parents sue child's private school over fundraiser

Parents Sue Son’s School After They Are Charged $50k For Finger Painting

A wealthy Manhattan couple has removed their 5-year-old child from the Upper West Side private school he attended as a kindergartener, Cathedral School of St John the Divine – where tuition typically runs around $39,000 per year. They are now suing the school for nearly half a million dollars.

The couple – Michelle Heinemann, and her investment banker husband Jon – have taken legal action, accusing the school of rigging a fund-raising auction in order to inflate the price of a kindergarten class finger painting.

The art in questions, a 30-by-30-inch finger painting consisting of the traced and cut-out hands of Hudson Cornelius Heinemann, the couple’s son, and his 17 classmates, painted and stuck to the paper was supposed to be part of a charitable auction sponsored by the school.

Each affixed and painted hand had the corresponding child’s answer to, “How do you feel when you are around art?”

The Heinemann’s  were unable to attend the event in person but agreed they would place an absentee offer for the winning bid – which they assumed would be $3,000 tops according to the suit. The Heinemann’s based their cost assessment on being told that such paintings typically sold at school fund-raisers for $500 to $1,200.

However, the Heinemann’s believe the organizers of the March 1 charity conspired and intentionally drove up the bidding to $50,000. The couple had already donated $6,000 worth of items for the auction, according to the New York Post.

In response to the outrageous sum, the Heinemann’s first attempted to resolve the issue with the school without a lawsuit but found the situation untenable.

Appalled by the handling of the situation and the alleged padding of the bids, the couple removed their son, forfeiting fees and tuition. Now they want to be compensated for the nearly $20,000 they lost along with damages as part of the $415,000 suit filed in Manhattan’s Supreme Court, reports MSN.

Additionally, the lawsuit states, “The plaintiff’s son was consistently left out of school exhibits and films and was made to go last at nearly everything. On one occasion, plaintiffs’ 5-year-old son was relegated to the role of door-holder and ordered to hold the door for all of the other students.”

[Image via Shutterstock]

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