Michael Mancini is a 16-year-old young man who, up until recently, was a student at Connecticut boarding school Cheshire Academy. He was recently expelled, and his parents, Theodore “Ted” Mancini and Sonia Mancini, are suing the school over his expulsion, on the grounds that their son was expelled as a direct result of his having conservative political views .
Mancini was recruited to Cheshire Academy for football. Per his father’s recently created website, “The Real Chesire Academy,” Mancini previously wrote that the most enticing aspect of being a Chesire Academy student was the “promise of fairness and open mindednedness of everyone’s beliefs and opinions.”
Now, Mancini’s parents are suing the school for what they belief is a violation of the school’s promise to accept all views.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mancini Is a 16-Year-Old Who Was, Until Recently, a Student at Chesire Academy
Mancini is a 16-year-old former student of Chesire Academy, a private prep school in Connecticut. It’s the states oldest boarding school. Mancini has not given any interviews on the events leading up to his expulsion, but his parents have.
To The New York Post, Theodore and Sonia Mancini listed a number of apparent incidents that their son was involved in, the first occurring when their son allegedly disagreed with students in class over the discussion so whether Shakespeare intended to portray transgender people in a positive play in The Twelfth Night. His parents say that he argued “that kind of behavior was frowned upon”until the 1900s.
Then, Theodore Mancini says that his son was attacked by two students in a verbal altercation, and following that altercation, Mancini also had a private conversation with a teacher in which he said (per Theodore’s account) that he was “fine with homosexuals being married” but opposed churches and religious organizations running ceremonies for gay marriage.
The last incident detailed by Mancini’s parents is that their son made a joke during a mandatory Martin Luther King workshop at the school: students were asked to state something obvious about their identity, and he allegedly said, “Obviously I am black.”
Mancini was suspended for five days, and eventually expelled, after his father started a website detailing their version of events.
2. Mancini’s Parents, Theodore & Sonia, Have Sued Cheshire Academy Over Their Son’s Apparent Expulsion
On Wednesday, April 17, school officials for Cheshire Academy were served with official notice of the lawsuit Ted & Sonia are filing against the school. Per The New Haven Register, the parents are represented by Hartford-based attorney Jamie Sullivan; the lawsuit alleges that Mancini was expelled as a direct result of his decision to express conservative views in class, as well as a direct result of his father’s decision to create a website about it.
Specifically, per the publication, the lawsuit alleges that Cheshire officials violated their contract with the family after initially promising that students and faculty would be accepting of all views. The defendants in question are Cheshire Academy Head of School Julie Anderson, as well as Wesley Simon, a dean of the school. They are being sued for negligent misrepresentation and defamation.
3. Theodore Mancini Created a Website Detailing His Side of Events
Following his son’s suspension, Ted Mancini created a website called “The Real Cheshire Academy.”
The website, which is lengthy, details his son’s decision to enroll in Cheshire Academy, the Mancini family’s narrative around the series of “offenses” that led up to Mancini’s expulsion, as well as apparent “proof” of Simon’s liberal-leaning tendencies, in the form of a screen-shotted Facebook post.
Ted pointed out that his son had a clean record leaning up to these apparent incidents, and also pointed out the apparent hypocrisy in his son being written up for “harassment” when he was confronted and attacked for sharing his own views.
Ted’s “epilogue” reads,
“My advice to everyone thinking of attending this institution. Whether you are a rough and tumble football recruit or an academic who believes in diversity of thought and freedom of expression, PLEASE THINK LONG AND HARD ABOUT YOUR DECISION! If you do not buy in 100% into the whole identity politics, social justice movement then you will either have to keep your mouth shut, keeping your opinions to yourself, or risk being singled out, persecuted and kicked out for attempting to think freely!!!
You can read the site in full here.
4. The Head of School Maintains Mancini Was Given a ‘Fair Process’ Leading Up to the Expulsion
In response to the lawsuit, a letter was sent out to the Cheshire community that was signed by Anderson, who maintains that Mancini was expelled after the school followed a “fair process.”
Per The New Haven Register, the letter reads in part,
“This student was given a number of chances to adhere to our expectations and the rules and code of conduct of Cheshire Academy. Contrary to what you may have read, our decision was not based on an opposition to political dialogue. We will take steps to defend the good name and reputation of CA, and will continue to work with legal counsel through this unfortunate episode.”
5. The Lawsuit Will Be Filed Early This Week
To The New York Post, Ted said, “Michael is not the only kid at Cheshire who has these pints of view, he’s just the only kid there who refuses to kowtow to these people. It was a simply discussion in English class that was right out of established publications, and they claimed he harassed them for citing facts. They tried to get him to say he was wrong, but he wasn’t. He had the facts.”
Ted also called out the school, saying that Chesire Academy was “sold as a place that allowed open discussions with all points of view and that everyone would be given equal treatment…And that’s not what it ended up being. [Michael] got cited for facts he brought up, and he got cited for a private conversation he had with a teacher.”