HOW VERY BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES
Since this piece will be timed out by tonight, I'm posting it in its entirety.
'TRASH' TOTS RILE FANCY SCHOOL
CLASS warfare is threatening to break out at the Episcopal School, the East 69th Street institution that sits at the apex of Manhattan's private pre-school pyramid.
Parents at the pricey nursery are up in arms about the "quality" of the families whose kids are being accepted, and are blaming the director of admissions, Judith Blanton, for her more inclusionary policies.
"Parents don't like that Judith brought in 'white trash' like me," one self-deprecating parent told Page Six. "The parents on the board are upset because there are families turning down Episcopal for the first time to go to other schools. Apparently, it's because there are middle-class people in the school." And, the parent added, "There's a petition to get her out because of the quality of the people in the school."
Pia and Christopher Getty, Harvey and Eve Weinstein , Jann and Jane Wenner, Ronald Perelman and Patricia Duff, Jerry Della Femina and Judy Licht, and Edgar Jr. and Clarissa Bronfman have all sent their 4-year-olds to Episcopal to the tune of $17,000 a year.
The school's atmosphere is old-fashioned formal. Students are required to greet the director every day with a handshake and do the same when they leave.
Instead of calling teachers by their first names, the tykes address instructors with honorifics and their last names. Students also must wait for everyone in the class to sit before eating snacks.
Parents are likewise expected to behave with the utmost decorum, particularly at the mandatory weekly chapel services, whether they're Episcopalian or not.
This isn't the first time there's been a controversy surrounding the school's director of admissions. Blanton's predecessor, Cheryl A. Kelly, was asked to resign by school's board of directors in 2002 after serving for eight years.
The New York Observer reported that the firing took place because of "a cultural clash between Ms. Kelly's no-nonsense managerial approach and the school's high-powered, favor-ridden social bent," which sounds not unlike the situation with Blanton today. Blanton would only say, "We don't discuss our admissions policy." Board chairperson Joy McLendon did not return calls.