The purpose of this site is to provide members of the Archer School for Girls community (and other interested parties) with complete facts and updates concerning Josephson vs. Archer et al, a lawsuit in which one of the school’s most prominent families have alleged a wide range of improprieties against their children by the Head of School, Elizabeth English and members of the Board of Trustees.

Anne and Michael Josephson, the parents of two daughters who they believe were very seriously injured by malicious and vindictive actions of Ms. English were reluctant to bring this action and to put the spotlight on The Archer School for Girls not only because they have deep positive feelings about many faculty and staff at the school, but because they knew that a public controversy would subject them and their children to defensive strategies designed to discredit them. You can read more about Anne and Michael and their two daughters at this sight under the tab “Parties” but you should at least know that Anne is a well-known businesswoman and was a member of the Archer Board of Trustees until forced to resign over this situation and Michael Josephson is founder of the nationally prominent Joseph & Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics, a nationally known ethics expert and radio commentator and recipient of America’s Integrity Award presented by former President Reagan.

Two beliefs motivated the decision to create this website: 1) the Josephson’s are certain this is not an isolated incident, that there are other families who were adversely affected by the improper use of authority by the head of school but these families have been too intimidated to speak out. 2)  The Josephsons know that false and misleading statements about their motivations, characters and the nature and status of the lawsuit itself have and are being disseminated by the Defendants. This website is designed to present in full detail, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The site is, of course, not impartial but we are dedicated to fairness and in that spirit the defendants and their lawyers are invited to offer their perspective on all the postings on this site. Their submissions will be prominently posted unedited. 

A - Josephson vs. Archer 3

Comments 4

  1. I read about the problems between the Archer School and your family. I’m a bit confused. Your wife was a Trustee and your girls attended the school. It wasn’t until the last child there were problems. It sounds like your last daughter couldn’t control her behavior with the staff of the school. Having taught for nearly four decades, when I read that you daughter had a tantrum over an AP test, I thought maybe the program was just too much and too demanding for her. If she had a breakdown to the point that she couldn’t appear before a disciplinary committee then it seems reasonable to coming to school for her classes would have been too much…which you and your wife should have realized. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either she had a breakdown or not. The school is an elite school with a pricy fee. A pricy fee doesn’t mean no consistent standards. Because the school has to deal with ‘special’ children that each parent thinks their child is ‘special’, with a demanding program, they need to enforce the rules consistently. It appears that your daughter was given numerous chances with her behavior. It also appears that your her daughter had other conflicts in her live that have been affecting her behavior, but no staff member should have to suffer abuse from a student. Perhaps you should reflect your ethics that you profess and evaluate your daughter’s behavior over the years at school. You shouldn’t complain about arbitration when you, as a lawyer, and your wife, as a former Trustee, agreed to it when enrolling your daughters.
    Obviously, I don’t know all the facts on either side but this seems more personal than a traumatized daughter. Perhaps you and the head master should use dueling pistols on the lawn.

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      I can understand the impulse to make snap judgments and snide remarks but I think you should know that no matter how you characterize or interpret the facts and motive, the impact of the decisions made by Archer’s Head of School had a momentous life-changing impact on all of us, especially the two girls who were, effectively thrown out of school.

      We have laid everything out — our motives, our claims, our evidence. I think the more time you spend on our sight the more you will understand and possibly even agree with our position.

      You are right, one dimension of this is personal, deeply personal. As a father I had to witness Ms. English deliberately inflict intense pain on my daughters time and time again out of what I believe was ego and animus. I will not rest until I do all I can to vindicate them and encourage other families to stand up for themselves and their daughters.

      I understand there will be sincere folks like you who will disagree our family’s position. Perhaps you would react differently if you witnesses your children being bullied – all I can say is I am very sincere in my belief that the kind of conduct that occurred in this case should not be permitted. And whether I am right or merely self-righteous, there is no way that it is in Archer’s best interests to keep insulting us and trying to force us to stop talking about this case. The school has yet to make any sincere effort at negotiating or shown any indication that they will hold Ms. English accountable for her conduct and so it subjects itself to this resource-draining and reputation damaging lawsuit. – Michael Josephson

  2. Mr. Josephson reading the L.A. Times articles struck such a raw nerve in me. My daughter was subjected to severe bullying and an inept administration at an elite school (The Mirman School) this past year. Due to her age and a last minute coming to their senses we withdrew our child quietly. Your story I can so empathize with because of what we endured and continue to slowly recover from. For The Archer School to insist that your
    daughter appear before a panel in her professionally backed fragile state utterly surprised me . I then was in complete shock with their logic that if she was “that fragile” then somehow she couldn’t perform in their curriculum. What was THAT conclusion supported by? I admire you ALL for taking your courageous stance. So many parents are fearful to ever voice their true feelings because of the retribution you are now experiencing. God forbid our children go “off track”. You are doing what these schools fear most, which is make their abberation public. I am sure your action will inspire others to come forward from your former school and from other prestigeous schools as well. It will also serve as notice to all these elite schools that people like you are out there and willing to go public which is what they fear most. I can tell you we did find a solution for our daughter and although this past year was one of our most challenging times as a family we are now just beginning to heal for which we are so grateful. You are all in my prayers.

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      Thank you for your letter of support and please accept my condolences regarding the trauma you went through with your daughter. If we can keep it in the courts (as opposed to the processes of arbitration shrouded in secrecy, we hope our lawsuit will result in a high level of accountability and some major reforms in the way private schools sometimes conduct disciplinary processes. I certainly do not think all private school administrators are bad people, I am not even saying our nemesis, Elizabeth English, is a bad person. The problem is that without active oversight by parents and the board, people who have absolute power (parading under the term “sole discretion”) is apt to misuse it especially when they let their egos and personal feelings obstruct professional objectivity. As Lord Acton said, “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

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