Barnhart School, Ethan Williamson and Santa Anita Church Sued by Parent

Former Barnhart School Parent Files Lawsuit Against Barnhart School, Head of School Ethan Williamson and Santa Anita Church, Parent Company of the School.
 
 
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Ethan Williamson
Santa Anita Church

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Education

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Arcadia - California - US

ARCADIA, Calif. - Sept. 8, 2013 - PRLog -- James Bullock, the parent of two former students of the Barnhart School in Arcadia, CA, filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the school as well as its parent company, the Santa Anita Church Corporation, and its head of school Ethan David Williamson. The suit alleges, among other things, that Williamson, newly hired for the 2012-2013 school year, discriminated against Bullock's daughter, a Type 1 juvenile diabetic. Federal Law recognizes Type 1 juvenile diabetes as a disability. Bullock's older child had been a student at Barnhart for five years, and his younger daughter was beginning her third year when Williamson began at the school. According to the suit, Williamson's administration attempted to impose rules which would restrict the Plaintiff's ability to access and care for his daughter, then 7 years old, and would marginalize and isolate her from her peers. “They wanted our daughter separated from other students, to meet with us in different locations and to leave class 10-15 minutes early each time she needed testing and insulin,” says Bullock. “The whole thing was absurd, not to mention illegal. Ultimately she would have missed out on hundreds of hours of peer time and education each year.” The suit further claims that, when Bullock confronted school administration about the rules, Williamson retaliated by immediately expelling both of his children. “He demanded a meeting with us, then indicated our children were no longer enrolled in Barnhart because our communications, specifically our ‘tone, tenor and word choice,’ were unacceptable.”

Mr. Bullock spent the next year calling, emailing and writing the Barnhart Board of Directors and Santa Anita Church Board, but both Boards refused to meet with him or hear his allegations. "It all seemed so surreal," said Bullock. "We were dedicated to that school and that community for five years. We gave of ourselves in so many ways. We volunteered, ran and organized events... we were even Cub Scout and Girl Scout leaders. I even lead the Halloween Parade for years, decorated and dressed in character for BPG lunches, we gave our all to the school." Mr. Bullock's children themselves volunteered as school ambassadors at open houses, represented the school at church events and interfaith celebrations and his son was a member of the Barnhart Chorus. The hiring of Ethan Williamson coincided with the termination of several key staff members, including the school librarian, Mrs. Yao. "The school was in sad shape," Bullock continued. “Without Mrs. Yao the kids were left without a library. The very same day Williamson expelled our children I had volunteered that morning to run the library so it could be reopened."

Mr. Bullock has also filed suit in Federal Court accusing the school and church of violating his daughter's Civil Rights. “We trusted that school with our children,” Bullock adds. “We let our kids build friendships and feel safe there. I can’t think of anything worse than for a child to suddenly lose something so important and not understand why. In this case our family wasn’t just excluded from the school. We were ripped from it, cruelly and unapologetically. I felt like we had no choice but to fight back for our kids.”

To follow developments, visit the blog about the cases at shameonbarnhart.com
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Tags:Barnhart School, Ethan Williamson, Santa Anita Church
Industry:Education
Location:Arcadia - California - United States
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