We are asking you to please read the below update and then complete this Google Survey to help us evaluate the sentiments of our movement. We have spoken with many if not most of you, and we do not pretend we all have uniform views and sentiments. We hope to hear everyone’s views and do not want to marginalize your long ignored voices. Therefore we are asking for your views on some important issues so we can better prepare for a meeting with the Board of Trustees. We will likely share the group’s survey sentiment with the Board of
Trustees on an anonymous basis. Please understand we are simply trying to bring more transparency to our disenfranchised community members’ views against a strong current of school administration pushing for the opposite.


By now you have likely seen the email the Board of Trustees sent to parents on Sunday evening. Ironically, the Board of Trustees acknowledged their “complete confidence in the Head of School” a mere 48 hours after receiving our voluminous list of detailed incidents involving school mismanagement and allegations of student bullying, intolerance, racism, disenfranchisement, and political extremism. One must consider whether an independent and objective Board of Trustees would publish such a statement 48 hours after receiving significant concerns with many detailed accounts coming from many different families.

We understand CA held an “All Faculty” meeting on Sunday late afternoon. Teachers have informed us the Head of School instructed all faculty at this meeting to not discuss the issues raised in the Open Letter with parents or teachers, and that if they have any concerns they should only raise issues directly with the Head of School.

Yesterday evening Jonathan Kass reached out to the Pro CA Coalition to ask for a Zoom meeting to take place this Wednesday (2/10/2021) with me (Amy), Andrea, and 3 to 4 other members of the Coalition. Jonathan proposes that 4 members of the Board of Trustees would attend along with 4 members of the school leadership (Melissa Soderberg, Mark Hansen, Shaka Arnold, and Cory Izokaitis).

We have some concerns with Jonathan’s proposal. In general, we are concerned the Board of Trustees is trying to keep this process in the dark and outnumber our group in a meeting setting. They have not accepted our request to meet with the full Board, and we also have reservations about the fact the Board is inviting school leadership. Based on some conversations with our community members, many express they have already raised these issues with school leadership and were ignored or dismissed. The Pro CA Coalition only raised these issues through the Open Letter with the Board of Trustees after we had been ignored by school leadership and rejected for a meeting by the Board. We think ultimately these issues are problems for the Board to address, and by inviting school employees who are potentially a root of the cause, the Board appears to be derogating it’s duty.

We know we will not all feel the same about this, and it is my nor Andrea’s role to pick a path for us all. We think our role is to collect and share your thoughts with the Board, so they can make decisions about how to move forward. Ultimately, it is the Board’s responsibility to address the issues.

As we are planning out our next steps, including whether to ask for full Board participation in the Zoom, more participation from our group (even if support by showing your face on Zoom in a non-speaking role), and whether to ask school management to join our call with the Board, we need your feedback. In formulating our strategy, we also need your help with a list of changes or ideas for the Board to consider. We want to make sure we accurately reflect the group’s sentiment, so please, please help us by completing this questionnaire. Lastly, as the Board of Trustees and/or school leadership were unable to contain the documents and they are being widely circulated, we have included both the Open Letter and the portion of the Appendix we sent to the Board of Trustees.

Thanks for your support,

Amy & Andrea

February 9, 2021 6:26pm


Dear Jonathan,

Thank you for finally agreeing to meet with the Pro CA Coalition. Unfortunately, we have been inundated with new parents joining the Pro CA Coalition and sharing their concerns involving bullying, intolerance, racism, disenfranchisement, and political extremism at CA. We have been quite overwhelmed in the last few days to attempt to collect these concerns from community members and prepare for our meeting with the Board of Trustees. We will need more time to organize all of this information from CA community members and prepare for our meeting. We would kindly request to push the meeting with the Board of Trustees back until next Monday or Tuesday.

We do, however, have some concerns with your meeting proposal. These concerns are shared overwhelmingly by our members. First, we have requested to speak with the Board of Trustees to address these important issues, not with employees of the school. Over the past few weeks and during the course of dozens of conversations and multiple Zoom meetings with CA families, we learned that many in our community have already attempted to raise these concerns directly with the Leadership Team. As explained in the Open Letter, community members who brought complaints directly to the Leadership Team at CA, including Melissa, have been dismissed and ignored. We are collecting data on this point and plan to share it with the Board of Trustees.

For example, many parents shared with us, when bringing concerns directly to Melissa, she has routinely stated or implied that each parent was alone in his or her concerns. It has been quite disturbing to hear parent after parent share the same story: raising a concern, and then being told they are alone. We view this as an attempt to isolate and disenfranchise marginalized voices–the very opposite of honest and transparent leadership.

As we stated in the Open Letter, the Leadership Team is seemingly responsible for permitting (and encouraging) a toxic environment. Now the Board of Trustees is responsible for addressing these issues, or else may choose to neglect to do so. In the Open Letter and Appendix we have detailed an unwelcome and noninclusive environment for our children along with a hostile work environment for various CA faculty. We have many more examples we are collecting from our community. We have explained to the Board of Trustees how large a number of CA community members share these concerns. The responsibility falls on the Board of Trustees to investigate and act, not on the Leadership Team.

Unfortunately, we do not believe the actions (and non-actions) of the Board of Trustees indicate it is taking it’s obligations seriously. The Board of Trustees initially refused to meet with our group, which would have permitted us to raise our concerns in private. We then felt obligated to our community members to share our concerns in writing through the Open Letter and Appendix. A mere 48 hours after receiving our voluminous list of detailed incidents involving school mismanagement and allegations of bullying, intolerance, racism, disenfranchisement, and political extremism, the Board of Trustees published an all-parent email stating “Our Board of Trustees operates with complete confidence in the Head of School.” Would an independent and impartial Board (not susceptible to coercion or group think) publish such a statement only 48 hours after receiving significant concerns with many detailed accounts stemming from many different families? We think not. Naturally, we question whether the Board of Trustees cares about the concerns raised in the Open Letter or even intends to process these concerns.

School administrators, for their part, are reverting to a familiar playbook: isolation, marginalization, and lack of transparency. For example, on Sunday the Head of School called an all faculty meeting to instruct teachers they should not talk about these issues with parents. If they have concerns, they are to only discuss these issues of bullying, intolerance, racism, disenfranchisement, and political extremism with the Head of School. Is it appropriate for the Head of School to call an all faculty meeting to demand allegations of a hostile work environment should only be shared with the school leadership alleged to be responsible for the hostile work environment? Did the Board of Trustees instruct or approve this meeting? How is this acceptable?

This brings us to another problem with your meeting proposal. Second, instead of agreeing to take a meeting with our group, the Board of Trustees suggests a meeting that would involve a small handful of Board members, a small fraction of our group, and the very Leadership Team that many in our community claim is responsible for the injustices. Does the Board of Trustees serve at the pleasure of the Leadership Team? Has the Board of Trustees derogated its responsibilities to the Leadership Team? Perhaps therein lies a problem.

We cannot agree to meet with the Board of Trustees with such a limited number of members. As explained in our Open Letter, the Pro CA Coalition included more than 160 members, which continues to grow as more families are made aware of the circumstances. We have requested a meeting with the full Board of Trustees, and we will not limit participation on our side to a small handful of people. We view this request as an isolation tactic aimed to intimidate and avoid transparency. To facilitate a helpful discussion, of course we would be willing to limit speaking roles for our group, but we will not marginalize those members of our community who would like to view the meeting and who seek transparency on these important topics. Nor will we meet with the Leadership Team or employees of the school–the time for that has long passed.

In the all parent email you stated that the school and Board of Trustees has “well established protocols” in place to review such serious concerns that have been brought to their attention. Can you please share those protocols? In our experience, CA leadership has avoided transparency at all costs. This is why we are here. These unfolding events are, sadly, yet another attempt at this.

Please confirm the Board of Trustees is willing to meet with us via Zoom on Monday or Tuesday of next week without the Leadership Team present, and please also confirm we will be able to invite our Pro CA Coalition members to view the meeting
in non-speaking roles.

We are in the process of sending out surveys and collecting information from our group on how many of our members wish to join the meeting so that you can have an idea of the size of the meeting in advance. We are also coordinating speaking roles on our end so we can make good use of our time with the Board of Trustees.

Amy González and Andrea Gross
Pro CA Coalition Primary Organizers

February 11, 2021 5:35pm

Amy & Andrea-

I received your response below and am truly sorry that we are having such a difficult time even finding enough common ground to schedule a meeting. Please know that the concerns voiced by your group are important to the school and the board, and, as such, we would still like to meet with you in an effort to learn more about them.

To that end, I invite you plus four additional representatives from your group to meet with me, three other members of board leadership, and the Head of School. While the board previously suggested inviting the three Division Heads because we felt it would make the meeting more productive, we respect your opinion to the contrary. That said, I am confident that this small group format will help foster the best possible atmosphere to help us all on the road to better dialogue, while at the same time allowing your group to not be outnumbered. Moreover, in an effort to ensure that your entire constituency, as well as the school’s entire board, will have full access to what is discussed at our meeting, we can record the meeting via Zoom.

Please let me know if our invitation is acceptable to you. While it goes beyond required protocol, we are willing to do so in this instance because the issues you have raised are important to us. Once you let me know if our invitation is acceptable or not, I will begin coordinating schedules (if appropriate) to provide our collective availability to meet either Monday or Tuesday.

Thank you for your consideration.

Jonathan Kass
President, Columbus Academy Board of Trustees

February 11, 2021 5:41pm

Dear members of the Columbus Academy community:

Columbus Academy strives for a learning environment in which diverse ideas are exchanged with rigor and with respect. It aims for lively discussions that force all students outside of their comfort zones without succumbing to groupthink. We want our campus to be a place where young people gain the confidence to consider opposing points of view while also feeling safe in asserting their own core values.

On Thursday, the Board of Trustees received a letter from two members of the Columbus Academy community who feel strongly that we have fallen short of these goals. They communicated that they and some other members of the school community, who wish to remain anonymous, are concerned that certain students feel ideologically marginalized and that their perspectives on political and social issues are unwelcome. We take these concerns very seriously, and, as such, on Sunday we offered to meet with them this week.

To be certain, we would still like to have that conversation. Today we invited up to six members of this group to join four members of the Board of Trustees leadership and the Head of School for a virtual meeting. This goes beyond required protocol for addressing parent concerns, and we hope they will accept our good-faith offer to meet next week, as they have requested, so we can hear directly from them.

The issues these parents have raised are not new to many institutions of learning. At Columbus Academy, parents have shared some of these very concerns and have met with the appropriate school leadership to discuss them. All great schools, whether K-12 or colleges and universities, endeavor to encourage students and faculty to share their informed perspectives in a way that does not stifle opposing points of view. Striking this balance is an art, not a science, especially in a polarized political environment. While no school is perfect, the input Columbus Academy continues to receive from parents and students of all ideological persuasions motivates us every day to get better.

To this end, and consistent with the school’s Strategic Vision, the board and the school announced last fall plans to issue an independently run climate survey established through the National Association of Independent Schools. We will commence this work later this spring with the Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) – a nationally recognized tool for assessing, among other things, our school’s current level of inclusivity as perceived by multiple constituencies as well as areas of need in curriculum, infrastructure, and governance that illuminate patterns, multiple perspectives, and opportunities for improvement. As with all professionally researched and composed surveys – unlike the unofficial Google survey that is currently circulating through select parts of our school community – the information gathered through AIM will be used to assist our school in analyzing data and benchmarking findings against other aggregate school data when possible and will not be intended to be available for personal use.

In the meantime, the Board of Trustees must not lose sight of our fiduciary responsibility: the education and welfare of our entire student body. While every grievance must be heard and addressed, we must not allow rumor and innuendo to undermine the school’s mission. Even as we acknowledge our potential for improvement, we should not lose sight of the fact that, by every measurable assessment, this school is stronger than ever. Our student enrollment, facilities, financial endowment, and students’ matriculation to colleges and universities all reflect the level of excellence that the Columbus Academy community deserves and expects. As a Board, we are committed to letting our teachers teach and our students learn so their growth and achievement can continue. Especially as our staff and pupils resolutely and steadfastly navigate the barriers presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, they do not need additional, unneeded distractions.

Finally, we thank the many parents we have heard from this past week, expressing your continued support and encouragement during this time. You fortify us in tough times, and you inspire us to always improve. Together we can continue to provide an atmosphere of inclusivity and distinction for our children.

Columbus Academy Board of Trustees

February 15, 2021 10:13am

Pro CA Coalition – 2nd Request to Meet


Thank you for your email. In attempting to coordinate many busy schedules, we are able to meet on Wednesday, February 17th at 7:00 p.m. via zoom with the leadership as you have outlined below. If this is an agreeable date and time, please confirm and we will forward the zoom link.

Thank you for agreeing to listen.

Amy Gonzalez and Andrea Gross
Pro CA Coalition Primary Organizers

February 15, 2021 11:51am

Re: Pro CA Coalition – 2nd Request to Meet

Amy & Andrea-

Thank you for your email and for agreeing to meet. I am hopeful that our meeting will prove to be a positive step for both your group and the school community as a whole.

In the meantime, I will begin checking with our group’s representatives relative to their availability this Wed Feb 17 at 7p as you have requested and follow up with you as soon as possible.

Thanks again, jonathan

February 16, 2021 8:36am

Pro CA Coalition – 2nd Request to Meet

Amy & Andrea-

Thank you for your email yesterday. I am happy to confirm our group’s availability to meet via Zoom on Wednesday, February 17 at 7p. In addition to the Head of School, the board members joining me will be Sandy Doyle-Ahern, Vic Thorne, and George Skestos. We will plan to meet
for up to 90 minutes.

As the meeting is a school-related one, we will use the school’s Zoom account. Shannon Nelson, the Assistant to the Head of School, will provide you and your other representatives with the necessary Zoom link. Please provide me with the names of the other participants and their email
addresses today or tonight, so that Shannon can properly invite everyone. Also, please let me know what email address or addresses you would like Shannon to use to invite the two of you.

As I mentioned in my previous email, we will be recording the meeting. The recording will then be provided to you after the meeting so it can be made available to others in your group and on our board. There are two other things worth mentioning. First, because of privacy concerns,
names of students must not be used by any of us during the course of our discussion Wednesday evening. Second, we ask that all meeting participants have their Zoom video feature enabled throughout the meeting.

Thank you again,

Jonathan Kass
President, Columbus Academy Board of Trustees

March 10, 2021 10:37pm

Dear Pro CA Coalition,

We have received a response from Jonathan.

Dear Amy and Andrea-

As the Board’s March 4 letter to the Columbus Academy community and the separate email to the two of you explain, the Board has listened to and carefully considered your concerns. School leadership has looked into each of the matters you raised and has informed the Board of the facts learned. The Board has met three times to review and discuss this information and consider any and all appropriate steps. With that in mind, the March 4 letter to the school community reflects the conclusions reached by the Board and the administration and sets forth how Columbus Academy will move forward to continue to advance its mission and values. It also explains how any parent who would like to discuss their child’s experience at Academy can do so.

Jonathan Kass
President, Columbus Academy Board of Trustees

Many of you have shared your frustration with the March 4th response from the Board of Trustees. Undoubtedly, the above proclaimed “conclusion” from Jonathan will do little to assuage your dissatisfaction. We are scheduled to meet this week with the Managing Director, Nonprofit services, at BDO. The Director is a CPA forensic audit expert for nonprofit organizations. Coalition members have stated they feel uncomfortable contributing financially to our school when leadership and the Board of Trustees provides little to no transparency surrounding the equitable distribution of funds. Coalition members feel there are instances where specified funds have not been accurately allocated, appropriately allocated, or allocated in a timely manner. Even when innocuously questioned about the percentage of students that benefited from the $3.7 million in financial aid, the Assistant Head of School, Development & External Relations stated while it was not two-thirds, he would not divulge the correct statistic. This leads some to wonder why the inability to provide forthright answers.
We have been approached and are exploring several opportunities. We hope by the end of this week to share more surrounding these developments.

Thank you,
Amy González and Andrea Gross
Pro CA Coalition Primary Organizers

March 18, 2021 2:19pm

Dear Pro CA,

We want to share several things with you:  an email from an Assembly of CA Alumni, two pieces of media news, and a portion of an affidavit received today.

First, to reiterate, our Pro CA Coalition goals remain the same:

-Safe environment for the Kids

-Non hostile work environment for Faculty

-Academic excellence 

-Strong leadership. 

We have said from the beginning, this is NOT a race thing.  We want ALL kids to feel secure.  Of course, we do not believe in or agree with racism.


We have been clear this is NOT a left right thing.  

We believe this is a FORWARD BACKWARD thing.  Dividing people by race and skin color is segregation.  Segregation is going backwards.  We want to empower, uplift, and move forward within positive framework.  We believe addressing issues within our community is best done in an open, candid, and forthright manner.  

Columbus Academy should provide an inclusive space for all children and faculty.  People should be treated as human beings, not political abstractions and immutable characteristics.  We wholeheartedly believe in our community, wish compassion to always be chosen over ideologically possessed agendas and supremacist ways of thinking, while valuing the wellbeing of self and community.  

There will be many things unfolding as we move forward.  While at times we may focus on one topic over another, please be assured none will take a backseat(eg. learning, fiscal accountability).  We have several action items and will be asking for your support with those in the near future.  It is a conscience decision to have moral courage.  We greatly appreciate and want to recognize all our Coalition members.  Collectively,  it is amazing how our Community has come together in efforts to advance the civil rights and liberties for ALL Students and Faculty at Columbus Academy. 


Date: Wed, Mar 17, 2021 at 4:39 PM

To Mr. Kass and the Board of Trustees,

Our group sent you a letter voicing our concerns and recommendations as members of the CA community on how to move forward with the growing scandal on Feb 9th. Now 36 days later, you have not sent any personal correspondence whatsoever to address our comments, voice your stance, or invite room for discussion aside from the blanket comments from the board to the community. For months you have been aware of the situation, and have done virtually nothing to address the allegations. The “open discussion” that you have shared with the CA community has overwhelmingly dismissed the issues voiced to you by Pro CA and ourselves, and has belittled and insulted those who have come forward seeking solutions and unity. 

Just hours ago, Columbus Academy made national news via the DailyWire article, and as this email is being written, the scandal is being discussed on local talk radio in Columbus. No member of this group has said anything to the media in hopes of keeping this situation contained. However, the outright disrespect shown to both us and Pro CA, as well as the inability to take action, is the direct cause of this now boiling over situation. 

Our letter directly warned that if you did not take action and calm the growing tension that the situation would begin to spiral which unfortunately is now the case. As things continue to develop I hope each of you is able to remember that you had an opportunity to act and make a difference and chose not to.

We fear for our school and our community. Seeing this kind of negative coverage is painful. One way or the other responsibility will be found, and we pray that it results in making our school and community stronger and closer. But unfortunately as of now; this is the bed you’ve made, and you must sleep in it.

With the utmost respect,

An Assembly of CA Alumni




In addition to the above article, we were told Bruce Hooley (98.9) reported yesterday on the reputational harm incurred by Columbus Academy at the hands of CA leadership.  



-The seniors were meeting with their kindergarten buddies.  The practice was to talk with the kindergartener about social injustice and create a superhero to represent their “cause”.  My son saw many seniors using systemic race heroes.  He was disgusted by the senior girl next to him discussing the “PMS FAIRY”.  He refused to do the project because he heard his peers trying to explain racism to the kindergarteners and the girl next to him discussing “cramps and PMS” with her buddy.  He was pulled out of the group by a teacher when he refused to do it.  He explained to the upper school dean he didn’t believe it is the school’s or senior’s responsibility to discuss those issues with kindergarteners without their parents knowing.  He said he saw kindergartners who were so confused.  He was upset by barriers going up where they didn’t have them before.  


Thank you,

Amy González and Andrea Gross

Pro CA Coalition Primary Organizers

April 14 2021 4:33pm

A mother will do nearly anything to protect her children. Of all the different species, elephants may have the strongest maternal instincts. A herd of female elephants will travel together in a circle with the youngest calves in the middle to protect them from outside predators. When one elephant is orphaned, the herd will adopt the orphan and protect her as its own. Elephants are not the only species biologically programmed to go to great lengths to protect their children.  We, too, will do everything we can to protect our children. 

From the Head of School:

The above email was sent to the entire faculty and staff today by the Head of School.  We are very disappointed the Head of School fails to recognize all the Pro CA Coalition members who courageously have identified themselves to school leadership.  The Board of Trustees, nor the Head of School, have answered any of our 13+ pages of questions, declined an independent investigation, declined an independent survey, denied our faculty a confidential employee reporting line, denied teaching critical race theory, refused to provide transparency around curriculum, disciplinary measures (two tier disciplinary system), diversity of Board, and Board protocols for selection.  This email appears to focus not on the message but instead on the messengers, and perhaps attempts to assign labels such as oppressed and oppressor.  Since the initial email from the Board of Trustees stating they operate with complete confidence in the Head of School, we and members of our families have received threats, been bullied, harassed, and intimidated.  The situation has been fueled by certain instances and communications made by members of the Board and school leadership.  We hope school leadership is upholding their primary duty to students by fulfilling their basic educational needs, not neglecting those needs in favor of advancing division and counterproductive partisan ideologies.  We believe if the Board of Trustees and the Head of School took our concerns seriously, they would have answered our questions.

To be clear, the concern around our message of a safe environment for our children, non hostile work environment for our faculty, strong leadership, and academic excellence does not fall on the shoulders of our Teachers.  We see our Teachers as those who nurture the minds of our children and allow them to thrive, ensure their physical safety, and ensure a safe and vibrant environment in which our children learn.  If they miss the mark, school leadership is accountable.  Academy is our amazing Community, not a place to spread ideologically possessed beliefs and teach supremacy or racism. We hope the intention of today’s meeting with the Head of School is not to breed contempt towards us or our Children.  However, it has been reported the takeaway is to have more security at the school and private security for the Head of School.  The tone of her email and meetings today feels antagonistic and indifferent to the well-being of our Children and Faculty.  As in our Appendix when a parent shared, “I believe that physical safety related to keeping the school safe from intruders is high.  However, I believe there is an opportunity to expand the emotional safety for all students, to those that agree with teachers’ political perspective, and those who do not.”  The efforts leave many of us feeling like our questions and concerns do not matter.  Board of Trustee and school leadership positions bring obligations of responsibility, honesty, compassion, fairness, integrity, moral courage, and transparency.  We are indeed a broad, dynamic, and diverse Community.  We are seeking the same diversity amongst our Board of Trustees and school leadership.

 Many of you have talked to leadership.  Some have spoken to more than one person in leadership.  

Comments range from: 

-“she pretty much talked around the question with no direct answer” 

-he said we do not support defunding the police

-my direct questions were avoided

-he listened to me

-my impression was she supports defunding the police

-he showed empathy around my concerns 

-more questions were asked of me than answers received

-1619 will not be specifically stated in curriculum but teachers can teach it in history as one theory

-when asked directly if they believe there are 80+ genders, they laughed

Many stated you were asked to identify specifically the critical race theory curriculum at CA.  Unfortunately, we have never been to see the curriculum and afforded us no transparency around the issue.  A lack of transparency makes it impossible to fully identify CRT taking place in the classroom. As such a member has provided the following information.

Anti-Bias Education/Critical Race Theory 


(This article outlines what CRT looks like in a school setting) The quote below taken from the link above pretty much sums up the Pro CA Appendix.

“Anti-bias education peddles the narrative that America is systemically and irredeemably racist and sexist. As a remedy, anti-bias education argues that teachers must discriminate in their treatment of white and black studentsteach gender as a social construct, and abuse educational institutions for the purpose of political indoctrination.” 

“Teachers must discriminate in their treatment of white and black students”

  • Affinity groups for faculty – placing teachers into groups based on the color of their skin during faculty training
  • Training faculty through professional development(Ibram X. Kendi, systemic racism, white privilege, white fragility, racial equity) to believe these theories
  • Allowing teachers to teach the 1619 project without parent permission and without posting it on the curriculum guide for all to see. Head of School stating teachers have free rein to discuss different theories in the classroom 
  • biracial child asking parent what to do when one half of you hates the other half (white versus other race)
  • Affinity groups for children dividing kids by the color of their skin, religion, gender identity, political ideology

“Teach gender as a social construct” – “The social construction of gender is a theoryin feminism and sociology (Wikipedia)”

  • 6th grade health class introducing gender identity instead sex(male/female)   
  • Normalizing transgenderism (bathrooms in the upper school, and new bathrooms in the lower school)  My little one explained, “there’s a new bathroom rule that Teacher X told us about today. One bathroom is for both boys and girls and the other bathroom is for girls only just like the upper school.”    
  • resources spent on gender neutral bathrooms and curriculum changes for a population that is less than 1% nationally versus resources spent to effectively  accommodate the conservative 25% of student population with learning disabilities 
  • Putting pictures on the wall of trans animals in Lower School    
  • Conducting gender studies with minors for research in the upper school directed by a student, Director of Diversity and Community Life, and Upper School Dean of Students and Special Assistant to the Head of School for Student Outreach WITHOUT PARENT PERMISSION (at time of emails shared with ProCA, no permission slips were attached)
  • Hosting Coming Out Day in the Upper School where my student had to choose either a TRANS, BI, or ALLY sticker to gain entrance to classroom or fear being bullied and called homophobic 
  • Reading a book to young children about same sex relationships that is listed on The American Library Association report as the fourth-most banned book between 2000 and 2009, as well as the sixth-most banned book between 2010-2019 WITHOUT PARENT PERMISSION

“Abuse educational institutions for the purpose of political indoctrination”

  • 5th grade teacher telling my student’s class only Democrats support the homeless, telling his students a President is going to get impeached twice (without explaining in a nonpartisan manner this was his opinion and not a fact)
  • Showing the inauguration to my young child WITHOUT PARENT PERMISSION, even though teachers expressed concern about a live event being shown after the Capitol building riots and also expressed inaugurations have not been shown to elementary age children in decades, if ever, at Columbus Academy 
  • showing extreme partisan history of vote video  
  • political flags hanging in MS classroom
  • telling students you can’t look at them if they support a Republican candidate
  • when expressing concerns as a Christian, being told this may not be the right school for you
  • Allowing seniors to teach social justice issues/activism to kindergarteners WITHOUT PARENT PERMISSION
  • Emails from Director of Diversity about defunding the police, whiteness, information sent to all faculty to join online events involving police discussions 

“Activism, rather than education, is central to the mission of anti-bias education. As one preschool teacher who went through Anti Bias training explained, “I probably wouldn’t be such an activist today without [anti-bias training].” Instead of spending time teaching children how to read, write, or solve math problems, teachers incorporate activism training exercises into their curriculum. Anti-bias trainers encourage teachers to get students used to being community “organizers” and engaging in activism at a young age. 

  • Evidence of third graders studying activists around the world 
  • Upper School Walk Out
  • Emails from the Director of Diversity and Community Life (Does Director of Diversity and Community life hold a K-12 education degree?) 
  • partisan content led by Director of Diversity and Community Life in US cafes 
  • an Art assignment where students were instructed to look at the past President’s Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery…but they were only allowed to choose Barack or Michelle Obama’s portrait write about and what it meant to them

We will not back down, and we will not quit. We believe that diversity, inclusion, and justice are fundamental to the strength and viability of our community. We also believe that open minded and unbiased leadership, along with transparent policies and structural accountability are critical to achieving the goals of diversity and inclusion at CA for all people. Without diversity of leadership across various dimensions, we believe that disenfranchisement, political indoctrination, bullying, and intimidation become natural and widely acceptable—all causing academic excellence to suffer greatly.  We will demand reasonable change, and we will stand with each other in a circle around our most vulnerable, until we see this change take place. They are worth it!

April 16, 2021 1:40pm


Dear Trustee,
Please find attached information we received from a Coalition member concerning the all faculty and staff meeting held Wednesday, April 14, 2021 by the Head of School and Director of Campus Safety and Security.
Much to my consternation, I heard today the Head of School required the faculty and staff to sit on the field house floor while she addressed them with the Director of Campus Safety and Security (2 separate meetings). The Head of School talked about the Pro CA Coalition. The Head of School indicated due to a fear of some physical threat, increased security was necessary. In addition to extra police surveillance of the school. The Director of Campus Safety and Security explained the school contacted the Gahanna Police and the FBI regarding the Pro CA Coalition. In fear and panic of some physical threat to the school, staff, and students that I was unaware of (as my children are students), I contacted the Gahanna police, and this is what I found out:

Officer Corbin (SRO at the HS) took the report on 4/7/2021. In speaking with him, this was only an informational report – there was NO IMMINENT PHYSICAL THREAT TO THE SCHOOL OR COMMUNITY. He was unaware any other agency was contacted
(i.e., she/school contacting the FBI was not mentioned to him, which would normally be the case). It was suggested our Director of Campus Safety and Security would be aware of protocol regarding information sharing between law enforcement agencies as he is a former employee of the FBI. I was forwarded the police report by another CA parent and was shocked to see the names of 3 administrative individuals on the report, but NO teachers or staff that are supposedly in fear of this threat. The report says, “Tim stated that there are several faculty/staff who felt threatened by the actions of the Pro CA Coalition – that had made indirect threats over a Podcast.” Again, that made me wonder why no staff or teachers – who feel threatened – were named on the report – if I felt threatened, I would most assuredly want my name on it so the police would be able to provide me extra protection.

Please see Gahanna Police Report Attachments.

Next, after I read the excerpts in the report from the podcast that made those filing the report feel threatened (which I didn’t find personally threatening in the slightest), I went to listen to the actual Podcast to see how threatening it was to necessitate a police and FBI report, extra police surveillance of the school, as well as a total staff & faculty meeting. I felt I had to be missing something. I was taken aback by the fact NO ONE I reached out to could tell me what was reported to the FBI, the name of the FBI agent it was reported to, the office to which it was reported or able to find/provide a copy of the report. I spoke to educators with decades of experience. Educators who had to deal with the actual FBI on more than one occasion for serious issues such as bomb threats, gun threats, and violent parents. They stated in decades and with those serious situations never once did they hold a full staff meeting to talk about the police and FBI being called.

Some students, as you know will hear the police and FBI were contacted. Instead, it seems under the leadership of Head of School a production was made for one reason: the intimidation, threatening and bullying of those on the ProCA Coalition who have a different opinion than the current administration. There can be no other reason. To purposely instill fear in the hearts and minds of staff, faculty, and students for a desired outcome (intimidation) is unconscionable and reprehensible!
On several occasions, we have provided the Board of Trustees social media posts as well as reports specifically targeting us/family members. We have received no response or acknowledgment from the Board. Is the Board of Trustees aware of and been provided by the Head of School complete information regarding all the parents who have come forward to the Head of School, Director of Admissions and Tuition Assistance, Head of Lower School, just within the past couple of weeks asking questions, expressing concerns, requesting recommendations as they are pulling their children? Parents have stated, “we are hanging on by a thread,” and questioning the silence from leadership after reaching out and now being specifically targeted as we shared we were Coalition members.

It appears as though the Head of School is using stale information in order to insight panic and fear amongst our Community. (report determined on 4/7/21 that there was no threat to the Community or any faculty) A week old informational report stating NO CRIME INVOLVED and determining NO THREAT TO SCHOOL OR COMMUNITY was then presented to the entire faculty as something very different and involving the FBI. No information, nor records from law enforcement can substantiate an FBI report.

It was reported during the Lower School all faculty meeting, one faculty member raised their hand and asked if our two 5th grade Children should be treated differently? This raises serious concerns. Additionally, it was reported during the Upper School all faculty meeting, a faculty member raised their hand and asked about “moles” in the building? By one account, it was likened to a threat of how they might root out such moles. The crime: to be an independent thinker. What atmosphere has been created by the Head of School to even entertain this line of thinking and inappropriate questioning?

The informational Gahanna Police Department report again states NO THREAT TO SCHOOL OR COMMUNITY. After waiting a week, what caused the Head of School to take such action? Who was the FBI agent that wrote the report? If there is no report in the Columbus resident agency or the FBI Cincinnati Field Office, please direct us to where we might obtain a copy of it. What is the severe threat that required FBI involvement? Why did the Head of School wait a week before announcing a threat serious enough to require FBI involvement? Why did the Head of School only make the faculty aware and not bring a threat serious enough to require FBI involvement to the attention of the entire Community? The decisions made by the Head of School and the manner in which she has handled this leads many to believe she used her personal perception to not only create undue panic and duress in our Community but as an attempt to target and foster disdain towards our Children and Pro CA Coalition.

Please let us know if the President of the Board of Trustees is still operating in his full capacity or from whom we might expect to hear a response.

Amy González and Andrea Gross
Pro CA Coalition Primary Organizers


April 22 2021 5:04pm

Dear Coalition,

A few things going into the weekend:

* We want to encourage our Coalition members to acknowledge and support our teachers in any way you can! We fully support any efforts to recognize their hard work and dedication. We have been made aware of a community email seeking positive messages of support for our teachers so please send in your teacher appreciation video clips and messages of support  — that is amazing!

* Listen to the Bruce Hooley Show tomorrow night for an announcement

* Monday, April 26th a podcast will air that was taped earlier this week 


Andrea and Amy
Pro CA Coalition Primary Organizers