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Former Sidwell Friends Student Blames Elite Prep School For Being Rejected By 13 Colleges

Former Sidwell Friends student Dayo Adetu wants the Supreme Court to review her case, in which she alleges the elite D.C. prep school retaliated against her during her college admissions process.
Former Sidwell Friends Student Blames Elite Prep School For Being Rejected By 13 Colleges
Mary F. Calvert For The Washington Post via Getty Images

A former Sidwell Friends School student is accusing the elite D.C. prep school of breaching an agreement with her family and retaliated against her in the materials included in her college applications, thus causing her to be rejected by 13 of the colleges to which she applied.

According to CNN, now Dayo Adetu, an African-American former student, wants her case to be heard by the Supreme Court.

The report notes that when Adetu, who graduated in 2014, was looking to go to college, she applied to Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Penn, Duke, Johns Hopkins, CalTech, MIT, the University of Virginia, McGill and Spelman, all prestigious schools.

However, according to the Supreme Court petition, she was ” the only student in her graduating class of 126 students who did not receive unconditional acceptance from any educational institution to which she applied.”

She ended up attending the University of Pennsylvania in 2015 after going through another round of college applications and reportedly graduated last month, according to social media.

Still, her family is looking for answers.

“Sidwell has long been perceived as a ‘feeder-school’ to Ivy League institutions and other top universities,” the Adetus wrote in their appeal to the Supreme Court, noting again that Adetu was never immediately accepted into any university.

Adetu’s issues with Sidwell reportedly started in her junior year.

CNN reports:

She and her parents filed a claim with the D.C. Office of Human Rights, alleging discrimination and retaliation largely related to her math classes. The complaint specifically accused a math teacher of allegedly using “biased, improper scoring” to grade Adetu’s tests and of having “steadfastly refused” to make accommodations for her athletic commitments while doing so for other students.

Sidwell and the Adetus then entered into a settlement agreement that dictated the school would pay the Adetus $50,000, recalculate certain grades and not retaliate against Adetu.

Now the family has taken up the issue with the D.C. Superior Court, claiming that Sidwell did retaliate with the materials included in her college applications, including test scores, rankings and recommendations, breaching their agreement.

“Despite the fact that Sidwell touts a 100 percent college matriculation rate for its graduating high school seniors, Dayo did not receive unconditional acceptance to any of the thirteen (13) universities to which she applied and desired admission,” the family accused.

However, the Superior Court did not rule in the Adetus favor, saying that the family “cited no evidence that Sidwell made negative comments about Dayo or otherwise interfered with her college admissions process, beyond plaintiffs’ own speculation,” and thus, there was no breaking of the settlement.

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals then backed up the Superior Court’s ruling, adding that the Adetus “failed to make a sufficient showing that Sidwell engaged in ‘adverse action’ against Dayo or that objectively tangible harm resulted.”

The family has now set its sights on taking their case up with the Supreme Court; however, as CNN noted, it is unlikely that the nation’s highest court will take up the case, given that it only takes about 70 of the more than 7,000 cases that it receives each year.