UPPER EAST SIDE — An elite all-girls school on the Upper East Side, which served as the model for the hit show “Gossip Girl,” is reeling from allegations this week that a popular and married science teacher allegedly had an affair with a student.
Jonathan Fuller, 55, was suspended from his position at The Nightingale-Bramford School Friday after school officials learned about the tryst, according to a statement from the school. The student is now “18 or 19” and has since graduated, according to the New York Post.
“This came out of nowhere and everyone is shocked,” an anonymous source told the Post. “They’re handling this by the book; they’re keeping the girl’s name confidential internally.”
The school immediately began an investigation with the help of an independent investigator, according to a statement released by the school.
"The education of our students and the well-being of those in our community remain our primary concerns," the statement read.
Administrators hope to determine if the student was underage at the time of the affair and if Fuller had any inappropriate relationships with other students, the Post reported.
Fuller, who has worked for the school for the past 15 years according to his LinkedIn profile, has been suspended pending the results of the investigation.
“I am sorry to have to tell you that this morning I suspended an Upper School faculty member in light of reports received over the past two days that, if true, describe behavior that is not only inappropriate, but also completely inconsistent with our rules and values,” the school’s headmaster wrote in a three paragraph letter.
The top-ranked academic institution, founded in 1920, has taught a number of notable alumnae including daughters of the Tisch and Bronfman families, and the creator of “Gossip Girl,” which is loosely based on her time at the school.
Students have consistently given Fuller positive reviews—three out of five stars—on the popular teacher evaluation website Rate My Teachers saying that he’s helpful, fair, and even “a genius.”
“Mr. Fuller is by far my favorite teacher I have ever had,” one anonymous reviewer said. “His class is challenging, but, to those who do badly in his classes, he provides so many opportunities for extra help."
“Mr. Fuller,” another said, “has the power to turn Chemistry into an interesting and worthwhile subject. You gotta love him for that!”