Superintendent’s discrimination lawsuit resolved
An employment discrimination lawsuit that Wareham Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Shaver-Hood brought against the Wareham School Committee and some of its members has been resolved.
The lawsuit, which was filed in December 2020, initially also named individual committee members Apryl Rossi and Mary Morgan and former School Committee member Michael Flaherty as defendants. On Nov. 2, 2021, School Committee members Mary Morgan and Apryl Rossi were dropped from the complaint at Shaver-Hood’s request.
Information on masscourts.org indicates the entire lawsuit was dismissed as of Dec. 20, 2021.
“The dispute has been resolved to my satisfaction,” Shaver-Hood said.
Shaver-Hood will be retiring, effective July 31, 2022. Her upcoming retirement was announced during a Dec. 2 joint meeting of the School Committee, Select Board and Finance Committee.
She has been the superintendent of Wareham Schools since 2013.
Shaver-Hood declined to provide further comment on the matter.
The superintendent had been requesting financial compensation and restitution for “emotional distress and mental anguish.” In a 15-page complaint filed with the Plymouth Superior Court, Shaver-Hood alleged that the defendants had engaged in “discrimination based on her gender, sexual orientation, age, and protected activity.”
Shaver-Hood pointed to a 2019 negative performance evaluation as evidence of discrimination. The complaint notes that her prior evaluations were “favorable” and qualified her for raises.
The complaint alleged that Flaherty, Morgan and Rossi “engaged in coordination and collaboration” while completing their 2019 evaluation of Shaver-Hood’s performance and “ignored the objective facts and evidence demonstrating Dr. Shaver-Hood’s proficiency and instead relied on untruths and inaccuracies.”
When Flaherty, Morgan and Rossi’s scores were factored into Shaver-Hood’s evaluation, she was given an overall score of 76.83, putting her in the “needs improvement” category.
This score made her ineligible for a raise or for an automatic one-year extension of her contract — impacts that the complaint describes as “adverse employment actions which put Dr. Shaver-Hood at a material disadvantage.” The complaint argued that the trio’s negative evaluations were caused by their “animus” toward Shaver-Hood’s gender, sexual orientation, or age.
The complaint Shaver-Hood filed with the court also alleged that Flaherty, Rossi and Morgan engaged in communications amongst themselves and with others that indicated “a hostility toward Dr. Shaver-Hood” based on her gender, age and/or sexual orientation.