The Ideal School Cover-Up

Mar 28, 2017 by

People send their children to private schools because things happen there that would be impossible in city schools. So true. Case in point:

Protection of children is far from ideal, according to a lawsuit alleging that a six-year old student at ironically- named  The Ideal School, on the Upper West Side, was put in a headlock, pinched, had his face bloodied by punches and was further humiliated by a school bus driver whose drivers license had been suspended. The driver’s record included charges of assault, endangering the welfare of a child, DUI and harassment.  He has 14 prior convictions.

The bus driver was not a school employee, but clearly he should have been vetted by someone along the way.  And the seemingly fastidious evasion of responsibility by the school officials was a scandal, to say the least. And indeed The Ideal School folks said the least. For as long as they could.

As soon as the injured child arrived at school around 9 a.m., he notified the school administration, whereupon he was allegedly interrogated for nearly 5 hours. Perhaps they just wanted to be sure of the facts and avoid rushing to judgement?

Impossible and illegal.

The Ideal School never told the child’s parents what happened. There was no communication until they were confronted at around 4 p.m. by the child’s father, who called the school after a different driver had phoned him to inquire how his son was doing.

If the allegations are borne out, the school’s behavior is less suggestive of a thorough investigation than it is of a meticulous cover-up. The statement they finally made was cold, accountability-dodging and almost self-congratulatory.

They said that no school employee had anything to do with the misadventure and that they had never contracted the bus company.

That begs the question. Nobody claimed that the driver was a staff member.  What’s disturbing and potentially incriminating is that the administration convened, met at length about the incident and acted as though they had implemented a strategy of secrecy.

Who said there’s no such thing as an ideal “cop-out”?

The child is badly shaken up and is upset at the thought of returning to The Ideal School, according to his father, who wants to transfer him to a more ideal school.

I’m familiar with hundreds of New York City public schools. Some of their administrators deserve harsh criticism and are under-qualified academically and in character.. But in each and every one of our schools, what happened at The Ideal School could never have occurred.

Our public schools are public trusts. Even the most challenged and so-called “failing.” The father of this victim cannot rewind his regret. But he can start over. He should enroll his child in any of our age-suitable public schools. All of them are safe bets.

Ron Isaac


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