Superintendent Costs District $3.4 Million

Superintendent Costs District $3.4 Million

Although written during the date provided, this article was republished during 2020 by Nicolas Gorman to put it on the website. The author is unknown.

In the wake of  accusations of harassment, bullying, and mistreatment of female employees, Glynn Thompson has left the District. However the pain Thompson caused continue. His ouster cost the district $3.4 million in a settlement, paid out to the 14 female employees who sued. The district’s insurance only covers less than 45 percent of the costs, and the rest of the money will be paid by taxpayers through the district.

Though Thompson’s behavior has resulted in his personal dismissal, ultimately, he is not bearing the weight of his actions; the district and the taxpayers directly pay for this, and the costs come out of already struggling school programs in need of this funding. Since a big purpose of school is to teach responsibility,  it seems fair to ask: Who is responsible for his hiring and the poor judgment and sloppy leadership he provided, resulting in these immense costs? Where was the leadership and the courage to take action when the first complaints were made against Thompson.

The Board of Education, by letting Thompson run unchecked, lacked the ability to stop him before his actions cost taxpayers so much.

Spokespeople for the district have stated that the money has come from funds in reserve accounts, so no programs will be directly affected, but won’t reserves need to be replenished? The money comes from somewhere and ultimately that somewhere is programs in schools.

The cost of the payout was equivalent to buying over 4,000 Macbook Airs for students, or covering nine 80,000 square-foot football or soccer fields with artificial turf, or over 11,000 iPad minis, or a $9,000 bonus to every district employee.

All of these costs, as well as a protracted legal battle where Thompson continued to deny allegations and more and more suits were brought against the district, are the lasting impact of the district’s lack of oversight and the poor decisions of who to appoint.

In addition to the settlement costs, the district has spent over $175,000 in legal fees to a private investigative service that was looking into the allegations and complaints against the former superintendent, while While the district paid an interim superintendent, Thompson retained his salary and benefits during this entire period. He was placed on paid leave in May of last year.

The claims being brought against Thompson include an assortment of charges of bullying, inappropriate and hostile behavior. He is defending his behavior, saying he was trying to undo the “culture of nice” that he claims pervades the field of education, and that he was only cracking down on ineffective educators and administrators.

This argument was not enough to discredit the 14 employees who complained against him, including Yvonne Wright’s contention that she, as the only black, high-level administrator, was racially discriminated against when Thompson “publicly ostracized” her and would not allow her to transfer to another district job, demoting her to a principal of an elementary school.

For the San Juan School District to remain a strong public  take greater care in their hiring process for people who bear the greatest responsibility, and rather than listen to the now-discredited Thompson’s criticism of the “culture of nice”, they must to undo the culture that allows discriminatory, sexist behavior to run unchecked at its highest rungs.