The “Obviously you’re not happy here” Ploy

Plaintiff’s allege that Elizabeth English is very adept at intimidating parents and staff that offer any form of opposition to her through veiled threats to withdraw from the school or leave their jobs voluntarily.

We have received and will be publishing stories of current and former Archer parents and employees that document plaintiff’s allegations re: Elizabeth English’s penchant for threats and actual retaliation whenever she feels her authority is being questioned. The following story is included in the new amended complaint.

It involves a mom who had confided in a board member she thought was a friend concerning Elizabeth English’s fund raising strategy in the context of spending about $1.4 million of Archer’s money to renovate a mansion she is provided as part of her compensation. The next day, she was summoned in Ms. English’s office and told “obviously you are not happy here”  and she made the parents of their middle schooler so certain she would retaliate against their daughter that they decided that day they had to find a new school.


From the Amended Complaint: One family told Michael a story that is typical of others he heard. The woman was very active in the parent group and was very well known in the Archer community. She had two daughters at the school and the older daughter decided to transfer to another school for athletic reasons. In a discussion initiated by a board member about that decision the conversation drifted and this mother spoke openly about her concern that English was making a major mistake by hosting a dinner at her newly renovated mansion provided by Archer.

This mother knew the contractor and that the renovation was over budget and cost about $1.4 million. She confided in the board member that since there was no specific capital campaign to pay for this, that any potential donor might think twice about giving money to an institution that could spend so much on lavish renovations. 

The next day she was summoned into English’s office and immediately confronted. English said “my board tells me everything” and that since her criticisms indicated she was “obviously not happy at Archer” she ought to transfer her other daughter as well. Though the mother insisted that her younger daughter loved Archer and was very happy, English made it so clear that she was no longer welcome that despite the wishes of the parents and the daughter they had to “get out of there.”

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