This website, derived from a legal action, Josephson vs. The Archer School for Girls, focuses on issues and concerns of parents and students made vulnerable to bullying and abuse by malicious and authoritarian school administrators by unfair mandatory arbitration clauses in enrollment contracts and vindictive use of authority by school administrators. It is designed to provide parents, educational professionals, board members and legislators with information about the legal duties, professional responsibilities and moral obligations of schools to provide a safe and ethical school environment.
Its roots are embedded in the Josephson vs. Archer lawsuit alleging unprofessional, unethical and illegal conduct by Elizabeth English, head of school the Archer School for Girls, a private school in Los Angeles. It was filed by Michael Josephson (founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics and a prominent author and radio commentator on ethics) and his wife Anne (founder of JAG Gym, a well-known children’s activity center) on behalf of two of their children who were emotionally abused and ultimately ejected from the school as a result of Ms. English’s vindictive efforts to punish the Josephsons for objecting to her actions.
The Josephson made extensive efforts to resolve their grievances without litigation but after the Archer Board of Trustees refused to even investigate the extensively documented claims, they decided they had to go to court. Ms. English and some Archer Board members responded by a character assassination campaign to discredit the Josephsons and malign their children, permanently banned all the Josephsons from ever appearing on campus (including two other daughters who had already graduated from Archer and were in no way involved in the circumstances giving rise to the lawsuit) in retaliation and they unleashed an army of lawyers to intimidate and punish the Josephsons. Needing a forum to defend themselves and explain to the many people who knew and trusted them the purpose and nature of the increasingly contentious dispute and unable to air and prove their grievances in open court, they created this website.
Another goal of the website is to provide a forum for parents and lawyers to discuss the inherent unfairness of mandatory arbitration clauses which shield many private schools from accountability for arbitrary and capricious actions by all-powerful school administrators.
Ultimately, the Josephsons chose to voluntarily dismiss their legal complaint (reserving the right to re-file their claims in the future) rather than subject them to an arbitration process that could not provide the remedies they sought – public accountability and the creation of legal precedent forcing Archer and other private schools to govern their conduct by basic principles of fairness and due process.
While it will remain an archive of the lawsuit and special concerns of parents and students vulnerable to bullying and abuse by malicious and authoritarian school administrators, the purpose of the website has expanded to provide parents, educational professionals, board members and legislators with information about the legal duties, professional responsibilities and moral obligations of schools to provide a safe and ethical school environment.