Tahiliani suit discussed at School Committee executive session

Everett resident Sandy Juliano showed where she stands at the meeting Monday night.(Photo by
Paula Streriti)

By Josh Resnek

A large and boisterous crowd of Superintendent Priya Tahiliani supporters that assembled holding signs and booing some members of the school committee complained mightily when the meeting was sent into executive session at the high school Monday night.

The special meeting, and executive session, presumably, were held to discuss strategy regarding pending litigation now weaving its way through Federal al District Court in Boston and very likely any other issues raised by those on both sides of the issue.

Lawyers representing the school committee and Tahiliani attended the executive session with the school committee and the mayor, who serves as a voting member of the board.

Also, as written on the school committee agenda for the session, it was held to discuss discipline or dismissal of, or complaints brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual.

Very likely, this refers to Tahiliani, who has not been granted an extension of her contract and or the mayor and others named in Tahiliani’s discrimination lawsuit filed some months back in the Federal Court.

A view of the crowd that attended Monday’s school committee meeting.

Other issues may have been discussed but executive sessions rely on a protective shield of secrecy. No one participating in Monday’s executive session can speak publicly about it.

School Committee Chairman Mike Mangan delivered remarks before the board voted to go into executive session, remarks met with howling from the large crowd of residents who attended hoping for a free and open discussion.

Mangan told them the executive session protects everyone involved, that it is done all the time and that the city was following tried and true rules.

“It was intense at the meeting. The executive session voted on by the school committee protects only those who are hoping to be rid of Tahiliani. They have said nothing in public about why she is being replaced after voting favorably for her previously. They used the executive session to hide behind. It was a terrible disappointment for the meeting to be held in secrecy for those of us pleading for transparency,” said Jon Puopolo.

“I think the pro mayor crowd who voted against a public meeting, looked dejected and disgusted over the size of the crowd and the boos they received,” Puopulo added.

“The crowd reserved its largest round of boos for the mayor,” said Puopolo, as proven by a review of the video from the meeting.

The mayor made no comments as he walked into the executive session.

When the executive session was completed, school committee members and lawyers who attended filed out of the high school without comment.

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