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MHRC agrees with investigator’s findings that Brewer School Department discriminated, retaliated against teacher

Brewer High School
Brewer High School(WABI)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 5:04 PM EDT
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BREWER, Maine (WABI) - The Maine Human Rights Commission has agreed with an investigator’s findings that the Brewer School Department discriminated and retaliated against a teacher who was the advisor of an LGBTQ support group.

Brewer High School English teacher Michelle MacDonald filed a complaint against the school department and two other teachers in 2019.

She says the discrimination started in 2017 and continued through March of last year.

Investigator Jane O’Reilly says MacDonald was discriminated against because of association on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression.

O’Reilly says there was no reasonable grounds to believe the two other teachers retaliated against MacDonald but did write the following in the report, “The record here indicates that the hostile conduct directed at complainant related to her association with/advocacy for LGBTQ people was pervasive at least, if not severe, and that it was objectively and subjectively offensive.”

Brewer Superintendent Gregg Palmer released a statement Tuesday saying in part, “While we cannot guarantee every interaction unfolds in the way a given person expects it should, we thoroughly investigate each incident whenever it is brought to our attention and take appropriate actions.

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