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Statement from Superintendent Priya Tahiliani about complaints

I must say, this entire pro- cess is highly questionable. I am told about a report detailing complaints of 10 plus employees, and yet I still don’t know what these complaints are about. I have been told that this report was crafted by Everett City Hall. This clearly demonstrates the clear conflict of interest that has always existed with the School Committee Chair being an employee of City Hall.

This entire process is as unjust as it is unfounded.

– Priya Tahiliani

But let me say firmly that any investigation into these claims will reveal that I have been doing my job and holding EPS staff accountable to our students, families, residents, and taxpayers for bad behaviors that should not be tolerated such as time theft, disappearing from work during the school day, bullying and threatening colleagues and students, reduced schedules or responsibilities, and even destruction of school property.

In terms of the investigation itself, I only ask that it is fair and impartial. I say that because the independent investigator employed by EPS recently conducted a flawed and incomplete investigation and worked in concert with the school committee attorney who not only had a direct conflict in our previous investigation, but himself engaged in behavior that was inappropriate and violated EdReform. So I ask for two things – that two independent investigators be employed to look into this matter – one of the School Committee’s choosing and one of mine — and that both investigators be granted equal access to interviewing witnesses on both sides of the issue, not just those who filed complaints with the City Hall HR department.

Additionally, I believe these investigators should look into the allegations I have made time and time again regarding the hostile work environment I have been subjected to over the past 3.5 years. I have written a litany of official requests to my employers and to the School Committee attorney asking for guidance and support only to have my own complaints about School Committee members brushed under the rug.

There is a profound irony at play here. This is a city and school committee that did nothing to publicly discuss, let alone sanction, the myriad allegations against the former superintendent. This is a city and a school committee that failed to act amid budgetary chaos, draconian rulemaking, indiscriminate personnel maneuvering, illegal use of school employees, and sexual misconduct. And now that I serve in the role and do not support the cronyism and nepotism that have ruled here for decades, will not turn a blind eye to bad behavior and will not engage in bad behavior myself, this city and school committee are accusing me of being hostile.

This entire process is as unjust as it is unfounded.

Priya Tahiliani

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