N.Y. Education Department Overturns No-Trespass/No-Contact Order a School District Got Against Ex-Board-Member
From Appeal of Brockway, decided Dec. 13 by Commissioner Rosa of the New York State Education Department:
Petitioner [Andrew Brockway] appeals the extension of a resolution adopted by the Beekmantown Central School District (“respondent”) banning him from district property and imposing conditions upon his speech. The appeal must be sustained in part.
Petitioner served as a member of the board from 2013-2019. The record reflects that he was a persistent critic of the superintendent and other colleagues on the board.
During a board meeting on January 8, 2019, petitioner cursed at, and physically intimidated, the superintendent. Petitioner also suggested that the superintendent had an affair with a district employee. Petitioner was thereafter arrested and charged with menacing and harassment in the Town of Beekmantown Justice Court. The court issued a temporary order of protection that directed petitioner to refrain from contacting the superintendent. The order of protection expired in July 2019 and the criminal charges were eventually dismissed.
On January 30, 2019, petitioner resigned from his board position. Respondent thereafter sought an order removing petitioner from office under Education Law § 306, which was denied as moot (Application of the Bd. of Educ. of the Beekmantown Cent. Sch. Dist., 59 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,718).
In a determination dated February 26, 2019, respondent concluded that petitioner’s accusation of infidelity during the January 8, 2019 board meeting constituted harassment on the basis of sex. Specifically, respondent found that the comment “potentially created a hostile work environment” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX decision”). As a remedy for this violation, respondent i
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