02/19/2015 Jonathan Taylor

Prejudice exposed: Tracy Crawford of Roots ‘N Wings Montessori

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”full” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]CALL TO ACTION: Please leave a review on the Roots N’ Wings Montessori’s Google+ page and Yelp page, and tweet this article to #education and #mhrm. [/dropshadowbox]

Recently men’s advocates were alerted to the comments of a Montessori school director on the website Quora in which she openly stated that she has a presumption against hiring male teachers specifically, assuming them all by default to be potential sexual predators.

She was never publicly identified. Until today.

Quora is a lot like Yahoo! Answers; people post questions, and the Quora community answers. This particular question was “Why aren’t there many men teaching in preschools and elementary schools? Do they hate being around children below the age 10?” Here are screenshots of her response and commentary:

director-montessory-preschool-trust-men-child-sexual-abuse

director-montessory-preschool-trust-men-child-sexual-abuse2

Her comments of this Montessori director are particularly disturbing on their face, but are even worse in context of the more complicated reality of child sexual abuse and the decline of educational achievement for men and boys.

The comments were soon taken down. Screenshots were uploaded to Reddit shortly after, but her name was blurred out due to Reddit’s posting requirements. Her profile picture was not blurred out, however, and we have been able to use that, as well as some simple Google searches, to identify this administrator. Her name is Tracy Crawford of Roots N’ Wings Montessori in Redwood City, California, as you can see on her Quora, LinkedIn, and Google+ profiles, all of which match seamlessly.

I’d like to call activists to write a review on the school’s Google+ page and Yelp page, and warn people of the attitude of the school’s director. Their profiles only have 9-12 reviews each, so our statements could have a significant impact.

It should be well known that men and boys currently have severe problems concerning educational achievement. One key solution that is often advocated is greater outreach and acceptance for male teachers, especially in early childhood education. “Coincidentally,” Roots N’ Wings Montessori focuses on early childhood education. Interestingly, many other Quora users commenting in the same thread as Tracy Crawford mentioned that male teachers were frequently alienated from lower education and barred from being positive role-models to children due to the kind of hysteria Crawford herself indulges in.

It should also be widely known (but unfortunately isn’t) that women are very often the sexual abusers of children as well. A study by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN), for example, discovered that 25% of sexual abuse victims were victimized by adult women.

We also periodically see media accounts of female teachers convicted (and too often given a slap on the wrist) for sexually abusing children. One notable case is that of Megan Denman from California, the same state as Roots N’ Wings Montessori. Megan believed that she should not serve any jail time for sexually abusing her students.

And why?

Because she was a woman. She literally cited the fact that other female teachers had sexually abused children and avoided jail time as the basis for her expectation that she should be allowed to follow suit. She believed – as many unfortunately do – that being a woman gave her a per se entitlement to sexually abuse children with impunity.

Despite the “concerns” of administrators like Tracy Crawford, I’ve never heard a man take the position that simply being male gave him such a right, and I’ve never seen any evidence of a widespread social permissiveness for men to do so.

But that permissiveness is a problem when women are the abusers. Just hop over to The Guardian, where Feminist Barbara Ellen argues that women who rape children should be spared punishment. Or simply follow the many other cases where female sexual abuse is dressed up as “caregiving” when perpetrated on younger children, or a “relationship” or “affair” when perpetrated on older children.

So no, I do not think that such bias against men exists because men “abuse children more than women do,” assuming that is even the case since much female sexual abuse is hidden because it is reclassified. Instead, it is clear that this prejudice exists against men for no other reason than because they are men.

Some men’s advocates may be tempted to classify Tracy Crawford as a Feminist. And depending on how you define Feminism she very well could be. Montessori schools, however, are more often known for being bastions of traditionalism, which is why they often have religious overtones as well (Roots N’ Wings is located on the property of a church, for example).

A common mindset among those who espouse traditional attitudes regarding gender is that women are supposed to have primacy over children. As for men who take an interest in educating and inspiring children to be lifelong learners, they simply don’t “know their place” if they hope to be seen as women’s equals. Combine that entitled mentality with the cowardice school administrators are rightfully well known for, and you get a person like Tracy Crawford.

There are a lot of Tracy Crawfords out there, and they are able to get away with rampant discrimination – fuelled by nothing but prejudice – behind the secrecy of closed doors. But, with our help, their actions won’t be a secret for much longer.

Let’s make the public aware of this administrator – access their Google+ and Yelp pages!

Jonathan Taylor
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Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
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About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.

Comments (22)

  1. Tracy Crawford openly states that she has a presumption against hiring male teachers because she assumes them all to be potential sexual predators. This kind of prejudice and discrimination not only harms the educational opportunities of boys, but it also also creates a blind spot for female sexual abusers. Why do you defend this kind of behavior?

    No, it is Tracy who is out of line. It is not “bullying” to expose prejudice and discrimination. It is pressure, certainly. And you are certainly complaining. But just because you have a feeling of loss doesn’t mean you’re being victimized. Sometimes it means justice is coming that should have come a long time ago.

    We know about the *one* male teacher she hired, whom she only hired because she knew him. But so what? She looks upon all other men who would apply for teaching roles with an additional cloud of mistrust and suspicion simply because they are men.

    Have you ever heard the phrase “I’m not racist, I have lots of black friends” and heard how people laugh at such a statement? That’s because they understand that there’s a difference between realizing the humanity of an individual, and acknowledging the humanity of the group that individual belongs to. We understand this with people of color. We have yet to acknowledge this when it comes to men.

    In the end, it’s Tracy’s own words that do her in. Her words unequivocally target men specifically.

    We need to acknowledge that men have equal value as teachers, full stop. Just because men and women sometimes teach differently doesn’t mean they teach better or worse overall.

     
  2. Tracy

    Johnathan – what do you want?

    “We do not practice discrimination against current or prospective students or faculty on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion age or disability. We believe in the principles of equal opportunity and have a commitment to respect for all individuals.”

    That is a statement that I believe. It is on my marketing materials and enrollment application and has been since I opened the school.

    I have had zero male applicants – ever.

    I’m sorry if you misinterpreted my words on Quora. I apologize if you find them offensive. I’ve had plenty of personal experience with men who are willing to cross sexual boundaries. I know of a school that almost closed because the owner’s own husband turned out to be a problem. Enough experience to know that the problem is real and exists.

    The safety of the children in my care is of utmost importance. I interview every potential candidate or I know them. I’ve chosen not to hire women because I did not feel that they were safe. The children are my responsibility so I make the call about each individual that they may be in contact with.

    What do you want? Is your goal really to try to destroy educational opportunities for boys?

     
    • I’ll tell you what I want. I want a man to be able to apply for a school, and teach in a school, and not face an added layer of mistrust and doubt simply because he is male. I want children of both sexes to be able to have positive role-models among men.

      Your words speak for themselves. Here, I’ll show you what you sound like:

      “The potential of theft is higher with black employees than with white. you do not automatically trust black people around merchandise. The risk of a mistake is just too high.”

      “The potential for emotional instability is just higher with women than it is with men. You can’t automatically trust women with positions of authority. The risk of a mistake is just too high.”

      How do you suppose most people would interpret those words? Do you believe those words reflect the position of someone who “believes in the principles of equal opportunity and have a commitment to respect for all individuals”?

      Enough of the wishy-washy stuff. Enough of trying to live on both sides of the fence. I’ve had enough of administrators trying to shapeshift their way out of their own words and actions. Just come out and say here in the comment section what you really believe, and what you’ve already said on Quora: you think men are generally more dangerous to children than women, you view men with a shade of mistrust that you do not view women with, and you will let that affect your hiring decisions with any individual man who may seek employment at your school.

      There are other alternatives, but then you would have to be open to changing your mind. And in my experience, administrators – especially those who are over 40 – simply don’t change.

       
      • Tracy

        What do you want from me before you stop trying to harm my school?

        I can’t give you what you want. I can’t give you automatic trust of men by everyone. People have their own experiences and make judgements. You are misinterpreting my words in the context of your own experience.

         
          • Paul Adams

            Thank you for not letting her change the topic and attempt to control the conversation.

             
          • Reality Sets In

            Jonathan, I encourage you to watch this woman’s testimonial on radical feminism(which she freed herself from) and how it is a cult. Also, how it’s ideals are showing up in “Mainstream” feminism. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LlFAd4YdQks

             
        • Reality Sets In

          These inaccurate assumptions and stereotypes are reinforced by many in the Feminist community. The interesting thing is how many more women will have to be exposed as child predators before you and others realize that it is not a gendered crime. The cat is out of the bag, and people are starting to see the truth, but you as an educator have a moral obligation to stick with the truth and not bow down to unethical social prejudice. The assumption that a woman is not capable of these crimes is putting children at risk.

           
        • JasonC

          Harm your school how? You mean harm your paycheck you sorry-excuse-for-a-human-being?

           
  3. Malcolm James

    ‘I wouldn’t hire young women, because I’ll train them up and they’ll just go off and have babies and leave work or go part time. That will hurt my business’
    How does that sound? A reasonable statement from someone trying to do the best for his business or unacceptable sexism from a bigot/dinosaur? I bet that far more women would do the above than men would abuse kids (although plenty will stay for the longer term) and that there are plenty of men whom the business would train up, only to find that they leave for some better opportunity.
    Despite the fact that Islamic terrorists are all Muslims (although a number will be converts, so it is not necessarily just a racial issue), there is justifiable outrage when anyone suggests racial profiling and targetting Muslims for enhanced security screening. However, the practice of not allowing men to sit next to children not travelling with them is widely defended, although even the most hardcore pedophile has a well enough developed self-preservation instinct not to abuse children he doesn’t know in an environment where there are loads of witnesses and there’s nowhere to hide.
    I don’t know what the neighborhood of Ms Crawford’s school is like, but a fair number of the children might lack a male role model at home. By denying them one at school, she is not erring on the side of safety, but, as Robert Franklin puts in, on the side of hidden harm. However, it is not just Ms Crawford’s fault. In a country the size of the US there is bound to be an allegation of child abuse sometime, somewhere and an aggressive lawyer might try to sue the school because it failed in its duty. Clearly, if a school has clearly done so, that is fair enough, but lawyers can get extremely creative and if it’s a case of children who have suffered harm at the hands of an abuser against an anonymous (and well insured) school authority, a judge may well rule in favor of the children out of sympathy on the grounds that ‘they could have done more’. Also, the resulting media coverage could result in reputational harm for individual schools and teachers.
    Until we can allay these fears and simply mete out the punishment to a child abuser that they deserve and accept that no vetting system can unfortunately be 100% foolproof, but that the long-term consequences of demonising large sections of the population are worse, we will continue to get situations like the one reported above.

     
    • Tracy C

      I think that you have missed the fact, the I do in fact have a very excellent male model. More to the point, he is an excellent and well qualified teacher.

       
      • Malcolm James

        I am very pleased that he was hired and is an excellent teacher, but the issue is that it appears that you were only prepared to hire him because you already knew him. if you hadn’t, he wouldn’t have got a look in, because of your suspicions of men. How many excellent men get overlooked because they don’t know the person who is hiring them? How many don’t even go into teaching because of this attitude?

         
  4. Szebran

    This:
    “she literally cited the fact that other female teachers had sexually
    abused children and avoided jail time as the basis for her expectation
    that she should be allowed to follow suit. She believed – as many
    unfortunately do – that being a woman gave her a per se entitlement to sexually abuse children with impunity.”

     
  5. Szebran

    Huh? HER OWN COMMENTS WERE QUOTED ABOVE. No one made up or assumed anything.

     
  6. DavidG

    No your not any parent so cut the crap.

     
  7. CLB11267

    I thought I’d let the dust settle a little before making a related comment. As you are all probably aware, this goes beyond one Montessori School. Here are my humiliating experiences from my time as a male Girl Scout Leader.

    Many years ago, my daughter wanted to join Girl Scouts and we went to an orientation/recruiting seminar. The district leaders started dividing us geographically to form new Troops. The group we landed in had one woman who had decades of GS experience who took the lead job but none of the other mothers would sign up (BTW, the GS rules require at least two adult leaders per Troop). I asked if I could fill the spot and the adult leader said yes. There began 8 months of pure frustration.

    One of the biggest beefs I had with the program was the general attitude of the female adult leaders. I’d say a good 30% hated the presence of male leaders and were not afraid to show their contempt. Another 50-60% sorta liked having us around to set up tents and carry heavy stuff (yeah, they’d actually say that) and the remaining 10-20% respected us as full fledged members of the organization.

    But the real stumbling block was Girl Scout policy on trips lasting more than one day. Their policy was once the sun started going down, all males had to leave. I don’t mean leave to their own nearby facilities. I mean leave the area completely and this applied to male children too. I was told this was because of past trouble with males molesting Girl Scouts. I’ve done internet searches and found one reported incident from about 20 years ago.

    Now contrast that with Boy Scouts, an organization filled with female leaders who have no special restrictions and female siblings are allowed to participate in the vast majority of events.

    Makes you wonder what Girl Scouts are trying to teach their charges about the menfolk…

     
    • I’m sorry you had to go through that. And yes, we have to question what kind of message that is sending little children.

      Thank you for sharing.

       
  8. disintelligentsia

    A shame Tracy seems to have blocked or deleted her Disqus account as I wanted her to read the experience of my father. He obtained a degree in teaching early education from Seattle Pacific University after he served in WWII. During the 50’s to the 70’s he was told to his face in no uncertain terms that he would not be hired to teach young children because he was a man. He had to settle for temporary jobs with schools and work 3-4 jobs at a time to provide for his family. He knew many others who were in the same predicament. It’s attitudes like Tracy’s that create a barrier to entry into teaching for men. My own son, now 11 and in 6th grade has had exactly one male teacher in his entire academic career from pre-K to 6th. That’s disgraceful. And it cannot be said that the teaching field just doesn’t attract men because of low income – they start generally around $42k and the average teacher’s salary in California is $70k. That doesn’t include having 3 months off during the Summer, generous time off for winter and spring breaks plus all the other sundry holidays as well as gold plated health care and generous retirement benefits. The reason why men don’t get into teaching is not about low pay – it because of sexist attitudes like those of Tracy.

     
  9. She is completely wrong if she thinks that all male teachers are just aiming for some sexual activities. It’s just a matter of training and how are you going to train your teachers to only do the things that they need to do and it is completely unfair for the part of those male teacher to be criticized by that kind of thinking from her.

     
  10. JayRaskin

    I am not sure if it is fair to single out one director of a particular school for an attitude that I am sure is quite common at all levels of childhood education. I know the director of one preschool who was interviewed by the police for four hours because a child had pooped in her pants and the director had taken off her pants and helped clean her. She was accused of touching the child’s buttocks. They asked every teacher at the school if they had ever seen her do anything inappropriate with any other child. Every teacher at that school now lives with the fear of being falsely accused of inappropriate sexual behavior in the new witch hunt atmosphere of our times.

     

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