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February 01, 2006

While wolves were tending their flocks

Boys Choir of Harlem kicked out! It all began with revelations that CEO Dr. Walter Turnbull and his brother Horace, the choir's executive vice president, failed to report a student's allegations of molestation by a choir academy counselor. According to the NY Amsterdam News, the choir is in crisis.
Following days of bitter negotiations, school officials said late yesterday that they had ordered administrators of the Boys Choir of Harlem to vacate their offices and storage space in a Harlem school building by the end of the day, effectively ending a troubled partnership that had given the world-renowned choir its home in a public high school.

The decision by the Department of Education came after directors of the choir, which has been housed in the Choir Academy of Harlem, at 127th Street and Madison Avenue, since 1993, filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Monday, claiming they were being threatened with an illegal eviction.

Late yesterday, a separate civil rights suit was filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, charging that school officials were acting "out of petty jealousy and issues of control," and were attempting to "destroy the Choir Academy." A spokeswoman for the Board of Education, Kelly Devers, said it had not received a copy of that suit and declined to comment.

More at the New York Times [reg req]

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