In 2007, Mastbaum Vocational Technical School assistant principal Richard Migliore addressed the School Reform Commission about his book “Whose School is It? The Democratic Imperative for Our Schools” hoping to offer district leaders some constructive feedback.
From that day forward, the principal of the school Mary Sandra Dean and other district administrators made up false reports about Migliore, denied him fair hearings and eventually demoted him until he retired in September 2009, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court on June 20.
“He had a distinguished 34-year career with the school district,” said Ellis Saul, Migliore’s attorney. “For those things to happen, and as we said in the complaint, they all happened after the introduction of his book ... it was surreal.”
According to the complaint, Migliore was harassed and repeatedly subjected to hostile treatment by Dean, who once allegedly told him “Either you transfer or I will write so much paper on you that you will lose your job.”
After being denied a transfer and demoted to a teacher in 2009, Migliore took what is considered “early retirement,” costing him $10,000 a year in retirement income. The suit is seeking an amount in excess of $500,000.
Among the 10 defendants named in the suit is Dean and Superintendent Arlene Ackerman. The district said it is investigating the allegations.