There was recently an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times by Charles Blow–Private School Civility Gap. The article references a 2010 study by the Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics, “Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth” which surveyed 43,000 kids on attitudes toward sex, violence, race, drugs, alcohol, bullying, and more. There are many fascinating statistics in the study, but the ones that are most surprising (to me) are the ones that are referenced by Blow–boys at private, religiously affiliated schools are more likely to have “used racial slurs or insults” and “bullied, teased or taunted” someone in the past 12 months. Blow writes,
Private schools by their very nature discriminate. Their students are literally the chosen ones — special, better. This sort of thinking has a way of weaving itself into the fibers of a family and into the thinking of the children, particularly young boys in a male culture where even the slightest deviations from the narrowest concepts of normality are heretical.
In my first post on this topic, I referenced an article that asserted that students at elite schools don’t know how to relate to the world. The Josephson Institute study seems to take that issue one step further and assert that students at elite schools are actively more hostile to others. I am guessing that the reasons that the problem is worse at religiously affiliated private schools is because they tend to also be less diverse on top of being elite? Kind of makes your head spin, eh?