Friday, December 12, 2008

Possible Bullying Scandal at Miss Porter's

While we're discussing bullying, you might be interested to know that Miss Porter's School, a classic "ticket to power" boarding (and day) school much like Andover, Exeter and Hotchkiss, is being sued by a girl, Tatum Bass, who claims she was bullied there by many of her fellow students. Not only is the school itself being sued, but also the headmaster, Katherine Windsor, is being sued personally.

Miss Bass claims, among many other things, that she was scorned and called "retarded" because she has ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

I have no idea whether Miss Bass was bullied or if so by whom, what happened or what the school could (or could not) have done to prevent or stop it. But if wealthy, privileged and powerful girls at one of our most respected traditional institutions can bully, who and where do we know is immune from bullying?

No one and no place.

What do you think?


StatMama said...

I think there is even more potential for bullying in situations like that. We're talking about the most highly competitive of people. But you'd want to think their higher standards would have less tolerance for such garbage. Apparently not. The world needs to get tougher on bullying, and this is a responsibility that falls largely in the lap of the schools.

Molly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Molly said...

As a graduate of Miss Porter's (2002), I'd just like to thank you for posting without getting caught up in the hearsay. You ask a valid question, and you ask it in a way that doesn't raise anyone's hackles.

(sorry, reposting because of typo!)

Jeff Deutsch said...

Hello StatMom,

As my childhood favorite superhero, Spiderman, famously put it: With great power comes great responsibility. As you might recall, he had just defaulted on a great responsibility indeed.

And so do ordinary mortals sometimes. Many of us don't like to acknowledge it, but that includes respected and powerful people.

If in fact students, faculty and administrators at Miss Porter's School are among them - which remains to be seen - they won't be the first or the last examples.

Hello Molly,

Thank you very much! I pride myself on my objectivity and fairness.

Also, I see you pride yourself on your attention to detail. I thought I was the only person to delete and re-submit a comment due to spelling issues or typos. I especially appreciate your willingness to admit your error. Good for you!

Jeff Deutsch

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post. I also just recently found out about this autism program, never knew that such was available. Did you ever hear about such programs before? Anyhows, keep up your blog posts, look forward to reading them.

Jeff Deutsch said...

Good morning Konnie,

Thank you for the link. I didn't see anything specifically about AS, autism or similar items there...could you please point me to whether they cater to Aspie or autistic children?

To everyone,

Please note that this blog is for discussing AS, autism, related neurological issues and appropriate subjects such as bullying. I have no doubt that many people have strong views about what happened at Miss Porter's School; I ask only that you please confine those arguments to other, more appropriate fora.

(I've already had to delete a comment by "MrsTiff" about that; it included no contact or other personal information and her profile was empty, so I have not been able to discuss this with her privately.)

Thank you very much for your courtesy,

Jeff Deutsch

Anonymous said...

That's so heartbreaking.

I will never understand bullying as long as I live. Why do people have to attack those they don't understand?! I get it from a logical standpoint (i.e people hurt because they hurt ect) but from a personal standpoint I'll never understand it. I could never look at another human being and think that I have any right to cause them harm. -sighs- I wish schools would set up better protection for students. Schools need to spend time as well to educate the bully. Teach diversity, teach anger managment, teach honesty.