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Can Trinity School fight the class war? Trinity School’s headmaster, John Allman, sent shock waves through the city’s private-school world by calling out parental entitlement and self-interest.

The Times reports that Allman wrote a letter pointing the finger at:

consumerist families that treat teachers and the school in entirely instrumental ways, seeking to use us exclusively to advance their child’s narrow self-interest.” He called for a dismantling of “this default understanding of Trinity as a credentialing factory,” warning that without it, students would merely ascend to “a comfortable perch atop a cognitive elite that is self-serving, callous and spiritually barren.” Without a shift in ethos toward greater commitments to the common good, toward social justice and activism, he said in the letter, “I am afraid we are, for a majority of our students, just a very, very expensive finishing school.

Allman further wrote:

We seek to incorporate public service and civic activism into all aspects of our program in part because we believe that individualism unredeemed by a commitment to purposes beyond the self leads to unhappiness and meaninglessness. Attentiveness to others is essential to well-being.