Parents Blame Dora The Explorer Star In Vaping Lawsuit

Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Rex/Shutterstock.
Pictured: Fatima Ptacek in 2015.
The cartoon star of Dora the Explorer is basically a saint in khaki shorts. According to a new lawsuit, however, the real-life teen who voices her may be up to no good.

Fatima Ptacek, the 15-year-old actress who voices the bilingual character in Dora the Explorer, has been accused of pressuring a 14-year-old classmate into vaping in the bathroom of their elite New York City private school in December. The student was expelled and forced to enroll elsewhere, and now her parents are suing the school, which they say they helped found.

According to court documents obtained by the New York Post, Nadia Leonelli and Fredrik Sundwall say Manhattan's Avenues: The World School expelled their daughter for the vaping incident, while, they allege, Ptacek only got a three-day suspension. The family claims that the school made the "inappropriate decision" to use their daughter as a "scapegoat."

The civil suit alleges that their daughter, identified as M.S., “was approached by her friend, F.P., who is a year older in 10th grade at Avenues, to go into the bathroom and try smoking flavored water vapor in a ‘vape’ pen that F.P. had borrowed from a fellow 10th grade classmate.

"M.S. was reluctant to try but gave in to peer pressure, wanting to appear ‘cool’ in front of F.P. because she is older than M.S. and is a celebrity, being the actress who does the voice of Dora the Explorer on television and having a movie nominated for the Oscars [2013 short film Curfew].”

The parents added that they haven't been refunded any of the $40,000 tuition they paid for the school year. Ptacek's rep did not respond to the Post's request for comment.

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