Complaint Review: Ecole Jean Jacques Rousseau
Ecole Jean Jacques Rousseau French School in Austin. Owners are Hind, Sonia and Mohammad Louali Child abuse toward my daughter both physical and emotional, theft, deceptive trade practice, emotional abuse, exploitation, slander Austin Texas
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I moved from Dallas back to Austin to enroll my daughter in EJJR for 3 main reasons. 1. They claimed to offer Arabic and since that is the native language of my daughter's surname, it was important to me. 2. They offered a scholarship. I was planning to homeschool originally, but thought if I could find a school that offered Arabic AND a scholarship that this would be a way for her to learn it. 3. There was a good balance of arts and play time to offset the rigorous academics. I was told by Hind, the owner/director that EJJR was a Montessori based system that let kids learn at their own pace with plenty of art activities and outdoor time. I was told they offered Arabic, and that my daughter could qualify for the scholarship in 1st grade. 3 months later, after I had moved, signed the contract, and paid almost $5,000 in tuition/fees , she said Lilian would not be eligible until at least 3rd grade! I should have walked away right then, but I convinced myself that it was my mistake. Later, I found the emails that proved she lied.
This was a big deal because I had already given up my entire life savings and committed to paying $8,000 for kindergarten the following year. I was counting on that scholarship. I was already renting out two rooms at home and sharing a bedroom with my child to pay the tuition. Then she says Lily has to stay in preK again because she didn't learn enough French yet. That was another year of tuition to come up with. I was earning well under the poverty level and getting very little child support. I know it was beyond my finances, but I thought I'd be able to catch up once the scholarship kicked in. I was a shoe in! I was making about $20,000 a year, I am a single mother and my 7 year old has the reading comprehension of a freshman in college! I was invested so much and my daughter said she wanted to be there, so I ignored the little red flags. Even some bigger ones. I know now how deeply I was being manipulated with psychological tactics.
In the end, after 3 and a half years at EJJR, my daughter didn't even learn so much as the alphabet in Arabic. The school was as bad or worse than any military school where even the arts are no fun because they scream at your child if she forgets a line or the words to a song, even if she is only 4 or 5 years old and the words are not in her native language. As for the scholarship, that was just another lie. When I mentioned that my child would finally be eligible for the scholarship the following year (we had been there for 3 1/2 years paying full tuition), Hind looked at me and said "There's no money in the scholarship fund. (as if I was crazy to bring it up) You have to go out and find the donations for the scholarship fund yourself."
If that wasn't enough to make me go postal, I found out later that she secretly gave free tuition to a girl who had just arrived at the school that year even though her parents were married and their income was 4 times what mine was. Not only that, but I was made to pay an extra $2,000. Only after the contract for 2015-16 was signed, Hind told me that the school was in trouble so she had to raise he tuition or else the school would go under. I took yet another loan only to find out later that other families were not asked to pay the extra money. I made less income than any other parent in that school, by far. On top of that, she stole $2,600 out of my bank account AFTER I had paid the full tuition plus the extra $2,000. She straight up stole it out of my account with bank withdrawals set up to pay tuition.
Of course I asked for my deposit for the following year to be returned to me since we were not going to be returning to the school. Hind told me that she had already spent my tuition money that I paid for the next year on her debts for the previous school year and that was why she could not refund my money. First of all, that isn't legal. Secondly, she gave a much wealthier family their $13,000 back just a few weeks later when they pulled their kids out based on abuse that my daughter said she saw happen to their children too. The children had all been afraid to tell anyone about the abuse, but my child will not lie and I had been asking more questions since the day that I saw her teacher screaming at her.
Close to the end of our 2nd school year, Hind started acting really weird. She basically told me she wasn't going to renew my contract because I assumed that going to the teacher's store with her for 2 hours (at her request) would be counted toward my volunteer hours. Apparently this was a great offense to her and she claimed I was not devoted enough, She said that it wasn't good enough if I am only willing to meet the minimum expectations because she needed parents who were willing to go above and beyond. This confused me because I had done quite a bit of promo work for the school at that point, even buying posters, flyers, business cards, magnets etc with my own money and distributing them for free. I was never compensated in any way for any of it and the time I spent designing, ordering and distributing the materials was significant (dozens of hours) yet, it did not get counted toward my mandatory 20 volunteer hours. I was shocked at what she was saying, but she got emotional claiming to be gravely ill and friendless. Of course I had compassion and offered my friendship and devotion.
From that point, the friendship became increasingly more confusing and demanding. Hind expected a lot from me and nothing I did was ever enough. Always critical or disapointed, never ever said thank you. There was a lot of empty promises including saying she would take my daughter to France on vacation, and then turn around and ask me how I will pay for it. She asked me for all my daughter's personal information saying she was putting my daughter in her will because we were like family to her. She kept saying she would give me a job or help me get a job, but never offered a position in 3 1.2 years, and when I asked for a letter of recommendation based on my volunteer activity, she told me it would take at least 3 weeks to get around to it...she never wrote one.
The last school year (2015-16) we were at EJJR was by far the worst! Things started to slowly come to light. I caught Hind screaming at my daughter viciously and threatening to make her stay at school all night because she was "too slow". My daughter was barely 6 when she went into an advanced curriculum 2nd grade class where she would have to write in perfect cursive and do long division with only kindergarten under her belt. Hind told me (after the contract was signed that she did not have a 1st grade class for my daughter so she would either have to stay in kindergarten or go to second grade. Sine she had already been forced to repeat preschool even though she was reading at a second grade level in English, I decided a modified curriculum for 2nd grade was best.
Hind assured me the modifications would be a fine solution, but that afterschool care was necessary and of course that would require another $1,600 in addition to tuition. I walked in on her during after school tutoring to find her verbally and emotionally abusing my child for not being able to keep up with children almost 2 years older than her. She was supposed to be assisting her with her workload. She came out of the room screaming at me "your child drives me crazy she is so slow!" I was in disbelief. I thought she was ill. I couldn't even process what I had witnessed. I started to pay closer attention and press Lily for the truth about what was going on at school.
Lilian often had little to no homework done when I arrived at 5:30, so I usually spent all evening doing 2 to 3 hours of homework with her every day. Later Lily told me that Hind was usually out of the room during after school tutoring, so she could not get any help or ask questions. One day when I begged Hind for less homework, she screamed in my face saying "That's why I don't like American parents (she claims to be French but she's Moraccan), you want to have a relationship with your children instead of raising citizens like we do". She also sabotaged Lily's work. She would tell me Lily didn't need to do certain things, then she would give her incompletes on her report card. She had us working on a math book all year, then weeks before school was over for the year, she told me Lily didn't need to do that work and would not be graded on it!
Hind not only gossiped about my personal information to other parents, the things she told them are unbelievable. She told other parents that I was a criminal, a prostitute and an unfit mother. She told them that she planned to take custody of my daughter! Meanwhile, I'm working my butt off at a high demand sales job, trying to raise a kid by myself with very little help from the father and volunteering all my free time to the school committee crafted to help promote the school. Hind is telling me that I'm "The best mom in the world" and she even called me her hero.
Toward the end of the year, my daughter told me her Arabic teacher kicked her in the leg and told her to "get up" because she had sat down on the floor to get her markers out from under her desk for an assignment. Hind refused to address this and claimed Lily "has a different perspective of events". I took my daughter to a therapist, even though Hind advised me not to and saying that it could do more harm than good. She said that she was the house psychologist and was dealing with Lily's "issues" herself. The only issues my daughter had was due to the constant beratement she was receiving from Hind. I would find out later that she screamed at my child all day every day, and apparently targeted her above the other children. Hind even used her best friend to attempt to make her jealous, but it just made both girls really sad and depressed. My daughter told me that her friend would talk about dying and wishing she was dead that whole year (her 1st and only year) at EJJR. Hind said it was nothing to worry about, of course. That girl has been out of EJJR for a year and has not once said a thing like that again since she left the school, and is all smiles every time I see her now. Before, she never smiled during drop off and seemed very gloomy most of the times that I saw her at the school. Another child that was removed has also become a much happier and more confident since he has left the school.
After my daughter was kicked, I put her in therapy thinking they would never risk hurting her because she might tell the therapist. A short time after, my daughter came home and told me Hind had slapped her really hard. After the screaming incident, I had distanced myself from Hind and I think she slapped Lily to punish me because she knew very well that I do not strike my child for any reason, never have and would be devastated if someone else did anything to her. She also knows that private schools are not regulated so all I could do is get an attorney, and she knew she had already bled me dry. Previous to all this, I told her I was going into debt but she encouraged me to press on until I was out of resources for credit and that when it was all gone, she would take Lily for me. I asked her if she was crazy to think I would separate from my child, so she followed that up by saying that I could sleep on her couch.
Once we had left the school for good, Lily told me more about the abuse to herself and other children in her class by Hind's father the Arabic teacher. He pushed, grabbed, spanked, screamed at and bullied the children daily. He kicked a child's desk so hard that it fell back onto the desk behind it. He shoved a book into a little girl's face when she didn't put it up quickly enough. He would pretend to suck his thumb and mock Lily by calling her a baby when she cried because he yelled at her. And, he would grab her and pull her by the arm into the hallway to isolate her and leave her out there alone and unsupervised for pretty much the entire class on a daily basis just because she would get bored and space out or put her head on the desk. Hind had diagnosed Lily with ADD herself, so my daughter was being punished for having a condition that Hind (the supposed psychologist and neuroscientist) was supposed to be addressing. Arabic was the whole reason for choosing that school. My daughter didn't get to take an Arabic class for 2 1/2 years. After a year of daily "lessons" she didn't even know her alphabet because she spent the entire class out in the hallway by herself every day.
Another thing that needs to be mentioned is that Hind took a romantic/sexual interest in me. I didn't believe this at first, but after multiple parents told me things that she would say, and how she stared at and spoke about my body, especially about my backside, I had to listen. In retrospect, I see it, but at the time I just made excuses. She touched my bottom a few different times making a comment about it, and she even pinched my nipple saying how cute my little breasts were. This all took place at the school during school hours. It made me uncomfortable, but I didn't want to make a big deal about it and so I just chalked it up to her being French. I was trying not to be judgmental or dramatic. I didn't want to embarrass her by telling her to stop because she might try to exclude my daughter again.
After some therapy and research, it became clear what the problem is. Hind is a sociopathic and criminal narcissist. Her parents are her creators, enablers and cohorts. They are in a habit of being so dishonest and volatile that people just want to get out, but in order to get out of a contract or even just some of their money back, they have to sign a non-disclosure so they can't warn other people. And if you happen to get out without needing to get any money back (or know you won't), and you write a review or tell other parents that their kids have been abused, you will get a cease and desist order meant to intimidate you into silence. The cycle stops here. After I spoke up, I got a cease and desist saying I was ordered to take down anything I posted on line about the school and not to talk to other parents. I have been writing and writing and writing more things and posting, posting, posting them to this day. I am actually friends with all the parents Hind tried to set against me now. My daughter didn't even get invited to birthday parties last year because of the horribles lies Hind told the other parents about me. Now, we have lots of playdates and sleep overs all the time! One good thing that came out of that school is the ability to know these parents that I met from there and the opportunity to spare their children any futhur harm.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/09/2017 08:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ecole-jean-jacques-rousseau/austin-texas-78753/ecole-jean-jacques-rousseau-french-school-in-austin-owners-are-hind-sonia-and-mohamma-1378197. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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