One Mom Explains The New York City Private School System Of Money, Connections, And Bribes As "Big Little Lies" Come To Life

One Mom Explains The New York City Private School System Of Money, Connections, And Bribes As "Big Little Lies" Come To Life

It's all about your lineage...and your wallet. 

By Marianne Garvey

New York City private schools are notorious for their snobbery—not all of course, but one Upper East Side mom tells Personal Space the elitism is beyond and she can’t take it anymore.

A prominent television host, she prefers to remain anonymous because she’s recognizable, but says even her NYC-famous status can’t get her any average when trying to get her 7-year-old son into private school.

“The Upper West Side is a bit more understanding, hippie hippie, but the Upper East Side is the worst,” she laughs, “But the whole culture is like Big Little Lies.”

This mom is “very outspoken” at school functions and community board meetings, as so, has naturally rubbed other moms the wrong way—and found a few have even sabotaged her (and her son) with their connections.

“One well connected mom already got my son kicked out of his soccer league,” she says, adding “She comes across as sweet yet she’s bullying a seven year old.”

Worse, she says, she’s known this particular mom to have other children actually booted form their school, using her major connections and money to pull rank on other moms.

“It’s all about who she knows,” she says. “Her connections are perfect. When I was filling out the applications, I was shocked. ‘Tell me how many people in your family have gone to New York City private schools…You have to have a lineage, if you don’t, you’re f**ked…It’s worse than getting into college. You have to start the process when they are three.”

In addition to the application, UWS mom says she had to pen an essay as to why her kid is “worthy” of that particular school—for 13 different schools.

“It’s worse than any term paper,” she laughs. “You have wrote your awesome your kid is, which isn’t hard, but they want not that’ he’s hilarious or kind, but what he can contribute to society. Meanwhile, he’s seven.”

The elite private schools also ask how many siblings your kid has, “like that matters.” “I mean, it’s one if you count our dog,” UWS mom says.

Her head was spinning when she got to the part of the application that demanded to know not if her kid spoke other languages, but how many.

“They give you 240 words to explain that they know Mandarin, and if you don’t speak three languages by 10 years old, you’re in the no pile.”

She adds that if you don’t start the preparation process when they are babies, you’re basically screwed.

“When he was in preschool, one said he wasn’t the right fit, I was arguing that he was three. It’s a joke.”

And that’s just the kids. The parents are so competitive, this mom tends to stay away to avoid the one-upmanship she sees on a daily basis.

“It’s such a s**tshow, their calendars are booked with nonsense,” she says. “There’s a 500-page book The Manhattan Family Guide To Private Schools they all read. It’s such a racket.”

“The moms are all hoity-toity, they have a ton of money, it’s like Odd Mom Out,” UWS mom says. “Their children eat lunch at Fred’s at Barneys and get picked up by cars with drivers. The whole thing private school is to avoid the chaos, when you’re paying that much, but they thrive on the drama.”

The kids pick up on it too, UWS side once heard two kids arguing about whose family has more money. “One asked to borrow a dollar and the other one said ‘why, you’re the heir to a fortune.’ They were probably seven or eight.’

To top it off, there’s an underground culture of bribing going on.

“Hamptons invitations, rides on boats, invites to fancy parties for teachers and administration, you name it,” she says. “Anything to get the kid in.”

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