Staff Member Sues Newark Superintendent For Sexual Harassment and Public Shaming

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Kristen Hunter, a Newark Public Schools District former employee, has filed a lawsuit against Superintendent Roger León, school business administrator Valerie Wilson, affirmative action officer Keith Barton, assistant superintendent Yolanda Mendez, her former boss Sherelle Spriggs, and 20 other unidentified defendants. Hunter charges she harassed, intimidated, and intimidated against, according to Chalkbeat, which broke the news late yesterday. 

Hunter also accused León of sending “sexually explicit text messages” about her to an assistant business administrator,  Krystal Whitlock, who had taken her out to dinner and asked “invasive questions” about Hunter’s sex life.

“Hunter was mortified when she saw that Whitlock was texting León what appeared to be details about their conversation,” reads the lawsuit. 

The lawsuit includes various incidents of Hunter’s harassment. These include “publicly shaming” her during meetings, denying her professional development opportunities she was eligible for, and changing her payroll records. When she filed a complaint with the district office of affirmative action, the head of the office replied with a letter copied to León and one of the district attorneys.

Hunter was fired shortly after on June 29th, 2020.

From Chalkbeat:

Hunter, whose son is disabled, said she continued to experience harassment from León, including being “publicly shamed” during central office staff meetings for being late to work after her child was having issues with school bus transportation despite her staying late to make up the time, the lawsuit said. León also yelled at Hunter on June 25, 2020, after his decision to have employees bring their kids to work prompted Hunter to raise concerns for parents with children who required additional support for their children. Former colleagues have said that León developed a reputation as “a taskmaster, with flashes of a hot temper.”

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