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Friday, March 4, 2011

Letters to Minor's Counsel - 2

Bruce D. Abramson
of Lenske, Lenske & Abramson

re: Dissolution of Karaiskos 

Dear Mr. Abramson,

I don't exactly know what happened yesterday in court, but I can only assume that my concerns about Highland Hall are shared or are at least being considered by the court.  I very much took to heart Commissioner Weiss' warning that by going to trial, we may be "playing with fire."  While I am certain that my case against Highland Hall is very strong and the evidence, testimony and witnesses I could provide would ensure the immediate removal of the children from that school, it is not my intention or desire to expose the children to any additional stress as would be expected if a trial were to ensue.  Nor am I interested in hurting their mother's position with them or with her place of employment.  Furthermore, as I have already acknowledged, it is likely there will be some stress on the children if they are removed from this school at this time without preparation for alternative schools.  I am torn between my desire to remove them from what I feel is a dangerous and demoralizing environment and their desire to remain in that same environment (despite its obvious shortcomings).  Looking toward a compromise, I am hoping we could avoid trial by adoption of the following recommendations that I am proposing at this time:

  1. That the children remain in their current school for the time being and that primary authority for the children's schooling be granted to me.  I will monitor their progress and their overall experience with the school and, should their continuation at Highland Hall become problematic, I would like to be able to exercise the right of any other parent at that school, (and the assumption by which this and all private schools operate) to withdraw the children.  I would absolutely consult you before taking any such action so that you might intervene on behalf of the children.
  2. I feel it is important to maintain my position as an advocate for reform of the school during my children's school experience.  This is consistent with what I have done since the year 2000 and my "watchdog" attitude serves to protect my children and indeed all the children at the school while they are there.  I cannot control what Highland Hall does with regard to the children's enrollment.  They have expelled children in the past for any number of reasons - often without explanation and frequently through no fault of the child.  They could expel my children on a whim or to make a point as they already have with {Daughter}.  In any case, my interaction with the school has been longstanding and, until these divorce proceedings, my children have never been expelled.  The court should not serve orders regulating my interaction with the school but instead, allow me the freedom to interact with the school as I have always done and as other parents are free to do. 
  3. Highland Hall school is primarily a religious school based on Anthroposophy, a quasi-religious movement.  The children's mother is an Anthroposophist.  There has never been an agreement between the children's mother and myself to raise the children in this religion and, in fact, the more I learn about Anthroposophy, the more shocked and concerned I am about its basic tenets.  It is not in the children's best interests to be swallowed up in Anthroposophy.  To offset the children's religious experience at Highland Hall and the inflexible influence of their mother, and to provide adequate time and opportunity to supplement their education on subjects not of interest to Highland Hall, I would propose an equally-shared custody arrangement on the one week switch basis.  This custody arrangement is in the children's best interests, has the support of the children and does not presuppose one parent's authority over the other.
  4. The children have been seriously impacted by the fighting and inappropriate behavior between their parents.  Therapy is absolutely indicated for them and this would be a requirement of this agreement. 

I feel that each and every one of these points have to be accepted in order to avoid a trial.  A close review of what I have asked for will reveal that my requests are simply returning to what was the status-quo before these divorce proceedings.  The children remain at Highland Hall, I deal directly with the school regarding communications (without court intervention) and custody is shared equally.  The only real issue that I am asking for is the right every other parent at the school has - to make decisions on the children's behalf if the school becomes problematic - this is a right I should have had from the start and even this I am willing to share with you.  I believe these are very reasonable requests and that they are all in the best interests of your clients.  If you feel comfortable making these recommendations, I would encourage you to do so and hopefully we can avoid a costly and difficult trial that would certainly do more harm than good for the children.


Pete Karaiskos