August 7, 2013 | 1 comment | 3076 views
MAMS teacher, ousted over 'Princesses L.I.' appearance, threatens lawsuit
Stefan Serie, a Merrick Avenue Middle School health teacher and multi-sport coach who recently lost his job, apparently because of his appearance on the Bravo TV series “Princesses Long Island,” is threatening to sue the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District if he doesn’t get his position back.
Joseph Kilada, Serie’s Carle Place-based attorney, said in a Herald interview that his client was “very likely” to sue “unless he’s restored to his position.”
“If he’s not,” Kilada added, “we will absolutely commence a lawsuit. There’s no doubt about it.”
Serie, 30, who grew up in Merrick and now lives in Long Beach, made a cameo appearance on “Princesses Long Island’s” first episode, which featured an alcohol-fueled argument between one of the show’s stars, Amanda Bertoncini, and an extra, Sara Schapiro. The young women hurled expletive-laden insults at each other through much of the episode, which took place at a North Shore pool party. Serie appeared on screen for roughly 10 minutes, primarily in background shots at the party, though at one point he moved to the foreground with other onlookers to applaud Bertoncini after the fight. Serie said that he made a joke to try to defuse a tense situation.
After the first episode of “Princesses Long Island” aired on June 2, the Central District Board of Education voted 8-0 on June 17 to strip Serie of the provisional tenure he had been granted on May 8. Schapiro, a New York City school teacher, later lost her job as well, reportedly because she insulted a cast member with an anti-gay slur.
The Central District Board of Education did not say why it rescinded Serie’s tenure, though many in the community presumed it was because of his appearance on the reality show, which focuses on six self-described “Jewish-American princesses” and contains “strong sexual innuendo, catty arguing, bleeped curses, and lots of drinking and drunken behavior,” according to the nonprofit group Common Sense Media.
School officials said that state law prohibits the district from commenting on personnel matters. According to state payroll records, Serie earned a little more than $81,500 in 2012.