SWL: Teacher lawsuit moving forward with one less claim

Southborough Wicked Local reports that a lawsuit against our school district will proceed, but with one claim dismissed.

As previously reported, the Town of Northborough was seeking dismissal of a suit filed by a former elementary special education teacher.

The claims and background are all related to Northborough. But the suit is filed against both Northborough and the Northborough-Southborough District.

Angela Smith’s suit claims related to stress from incidents in the classroom [including repeated attacks by a special needs student] and unfair treatment from the principal causing a hostile work environment.

SWL reports that the Town of Northborough failed to get the case fully dismissed. The judge denied dismissal of the majority of claims:

[U.S. District Court Timothy S.] Hillman on Thursday partially denied the town’s motion, finding that Smith’s allegations are plausible enough that she may be entitled to legal relief if all of the factual claims in her lawsuit are true. He also refused to dismiss claims that the school district breached Smith’s contract, finding her allegations are not barred by collective bargaining or other labor law provisions.

However, he did dismiss the legality of hostile workplace allegations:

Even if Smith’s allegations are true, the conduct described in her lawsuit is not “sufficiently pervasive or severe” to warrant legal action, Hillman ruled.

“That ([Principal] Margaret Donohoe) was rude to Smith and occasionally insulted her is insufficient to state a claim for hostile work environment,” he wrote.

For the full report, click here.

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