‘Dora the Explorer’ Actress Caught In Vaping Scandal
We always knew Dora's backpack was "loaded up with things and knickknacks," but we had no idea the little explorer and her BFF Boots were packing a vape in there for post-adventure downtime. You know: rescue a baby crocodile, evade that thieving Swiper and then smoke up in the girls' bathroom. All in a days' work for an animated 7-year-old — or rather, her 15-year-old voice actress Fatima Ptacek, who's reportedly involved in a lawsuit after getting caught vaping with a friend in the lavatory of her private high school.
The incident took place at the young Dora the Explorer star's high school, Avenues: The World School, located in Manhattan back in December 2015. However, the major issue stems not from the actual act itself — Ptacek and her classmate were reportedly inhaling caramel-favored water through a vaporizer, along with another unnamed girl — but rather how the school handled reprimanding the students involved.
While Ptacek, who voices the beloved bilingual Nickelodeon character, was suspended for three days as punishment, the other student's parents, Nadia Leonelli and Fredrik Sundwall, are claiming in a lawsuit filed April 11 that their daughter was expelled. Alleging that the young actress was given special treatment due to her celebrity status, and that their child had merely fallen victim to peer pressure, they're suing to have their daughter reinstated at Avenues, as well as for $40,000 to cover tuition and legal fees.
"The fact that F.P. is a known actress for being the voice of Dora [the] Explorer may have played a role in why she was ultimately not expelled even after the school threatened as much, and M.S. was expelled instead as a scapegoat," reads the lawsuit, which adds that the student, known only by her initials, had never received any disciplinary actions before.
While it seems like overkill to expel a teenager for the relatively innocuous first-time offense of using a vape, it's definitely not cool to give preferred treatment to another caught doing the same thing, possibly based an iota of television fame. Hmmm, can you say, "unfair?" Say it with me — louder!
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