The head of diversity at the tony Dalton School — the Upper East Side bastion of privilege that’s been rocked by controversy recently over its heavy-handed “anti-racist” ideology — is out, school officials said.
Domonic Rollins, the school’s director of DEI (“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”) is leaving “in pursuit of other opportunities,” the school said Friday.
Rollins joined Dalton in July 2019 from Harvard University, where he worked in the president’s office as a strategist and advisor on diversity, inclusion and belonging, and as senior diversity and inclusion officer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
The last few months of Rollins’ tenure were marked by aggressive new moves on the part of Dalton’s headmaster Jim Best to ensure the school would be more “anti-racist.”
But simmering conflicts over the issue of anti-racism at Dalton — which counts Anderson Cooper, Christian Slater and Claire Danes as alumni — erupted publicly in December when the school’s administration and faculty issued eight pages of “proposals” to overhaul the staffing, curriculum and treatment of Black students.
Parents and alumni at the school fired off a scathing open letter decrying the school’s new race-obsessed agenda last month.
The anonymous missive to the “Dalton community,” obtained by the Post, charges the “love of learning and teaching is now being abandoned in favor of an ‘anti-racist’ curriculum.”
In the wake of the criticism, one parent felt James Best, the head of the school, simply made Rollins a scapegoat.
“It looks as though Rollins was Jim Best’s fall guy,” a Dalton parent told the Post. “The old white guy staying and the black guy leaving.”
Rollins “rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, including some longtime and supportive Dalton families,” the Naked Dollar blog reported Saturday.
The blogger claims one parent described Rollins as, “completely dismissive of people not of color.”
The 89th Street institution educates 1,300 students in grades K-12, charging $54,180 a year in tuition. It is more diverse than most of NYC’s elite prep schools, with a student body that is 57 percent white, 19 percent multi-racial, 11 percent Asian, 10 percent Black and 3 percent Hispanic.
Neither Rollins nor Best could be immediately reached for comment.