A Jewish day school in Bergen County is facing a lawsuit for wrongfully accusing a boy of sexually assaulting a student and banning him from graduation, NorthJersey.com reports.
Solomon Schechter Day School in New Milford pressured the 14-year-old boy to make a confession without his parents present after he was accused of touching a student inappropriately on a bus during a class trip to Israel in May 2019, the report says.
The boy, identified in the suit as Carl, expressed thoughts of self-harm over trip chaperone's presumption of guilt, NorthJersey.com said. His father subsequently broke religious rules to fly to Israel on the Sabbath and get him, according to the suit filed last Thursday in Superior Court.
The girl eventually renounced her accusation and said the school's investigators put words in her mouth during interviews, the suit said. Carl reportedly remained suspended for the last six weeks of the school year.
His name was also taken off the graduation ceremony and school officials warned other students to avoid interacting with him, according to the report. The valedictorian of the class was required to alter her speech to not mention any references to him, the suit said.
Carl's parents are suing Schechter and its headmaster for defamation.
“As a result of Schechter’s extensive harassment of Carl and his family, plaintiffs have suffered severe emotional distress, anxiety, and social ostracization within their small, insular, local Jewish community,” the suit said.
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