By Kavita Varma-White
Did you hear the one about the New York mom who sued the preschool for not preparing her kid for the Ivy League?
Sadly, folks, this isn’t a joke.
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Cute, but will it impress the Harvard admissions committee?
There is, for reals, a mom (the plaintiff, Nicole Imprescia of Manhattan) and a school (the defendant, York Avenue Preschool) and a lawsuit (plaintiff suing defendant for a refund of the $19,000/year tuition she paid).
The New York Daily News first reported about Imprescia’s beef. She claims the school jeopardized her 4-year-old daughter Lucia’s chances of getting into an elite private school (by not preparing her for the admissions exam you have to take to get into top notch/top dollar elementary schools in the city) and, therefore – wait for it, wait for it – ruined her chances of being a future Ivy Leaguer.
The lawsuit claims that the school put Imprescia’s “very smart” 4-year-old in a class with kids half her age – a class where the focus was on shapes and colors. (The York School’s website says 4-year-olds work “with one alphabet letter each week creating connections between the letter, the sound and the children’s lives.” Students are also “introduced to the works of artists represented in the many museums found within New York City.”)
“The school proved not to be a school at all, but just one big playroom,” the lawsuit says.
Again, this isn’t a joke, but if it were, maybe this would be the punch line: Imprescia pulled her daughter out of the school after just three weeks – which means the child maybe got to the letter “C.” But the school, which has a firm no-refund policy, wouldn’t give her money back. (Nanny, nanny boo-boo.)
Where to start with this story: Paying $19,000 for a preschool? Saying the school sucks after just three weeks? Filing a lawsuit because you think your 4-year-old won’t get into Harvard? We took to the blogosphere to find out what bothers people the most.
In the Jewish parenting blog Kveller.com, Jordana Horn writes about what the $19K preschool price tag is really about:
It’s more about the connections – you’re buying into the system early with the idea, as this woman has somewhat indelicately put it, of buying a ticket for the wild ride of Manhattan competitive education. You fight to get into a preschool, then an elementary school, then high school, and then the golden ticket of the decal for the back of the car that costs $19K to put in the garage all year. Fun!
Jen Doll, in the Village Voice’s Pity the Parent blog, says:
But this kind of thing has been going on forever, as long as pushy parents and pageant moms have existed, which is to say, always. Imprescia is only of interest, really, due to her gall in announcing to the world her high-minded expectations for her child, and then actually suing for her money back based on the premise that those expectations could have been destroyed in a mere three week’s time.
And we love how Babble’s Strollerderby blog tucks the story into bed. Writes Meredith Carroll:
Here’s hoping mademoiselle Lucia (and her mom) recovers from the trauma of preschool and goes on to bigger and better schools. Or at least marries well.
What do you think is the most bizarre part of this story? Is little Lucia’s mom justified in bringing the lawsuit?