New claims against former BOCES Hilltop principal Kimberly Taylor are similar to those exposed in a recent WABC investigation, which revealed verbal and possible physical abuse by Principal Taylor toward students at the school.
In the new case, “Jane Doe” has accused Taylor of verbally accosting her son 10-year-old “John Doe” and laying her hands on him February 28, 2014.
“What the hell is wrong with you? Are you mental?” the suit claims Taylor screamed, as spit escaped her mouth and landed on the child’s face.
The student told his mother that he then ran from Taylor, at which point she grabbed his sweatshirt by the hood and yanked it and allegedly slammed him against the wall. The child and his mother complained that Taylor had open sores on her lips and they were worried that the spit that came from her mouth could have transmitted a disease.
“She spit on my face, mommy, Please help me! She is trying to kill me. She said I’m mental, I’m retarded,” the suit quotes the child as saying to his mother over the phone following the incident.
The mother was then called in to the school to pick her son up and she found him lying on the floor in a fetal position, screaming. The child had been enrolled in the New York Mental Health Day Treatment Program (IDT) following expulsion from Willow Grove Elementary for his role in an altercation with another student.
A February 2015 report by WABC News exposed a recording of Principal Taylor hurling verbal abuse at students prior to a graduation ceremony. The recording had been made by former teacher’s aide Kenneth Egan, currently engaged in a wrongful termination lawsuit against BOCES. Egan said one reason he was let go was for exposing Taylor’s alleged abusive behavior.
At a 2012 graduation rehearsal, Taylor is recorded stating: “It’s important you’re on your best behavior. If someone falls in dance, don’t laugh because I will rip your (expletive) out of there. It’s important not to embarrass yourself…I will embarrass you. You all know me. If you don’t give a (expletive), neither do I.”
Egan alleged that she put a student that was involved in an altercation with another student before the assembly and said, “This is a retard…How embarrassing, a disgusting embarrassment, get him the hell out of my sight.”
In the new lawsuit, the complaints are similar, claiming that Taylor threatened that she would give the student “something to cry about,” if he did not do as she said and also calling him a “retard.”
The district has filed a request to dismiss the case based on the grounds of late filing and because complainants did not include Rockland Psychiatric Center in the complaint. The IDT program is under the auspices of RPC.
BOCES hired a new principal for Hilltop in March 2015, Dr. Christine Ditrano.