The NYC Prep Backlash Claims Its First Victim

If you watched Bravo's NYC Prep this summer, you undoubtedly remember Camille Hughes, the prim, SAT-obsessed Nightingale student dead set on joining Harvard's class of 2014. It looks like there's been a change of plan: Hughes will not be returning to Nightingale-Bamford for the new school year. So was she kicked out of the posh Upper East Side institution, or did she decide on her own to finish out her high school career elsewhere?

Private school administrators across the city were none too pleased with the portrait painted by NYC Prep and the reality show's cast of spoiled, status-obsessed teens. Although Nightingale was never mentioned by name on the show (nor were any of the other schools attended by NYC Prep cast members), the school made its displeasure quite clear when the head of the school, Dorothy Hutcheson, sent out a letter to parents explaining that "the decision to participate in the show" had been "made by the student and her parents without consulting Nightingale's administrators." Wrote Hutcheson: "We counsel our girls to avoid such exposure, knowing that best intentions are usually subsumed by a media machine that too often simplifies the many facets of a Nightingale education into a shallow and stereotypical view of independent schools."

Nightingale didn't indicate if it planned to discipline Hughes for taking part in the show. But at some point over the summer, Hughes and her parents made alternate arrangements for her senior year. According to several Nightingale parents and students, Hughes was informed several weeks ago that she would "not be welcome" back when classes recommenced this fall. A school official, however, says that is not the case. Darrel Frost, Nightingale's director of communications, says the school was "expecting her back this fall" and had reserved a place for her, but that Hughes and her parents had made the decision to enroll at another school, so that "Camille could focus on a different educational route."

Hughes has since enrolled at the Professional Children's School, which was set up for child actors with unreliable schedules, but has also been a popular place for students who find themselves booted from other private schools in the middle of the school year. Did Hughes choose to attend the much less prestigious PCS to give herself time to pursue her budding TV career? That's impossible to say, but she hasn't improved her chances of getting into Harvard, that's for sure.