MANHATTAN – The Dalton School, an Upper East Side private prep school that caters to New York City’s elite who can shell out nearly $60,000 in yearly tuition per child, has neighbors outraged after the dumping of nearly a dozen pricey student desks on the sidewalk with the trash instead of donating the furniture to a school in need.
Witnesses say the Dalton School workers dumped the desks— identified by Upper East Site as being manufactured by Steelcase and costing $531 each when purchased new– on the sidewalk near the corner of East 87th Street and Third Avenue on Friday afternoon, just steps away from the Dalton School Physical Education Center.
As the expensive desks were being dumped, photos and video began appearing online through the ‘Buy Nothing UES’ Facebook group and @ScoopTheStoopNYC on Instagram, both of which share photos and locations items left on the curb by neighbors so they may find a new home.
“Lots of people were horrified that [the school] threw these expensive desks to the curb rather than donating,” said Dalton School alumni Janet DeWitt.
“Especially these days, and especially for a school that supposedly cares about helping underserved people and communities, the tossing of these desks just seems grotesque,” DeWitt added.
Founded in 1919 by progressive educator Helen Parkhurst, the prestigious Dalton School has grown throughout the years to its current enrollment of more than 1,300 students— with tuition costing $57,970 per child for the 2022-23 school year.
The Dalton School also boasts famous alumni like Claire Danes and Anderson Cooper, as well as an infamous former faculty member named Jeffrey Epstein.
Yes, that Jeffrey Epstein. He was a math teacher at the Dalton School for a few years in the 1970s.
“Every action of a school is part of their ‘hidden curriculum,’” Dr. Cathie Currie told Upper East Site.
“By discarding useful desks, Dalton [School] encouraged a lack of concern for the environment and seems unaware of the needs of our less-funded schools,” Dr. Currie added.
The Dalton School did not respond to Upper East Site’s request for comment on the disposal of the pricey student desks— if we hear back, we’ll update this article accordingly.