Horace Mann School in New York City is well-known for its cut-throat, student-eat-student culture. According to Joe Coscarelli at Daily Intelligencer, one very enterprising (and very evil) student there kicked it up a notch by sending a letter to several colleges where one of his or her Horace Mann classmates is planning to apply, intending to torpedo the classmate’s chance of being accepted. (If you have a copy of this letter, or know what it contained, email us immediately.)
St. David's isn't the only private school in the city closing on account of swine flu. Horace Mann is closing for the rest of the week and will reopen after Memorial Day. Not that any of the kids there actually have the virus. But as anxious, obsessive Horace Mann students will no doubt appreciate, the school just wants to play it really, really safe. [Bloomberg]
Horace Mann, the tony New York private school, was founded to get kids into Harvard. Silda Wall, ex-governor Eliot Spitzer's wife, is on the committee there. It's been much in the news lately—from student Facebook scandals featured in New York mag to fired Horace Mann professor Andrew Trees's satirical prep-school novel, Academy X. Now students have gotten into Facebook trouble again, a tipster tells us, this time by aping a South Park episode:
Disgraced ex-governor Eliot Spitzer recently headed off for a summer vacation with his wife and daughters in tow. Just before the family headed out of town, one member of the family celebrated a very special event: 18-year-old daughter Elyssa Spitzer attended her senior prom. The Horace Mann graduate—and soon-to-be Harvard student—hit up the Pierre in Midtown for the big event. Beforehand, though, Elyssa had to suffer through that all-too-familiar rite of passage—the parental meet-and-greet—introducing her date, Sam, to her dad. (
Curiously, though, Silda Wall Spitzer was absent from the pre-prom festivities. Update: A family rep informs us that Mrs. Spitzer was, in fact, present. She just wasn't photographed.)
Little public figure Charles Stam was the villain of New York Magazine's cover story on the terrible nonsense that goes on at tony prep school Horace Mann. Stam harassed a teacher for being a liberal feminist, and even lied about having a tape of her calling him a Nazi in an attempt to get her fired. He was promptly elected student body president! We posted a small picture of him from the Horace Mann yearbook earlier this week, and that made Stam sad. He emailed Gawker boss Nick Denton to ask that we remove his "personal material" from the site. Instead, we will reprint his email. It's after the jump, along with the sad tale of school head Thomas Kelly's toxic waste playground for the poor kids, and why it's all Eliot Spitzer's fault.
So you read the New York cover story about the mess at high-falutin' private prep school Horace Mann, but maybe you wanted more. Maybe you wanted to meet the faces behind the names. You are in luck, kind reader. With help from SECRET GAWKER SOURCES we found photos and bios for two of the anonymous rich assholes who gave the story its depressing color—the wealthy trustee mom whose daughter inadvertently engineered the whole scandal, and "Jeffrey Robbins," the Young Republican anti-Max Fischer who rose from liberal-baiting history class gadfly to misogynist class president. After the jump, meet the leaders of tomorrow!
Remember New York's cover story this week about the Horace Mann teacher who was shocked—shocked—to learn that students at that tony prep school exchange bitchy gossip and say terrible things on the Facebook? The alarmed history teacher—who, for his role in publicizing the Facebook fracas was forced to take a sabbatical—is Peter Sheehy, husband of Us Weekly editor Janice Min! So, obviously, this "gossiping about people" thing was totally foreign to him. (J/k! Us is the nice one.) SAD UPDATE: Ok. Former Horace Mann history teacher Peter Sheehy's current gig? "Research intern" for award-winning internet blog Talking Points Memo. No, seriously. [NYM]
Henry Kissinger once said, "Academic fights are more brutal than our fights in the real world because the stakes are so low, so the passions are very high." He was referring to University politics, but the quote also applies to Horace Mann, the tony private school in Riverdale, New York. Horace Mann was founded in the 19th century to get bratty kids into Harvard, and that honorable goal continues into the 21st century, despite satirical novels, nasty Facebook groups and now incriminating New York magazine cover stories. After reading New York's story, you may want to give more consideration to Fieldston.
Andrew Trees—the teacher fired from Riverdale's tony Horace Mann School in January and the author of Academy X, a novel satirizing life inside an elite private school very much like Horace Mann!— filed suit today in Bronx County's New York State Supreme Court. He charges the school with breach of contract and defamation. Trees has been awful quiet since his firing—now we know why!
We hear that New York magazine writer Alex Morris is working on a story about the Horace Mann brouhaha—teacher Andrew Trees got fired after his novel Academy X came out, headmaster Tom Kelly censored the school paper when it wanted to write an article about it, a bunch of fancy academics got all hot and bothered and sent Kelly a letter and petition, and so far Trees hasn't been reinstated. Whew! But some in the school community are wondering why headmaster Kelly isn't taking as hard a line with another teacher who's written a suspiciously similar book—which was just bought by The N, Viacom's tween channel, for a pilot. It's about a high school teacher who sleeps with the parent of one of the kids he tutors!
The Horace Mann Record may have been prevented from publishing that letter from over 60 academics protesting the presumed firing of Dr. Andrew Trees, but they haven't been disallowed from interviewing the man himself about his departure. Unfortunately, it seems that they have been prevented from asking any remotely interesting questions. In this interview, we learn only that Trees "hopes to continue teaching" and does not plan a sequel to Academy X, the roman a clef that may have prompted his dismissal. "The students are smart and very sophisticated in their ability to analyze things," he says, which quite possibly means that he gives them credit for being able to read between the lines.
Dr. Andrew Trees, the author of a roman a clef about posh Riverdale prep school Horace Mann, remains fired from that institution. But his friends and former colleagues have rallied together on his behalf! Over 60 academics signed a letter to the editor of the Horace Mann Record—which was then prevented from publishing the letter by head of school Tom Kelly. Even new Record editor Elyssa Spitzer (yes, that's Eliot's daughter!) could not sway the discourse in the direction of free speech. The unprinted letter is after the jump.
In this week's issue of The Record, the student newspaper of the posh Riverdale prep school where all our bosses' bosses send their offspring, there's a very inspiring paean to free speech. It concerns Dr. Andrew Trees, whose "forced departure," according to letter-writer and fellow faculty member Dr. Peter Sheehy, "raises serious questions for us as an academic institution." It sure does! Questions like, "Why'd they fire him now, and not when his Horace Mann-slamming roman a clef came out last year?"