Local News: Chaffee School Administrator Sues District, Alleges Discrimination, Retaliation (8/23/22)


CHAffee, Mo. — On Monday, as students in Chaffee, Mo. arrived for the first day of class, the school district was formally sued by one of its trustees — Mary Hall, vice-principal and program director.

Hall of Jackson, in a press release prepared by his attorney, JP Clubb of Cape Girardeau and submitted to the Southeastern Missourian, alleges that Chaffee condoned sexual harassment, created a hostile work environment and “retaliated for defending his rights and those of Chaffee students.

Hall, who the statement said has 11 years of education experience, reported to school administration in early 2021 that he had been sexually harassed by a co-worker.

In response, the 23-page lawsuit claims that “Chaffee began to retaliate and discriminate against Ms. Hall,” further alleging that after Hall voiced her opposition to an administrative hire made in the summer of 2021, Chaffee” further retaliated against her (by) making false and defamatory accusations about (Hall’s) private life, excluding her from her professional accounts, suspending her, changing her duties and generally making her professional life miserable,” according to Lawyer Clubb.

Hall, who in 2019 was named Regional Teacher of the Year by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), continues to work for Chaffee Schools and remains listed on the chaffee.k12.mo website. .us.

The civil action seeks a jury trial in Scott County Circuit Court.

Among other things, Hall is seeking $25,000 for emotional distress, an additional $25,000 in lost wages and benefits, plus court costs and attorney fees.

Southeast Missouri could not reach the Chaffee administration for comment on Hall’s trial Monday afternoon.

The Chaffee School District had 638 students at all grades in the 2021-2022 school year, a figure representing the most recent DESE statistics available online for the district.

Martha K. Merrill