Billionaire Ken Griffin, the CEO of the investment firm Citadel, criticized American public schools for pushing “woke ideology” onto students.
During a conversation with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Griffin said the “indoctrination” was “crushing” for his children.
“My children went to a phenomenal school in Chicago … but their indoctrination in woke ideology was crushing,” he said Monday at an event hosted by The Economic Club of Miami.
Griffin had moved Citadel’s headquarters from Chicago to Florida this past summer. The GOP mega-donor had given around $100 million to Republicans for the midterm elections.
He said in the conversation Monday that liberal policies on education affected his children’s learning.
“They came home very confused about whether or not the United States was a good country,” Griffin said. “And they came home confused about what they could or couldn’t say to a student who was Asian or otherwise of color.”
“My son was reprimanded for telling an Asian student he was good at math — for stereotyping,” he continued. “And it’s unbelievable to see how that destroys the minds of children who are otherwise innocent and good and don’t think about these kinds of things.”
The executive explained that the education his children receive in Florida is vastly different from their experiences in Chicago.
“Watching them transform here in school in Miami is perhaps the greatest gift Miami has given my family,” he said.
Griffin also said at the event on Monday that “taxes weren’t part of our decision to come to Florida,” and highlighted that the Sunshine State has “great schools, a great environment and your streets are safe and clean.”
He further purported that Chicago is planning to unionize school principals, an effort he believes will further hurt students’ education.
“It’s heartbreaking to see the lost battle,” Griffin said.
Griffin said his years of charitable donations in Chicago, which aimed to support low-income and underprivileged communities, were “undermined by incredibly poor policies,” which he called “soul-crushing.”
He attributed the high crime rate in Illinois to elected officials and the policies that allow criminals back on the streets.
“The city is engulfed in anarchy,” Griffin said.
Griffin intends to construct a $1 billion Citadel office in Florida. He had already put $450 million toward a Palm Beach property and purchased a Miami mansion costing more than $100 million.
He told Suarez his financial moves are not so much about the cost of taxes but more about the value he could receive for the taxes.
“Florida is a great value for that,” Griffin said.