NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Boyd Law Group, PLLC, announced today it has filed a law suit on behalf of a client, Mariangela Kefalas, a teacher who had the courage to report her concerns to the principal of what she believed to be sexual molestation by an intern at The International Preschools (IPS), a prestigious Manhattan school located in the shadow of the United Nations headquarters complex.
“We are terribly concerned that our client was fired for expressing concerns to her employer, The International Preschools,” said Patrick J. Boyd, Boyd Law Group’s founding partner. “This sends the wrong message to teachers, one that encourages them to be quiet instead of looking out for the kids. Who’s watching your child when the witness is fired?”
Ms. Kefalas first reported her observations to IPS in May this year, but the school initially dismissed her evidence and fired her less than a week later. However, the allegations against 22-year old Danish teaching intern, Malthe Thomsen, were taken seriously when Ms. Kefalas went to legal authorities with evidence that he may have sexually abused some of the pre-school-aged students. The Dane was later charged on 15 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, all charges pending.
This investigation took place only because Ms. Kefalas came forward. Her initial reporting to the school went essentially unaddressed. It was only after she voiced those same concerns to the proper outside legal authorities that a DA’s investigation was undertaken and an arrest made.
The Boyd Law Group believes the sudden termination is blatant whistleblower retaliation for her complaint. Ms. Kefalas had no previous documented performance issues prior to her termination, and had already accepted an offer to continue on as a teacher at IPS in the present school year.
“We leave it to the appropriate authorities to evaluate and determine the propriety of Mr. Thomsen’s conduct,” Mr. Boyd added. “However, Ms. Kefalas should never have been punished for looking out for the interests of the young children under her care. She was required by law to report her suspicions of abuse, and as a result she lost her job.”
Everyone wants the best possible education for our children. We expect, at a bare minimum, that their security in an educational environment will be protected. All schools, especially those with the substantial resources of IPS, should take the concerns of its teachers seriously, especially when the physical and emotional security of its students is at stake. The Boyd Law Group looks forward to fighting for their client, so that teachers at schools everywhere will not be discouraged or intimidated and will freely speak out whenever a child’s safety is in question.