Questions on bullying follow new Plum superintendent
Some community members have criticized the appointment of Brendan Hyland as Plum School District superintendent, saying a 2014 lawsuit indicates he failed to respond adequately to a student’s complaints of bullying and sexual harassment while he was a North Allegheny principal.
Mr. Hyland was named Plum superintendent Tuesday during a contentious meeting.
Some who spoke at the meeting mentioned the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, that included claims that the North Allegheny School District violated Title IX, the federal law that bars sex discrimination in public schools, and the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution.
Part of the lawsuit was settled and the rest was dismissed. Mr. Hyland, who led North Allegheny Intermediate High School before landing the Plum superintendent job, was not a defendant, but his actions were described in the lawsuit.
The school district’s insurer settled part of the lawsuit out of court, Plum solicitor Bruce Dice said. Terms of the settlement were not publicly available Wednesday.
According to the lawsuit, a
that he has always followed laws and policies involving bullying and harassment.
“I will say my concern and commitment to addressing these types of behaviors has been a constant and will always be a focus at Plum so we can have the most positive learning environment as possible for our students,” he said.
The terms of Mr. Hyland’s Plum contract were not disclosed at the meeting. The five-year agreement includes a starting annual salary of $155,000 and five weeks of vacation. After the first year, Mr. Hyland will be eligible for an annual increase of 2.5 percent each year, topping out at $171,000.
He replaces former superintendent Timothy Glasspool, who left last year, citing an “antagonistic school board.” Mr. Glasspool was placed on paid leave in May 2016 after a grand jury report detailed the findings of a sexabuse scandal in the district. Three former high school teachers were sentenced to prison after sexual assault convictions involving students.
Under his separation agreement, Mr. Glasspool received his salary of $157,600.