Changing Purpose: Creating a Safe and Ethical School Environment

As the Josephson vs. Archer lawsuit winds down, this site will be converted to “The Legacy of Josephson vs. Archer: Creating a Safe and Ethical School Environment.”  Its purpose will be to provide parents, educational professionals, board members and legislators with information about the legal duties, professional responsibilities and moral obligations of school administrators, faculty, staff, and board members to provide a safe and ethical school environment.

Safe Ethical Environment

A safe and ethical environment assures the physical and emotional well-being of students by holding all administrators, faculty and staff accountable to teach, enforce, advocate, and model trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship (the Six Pillars of Character).

The site will provide a resource of exemplary and model standards, commentaries, critiques, news summaries and recommendations that bear on the safety and ethical quality of certain policies, procedures and practices either advocated or tolerated by schools.

We refer to this site as the legacy of Josephson vs. Archer because it evolved out of a website originally designed to provide information about the status of a lawsuit filed in May of 2014 against the Archer School for Girls (a prominent private school in West Los Angeles, CA); the Head of School, Elizabeth English, and members of the Board of Trustees by Michael and Anne Josephson and two of their children (Child 1 and Child 2).

The Josephsons primary objective was hold Elizabeth English and her Board of Trustees publicly accountable for unprofessional and illegal conduct that injured their children AND to establish, reform or clarify California law by:

  1. Preventing Archer and other private schools from imposing an onerous and unfair mandatory arbitration processthat effectively shields the school and its administrators from liability and public accountability for illegal and unprofessional actions against children and their parents.
  2. Holding Archer and other schools to established legal standards of fairness and good faith by denying administrators like Elizabeth English the right to engage in the arbitrary, capricious and vindictive use of power against students and their parents.
  3. Assure that administrators such as Elizabeth English who blatantly violate the law and standards of educational professionalism, and governing boards who fail to exercise their oversight and other responsibilities are publicly accountable for their actions in an open and transparent process governed by due process (as opposed to the secret process outlined in the mandatory arbitration clause).
  4. Creating a cause of action for educational malpractice when an educator blatantly and intentionally violates recognized professional standards for the imposition of sanctions against students and parents.
  5. Establishing the legal principal that students cannot be effectively  expelled and otherwise seriously sanctioned because one parent seeks to hold the school to its own established policies and indicated a willingness to seek judicial relief for conduct deemed illegal.
  6. Establishing the legal principle that governing boards of educational institutions are legally responsible to exercise reasonable oversight and due care to prevent illegal and improper conduct against students and parents. [See the Original and final version of the Josephson’s allegations (1st Amended Complaint) in the JosephsonvsArcher/Pleadings tab above].

Public Accountability Goals.

Archer’s army of lawyers were able to deny the Josephsons their day in court by convincing the judge that their claims could only be pursued in a secret arbitration proceed. Thus, they were never able to proving their case in court and obtain judicial ruling on their factual and legal claims.

Nevertheless, the Josephsons, through this website and other communication platforms, have pursued justice in the court of public opinion,. Thus, they have exposed the conduct of Ms. English and the complicity of her board to public scrutiny (despite continuous unsuccessful efforts to force them to refrain from giving the public access to facts that will permit them to judge for themselves the competence and character of Ms. English).

Law Reform Goals. 

The Josephsons remain committed to pursuing their law reform efforts and will use the modified version of this site and other advocacy measures to pursue those changes

heir goal was to assure that neither Elizabeth English nor participating board members would never be held publicly accountable to explain and answer for conduct the Josephsons knew a jury would find reprehensible and indefensible (the conduct is detailed and documented in the Josephsons’ legal action and in numerous posts to the Josephson vs Archer portion of this website).T

Background

Michael Josephson (a nationally prominent radio commentator, author and consultant on ethics and character development) and Anne Josephson (a highly successful business woman and a member of the board of trustees of the Archer School) made the difficult decision to challenge the decisions and conduct of a school principal, Elizabeth English and the powerful Board of Trustees of the Archer School for Girls despite the prospect of enormous financial and reputational costs.  (For more background see a comprehensive Interview.)

The Future.

The failure of the legal system to protect their children and limit the abuse of power by a self-important school administrator who demanded and abused the powers of a third world dictator motivated Michael Josephson to make the JosephsonvsArcher.com website a source of information and a platform for advocacy for better laws and policies to protect other families at Archer or other schools.

The conduct, rationalizations, and legal maneuvers of Ms. English and the Archer Board provide an instructive case study of what not to do and they demonstrate the need for the kinds of reforms this site advocates.

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