Letter to teachers and staff August 28, 2014

To faculty and staff,

Greetings. I hope you had a restful and rewarding summer.

I don’t know if you have been keeping up with the saga of the Josephson family’s dispute with Ms. English and the board (we dropped Archer from the action last week). See summary of developments or visit the website at www.JosephsonvsArcher.com. You may also want to see Josephsons’ Personal Note.

I truly apologize if our efforts to be sure the Archer community really knows what is going with this suit annoys or offends you. If you don’t want this information, please just stop reading here and ask us take you off the mailing list.

If you do care, however, one of the most significant and revealing developments is that Ms. English and the Board rejected our most recent offer to settle the entire action without any money damages. The offersought only three things: 1) Establish reasonable policies concerning situations where a student is removed or not allowed to re-enroll because of a parents conduct. 2) Modify the arbitration clause so it does not create unreasonable barriers or require such secrecy that the school can insulate itself from accountability even for serious abuse (e.g., Jerry Sandusky). 3) The board  must conduct a full, independent investigation of the allegations in our lawsuit.

It is not clear what Ms. English and the board expect to gain by continuing this resource-draining and reputation-damaging litigation. It would seem that as the school tries to recover from the enormous loss of its two exceptional college counselors and copes with growing problems with the community concerning its expansion plans, attention and money could be directed to more constructive uses.

Yesterday, English’s lawyers won a long anticipated ruling that all claims we have against Ms. English and the board must be presented, if at all, in a highly restricted secret arbitration process. This arbitration process requires parent to pay at least $4,000 a day for an arbitrator and it prevents parents from gathering the evidence needed to prevail – and it subjects the parents to having to pay Archer’s attorneys fees – apparently, already over $200,000.

Though we hoped otherwise, we knew that this ruling was likely. At every turn the lawyers representing Ms. English and the board have thrown massive resources at us seeking to bully and intimidate us into submission with failed gag orders and threats.

These efforts simply strengthen our family’s resolve and though we did not win the first round, our effort to reform Archer’s policies and practices is not over. We intend to appeal the court’s decision and continue to pursue our case in the court of public opinion in the hope that Archer’s leadership will change so that the institution we have loved since 2005 is restored to the mission-driven, student-centered school it was when we started.

Sincerely,

Michael Josephson

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