The world of elite New York private schools is in turmoil because of one mother who’s conducting a smear campaign across multiple social media platforms against the prestigious Trinity School, where her daughter has a “prized position in the second grade.” Parents love to complain about their kids’ schools, but this is some next-level, aggressive stuff. Seema Kalia’s hysterics were too much even for denizens of UrbanBaby.
Kalia has been spreading rumors of alleged financial wrongdoing by the school’s trustees on Twitter, Facebook, and UrbanBaby. It’s gotten to the point where the school is threatening to expel her little daughter, because Kalia’s accusations are baseless and she shows no signs of stopping. Apparently shit really went off in December, when the school didn’t offer a coveted kindergarten spot to the family’s young son.
Examples of typical tweets from Kalia:
And so forth. Same on Facebook, and on parenting site UrbanBaby, where parents are in a lather over “SK.” I’ve just come off the terrifying UrbanBaby boards (you can thank me later), and the mommies over there are vascillating between horror, curiosity, and anger. Not a lot of support for SK. A typical posting: “Imagine the amount of time that she has spent on inventing this rather than with her children.” Bonus points for the guilt trip. And of course, rumor-mongering: “Regarding SK, and this is not a fake. Let’s just say that I have come across her in NY in some non-school related dealings, and she is certifiably vicious and insane. She has been arrested and institutionalized before. This is very sad for her children.”
So far, Kalia hasn’t been able to prove that her allegations hold any water. It’s all talk, but the sheer volume and reach of her complaints is attracting a lot of attention that Trinity doesn’t want. If she keeps going, her daughter’s out. And it does look like she’ll keep going; she’s hired a PR team to manage her bizarre campaign.
It’s a sad state of affairs when your kid’s school causes you to lose your mind to this degree. But the New York private school world is so intense — parents hiring tutors to get their toddlers into preschool, etc. — it’s not surprising that someone finally went off the deep end. Maybe we could look at this as something of a cautionary tale for NYC helicopter parents.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 16, 2011