Ques­tions on bul­ly­ing fol­low new Plum su­per­in­ten­dent

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Local news - By Matt McK­in­ney

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.

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