A fancy New York prep school is in trouble for allegedly putting press before the pupils. The headmaster at the Claremont Prep School allegedly fired the school psychologist for reporting a student was a likely victim of child abuse.
According to a lawsuit reported by the New York Post, the headmaster was friends with the boy’s family and feared word would get out to other parents that the school would actually report abuse cases.
A note to Headmaster Irwin Schlacter: it’s called mandated reporter status, and everyone knows about it. According to New York State law, a lengthy list of people who work with children are required to report “suspected child abuse or maltreatment when, in their professional capacity, they are presented with reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or maltreatment.” In a subsection on school officials, not only are school psychologists listed but school administrators as well.
Which means if former school psychologist Gabriella Johr’s lawsuit – which alleges Schlacter told her not to report that the boy had cuts and bruises from a fight with his mom or that the child had alleged his mother hit him – is true, it wasn’t just up to her to make the report. The headmaster was duty-bound to report it as well.
The school’s mission statement says it “is committed to helping our students reach their academic, social, and emotional potential in a challenging and supportive environment which embraces family, community building, and citizenship.” Part of a school’s supportive environment is supposed to be a safety net, even when Mom and Dad are footing the bill.
With tuition at Claremont sitting around $31,500 this sounds like a story straight out of Gossip Girl. But there’s no XOXO in this parent-teacher association.
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