By Jonathon Van Maren
On August 17, we reported the story of an announcement by the prestigious Tennessee all-girls school Harpeth Hall that biological boys who identified as girls could be admitted as students. The news was also covered by a range of conservative outlets and the story went viral both nationally and internationally — and this provoked a massive backlash. Within days, Harpeth Hall announced that it would be pausing the “gender diversity philosophy,” and it has been reported that staff held Zoom calls with hundreds of concerned parents and alumni over the policy.
Discussions are still ongoing, as Harpeth Hall finds itself trapped between those who insist that biological boys identify as girls are girls and the outrage they face from many parents who send their girls to a female-only school for a reason. WSMV 4 has now obtained letters highlighting internal division “within the Harpeth Hall community,” with over 1,000 donors, parents, and alumni signing a letter opposing the policy, with a follow-up anonymous letter calling for a change in school leadership.
Signatories of the letter included prominent Nashville lawyers, business leaders, and doctors. The strongly-worded letter reads as follows:
Dear Mrs. Hill and Harpeth Hall Board of Trust,
We are writing to you today on behalf of a significant number of current parents, former parents, and alumnae. The past week has been challenging for everyone, regardless of viewpoint. One thing on which we all agree is that, you, the faculty and the board, care deeply about our girls and Harpeth Hall as an institution. With that in mind, nothing can surpass a parent’s love and concern for a daughter. Adopting a policy that invites application to Harpeth Hall by anyone other than females is a critical change in the structure of the school, and by extension, has a major impact on our daughters.