College counselors at prestigious DC-area school quit over parents' 'verbal assaults'

Two college counselors from a prominent Washington D.C.-area private school that has seen such famous children as Chelsea Clinton and Malia and Sasha Obama walk their halls have quit due to "verbal assaults" on faculty members by parents.

Prior to the departures, which occurred last month, Sidwell Friends School officials sent out several strongly worded emails to parents warning them that their egregious behavior, which also included spreading damaging rumors about other students to gain an advantage for their child in the competitive college admissions process, would not be tolerated.

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In December, Patrick Gallagher, Sidwell's director of college counseling, sent an email to parents warning that the College Counseling Office "will not answer phone calls from blocked numbers," and "will not open any mail without a recognizable return address," validating long-rumored allegations of parents who would go to any length to get their children into Ivy league universities.

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One month later Bryan Garman, the head of the school, sent a follow-up letter to parents of seniors indicating that attacks against faculty had not ceased.

"Instances of disrespect are anomalous and often anonymous but have nevertheless become increasingly intense and inappropriate," the January letter said.

Garman chastised parents for their “verbal assault of employees” and reminded them of a new policy banning parents from recording conversations with counselors, making calls to counselors from blocked phone numbers and requesting records of students who are not their own child.

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"The new policies stem from a handful of unfortunate and uninformed interactions, some of which have been unkind to students, others that have disrespected our counselors," the letter said.

Other nefarious acts stemming from desperate attempts by parents and students to gain admissions to competitive schools have come to light in recent months.

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Actress Lori Laughlin, her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli, "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman and dozens of other parents were indicted this past March in a nationwide college admissions cheating scandal,in which authorities say they paid millions of dollars to various counselors and coaches to ensure their privileged children be granted admission to some of the country’s most prestigious colleges, despite their less than stellar academic records.