Supt Santoro – “Ten months I have been tolerating such requests formally and informally and other behaviors that feel very much like harassment. I feel it’s because I’m a woman,” she said. “No man sitting in this seat would ever have to tolerate this.”
Tech School Committee MUST Take Action on Serious Accusations. GLTHS Superintendent needs to be made to Prove accusations or Issue Public Apology
dis•crim•i•na•tion – treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.
Greater Lowell Technical School Committee member Erik Gitschier may be the chief questionnaire of Tech. Supt. Mary Jo Santoro, he may ask questions or want things done in a different manner than what has been done in the past and he may have his own agenda and not want to renew the Superintendent once her contract expires. He may be the Rodney Elliot of the School Committee to her being Manager Lynch.I have on more than one occasion questioned his method and motives when dealing with the Superintendent.
None of that however reaches the level that support the accusation that he is treating her any different than he would a male Superintendent and that he is discriminating against her because of her gender.
There is nothing in any motion or comment at any public meeting that I have seen that lends any credible evidence to the accusation that was made by Supt. Santoro. This is his first term so there is no history that she can site or I can find to support those charges. (I have an email out to her asking for specific examples).
The entire Greater Lowell School Committee along with THEIR legal Council now need to address this accusation and address it quickly and make the Supt. either prove these accusations or publicly issue an apology to Erik Gitschier.
To accuse Erik of gender discrimination without several examples to justify her statements is a cheap and unfair attack on his character. No one deserves to be accused of being any type of Bigot or Chauvinist and the entire board needs to address this.
This accusation should have been addressed last night, as soon has the Supt. made that claim at a public meeting. A member should have requested an emergency suspension of the rules for the purpose of Executive session and sought out Legal Advise.
A Special meeting needs to be called and this charge needs to be addressed. It is unfair to Erik Gitschier to let this charge go out during a live broadcast and a newspaper article and just remain there for people to talk about.
The Superintendent has just laid the foundation of a wrongful termination case if the committee decides NOT to renew her contract and if they do not address this situation. She told you she felt like she was being discriminated against and YOU has a BOARD IGNORED IT!
Not only does it unfairly damage the reputation of Erik Gitschier it has opened up the entire district to a possible lawsuit and the Committee must act now. How can Erik represent the people if he has to be wary of any motion he files?
How can the entire MALE Board now not be on the defense? If she accuses one member what makes them think she will not accuse them all? Especially if they don’t renew her contract?
This charge comes at a time when Lowell needs to appoint a replacement member and former Lowell School Committee member Jackie Doherty may be the perfect fit to appoint to the post. Not only does she have years of experience but it certainly would help to have a women on the board to be able to counter gender bias accusations.
The Superintendent by her accusations has given the board no choice but to formally address the charges and either seek the removal of Mr. Gitschier if his actions are indeed discriminatory or consider the removal of the Superintendent for conduct unbecoming and insubordination.
Unless she herself comes out with a public apology to Erik Gitschier and retracts the discrimination claim the Committee must investigate and take action.