On behalf of a female schoolteacher, we filed a complaint (lawsuit) in the Bergen County Superior Court against the Fort Lee Board of Education.

Among other allegations, plaintiff alleged that she began employment with Fort Lee Board of Education as a certified teacher for the Fort Lee High School.

During the course of her employment as a certified teacher for the Fort Lee Board of Education, she was given high praise and review by her superiors.

In a July 2016 summary performance evaluation report, the school’s principal, Lauren Glynn, gave her an overall numerical performance rating of 3.03 for the 2015-2016 school year.

For the 2016-2017 calendar year, Glynn gave plaintiff an overall numerical performance rating of 3.05.

For the 2017-2018 calendar year, Glynn gave plaintiff an overall numerical performance rating of 3.08.

Plaintiff alleges that on September 25, 2018, she began to complain to Glynn that one of her male students engaged in various acts and conducts which she interpreted to be sexual in nature and made her feel uncomfortable.

Plaintiff alleged that she subsequently spoke to William Diaz, the vice principal of Fort Lee High School, and requested that Diaz speak to the student, who was a minor at the time. Plaintiff alleged that Diaz did not speak to the student, nor had any corrective actions taken against the student.

Consequently, plaintiff alleged that she asked Tony Smith, the school’s head of security, for assistance, and requested that Smith come to her class to monitor the student’s behavior towards the plaintiff. Plaintiff alleged that Smith observed the student’s behavior and confirmed plaintiff’s account.

Plaintiff further alleged that Smith then brought the student to the office of Peter Vilardi, Assistant Principal at the Fort Lee Public School, who spoke to the student. However, the student was allowed to return to plaintiff’s class.

Subsequently, plaintiff alleged that she emailed Vilari and Diaz advising them that the student’s behavior continued to be very disruptive and made her uncomfortable and requested that the student be removed from her class. Plaintiff alleged that neither Mr. Vilardi nor Mr. Diaz responded to her email.

Subsequently, plaintiff alleged that she had a meeting with the administrators as well as the parents of the student and expressed her concern over the student, and the student’s mother defended her son, stating that she does not think her son’s “stares at [the plaintiff] and imagines sexual thoughts.”

Subsequently, the student was again allowed back into plaintiff’s class, which compelled plaintiff to contact her union representative.

The student was finally removed from plaintiff’s class 3 months after complaining about the student’s behavior.

Plaintiff alleges that after the student was removed from her class, she subsequently began to receive negative evaluations. Plaintiff alleged that she was evaluated 3 times within a span of 1 month, which was very unusual. She was then given an unfavorable performance rating of 2.27, compared to the ratings of 3.03, 3.05 and 3.08 received prior to her complaints.

Plaintiff then alleged that Glynn told her that her contract would not be renewed for the next school year. Subsequently, Kenneth Rota, superintendent, sent her a letter advising her that her contract would not be renewed.

Plaintiff then filed an action with the Fort Lee Board of Education alleging, among other claims, retaliation in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and in violation of the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), both of which prohibit retaliation for making a complaint in good faith and reasonable belief that she was being sexually harassed.

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At Chatarpaul Law Firm, P.C. we focus mainly on employment discrimination and civil rights violations, including state and federal statutory and constitutional rights violations. Kindly contact us at 201-222-0123 or [email protected] if you have any information relevant to this case, or if you are a victim of workplace discrimination, harassment, or other statutory or constitutional law violations.