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Everett school superintendent sues city for racial discrimination; charges mayor bugged her office

Soon-to-be-former Everett School Superintendent Priya Tahiliani and Deputy Superintendent Kim Tsai today sued Mayor Carlo DeMaria and the School Committee for job discrimination, alleging that a school-committee vote earlier this month to not renew their contracts was the culmination of an effort by DeMaria and his cronies to oust the first two non-White school leaders in the city's history.

In their complaint, filed in Boston federal court, the two allege that after Tahilani filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in February, 2022, "DeMaria caused secret surveillance cameras to be installed in Tahiliani’s office ceiling" and that the FBI removed the devices "and is currently investigating that unlawful wiretapping activity."

Several months later, when Tsai filed her own state discrimination case, the suit alleges, DeMaria told Tahilani that was it, she was not going to stay as superintendent.

Tahiliani and Tsai were subjected to demeaning and racist comments, abusive and disparate treatment, and unjustified and highly subjective discriminatory and retaliatory attacks. Their main offense? Being women of color who refused to maintain a "Whites only" hiring policy for district level jobs.

The school committee hired Tahilani in 2019 to replace long-time Superintendent and now convicted sex offender Frederick Forestiere.

Tahiliani and Tsai allege that from the start, DeMaria could not countenance anybody who was not White running schools - even though the student body is overwhelmingly of color - and that he took a series of steps to hobble them, including getting a home-rule petition passed to add himself to the school committee, withholding funds from the school system and encouraging City Hall officials with dealings with the school to bypass them completely and work only with school managers who were White. At one point, the suit alleges, DeMaria's allies on the committee told her to stay home instead of attending committee meetings and that they would summon her if needed.

As recommended by the Department of Education and Secondary Education ("DESE"), public school districts are encouraged to increase diversity of staff that represent the demographics of the student population. To achieve this goal, Tahiliani began to hire staff that were culturally diverse, including establishing important new positions such as the Family Engagement Manager and the Chief Equity Officer, both of which were filled with minority candidates. As a result of this, Mayor DeMaria began to openly accuse her of being a racist to members of the School Committee and the school community, stating that she only hired people of color and that she hates White people

But even with her hires, the suit says, the Everett school workforce remains 80% White.

The suit lists five specific legal charges, including retaliation, discrimination on the basis of race and national origin and creating a hostile work environment. They are seeking a jury trial at which to make their case and seek damages and an end to the discrimination and hostile workplace.

Free tagging: 
PDF icon Complete complaint184.59 KB


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Used to be in the IT department at the City of Everett. From what he told me, I'm inclined to believe this woman.

Voting closed 51

I hope these two women bankrupt Everett racist treasury.
The poor taxpayers will pay the price.

Voting closed 8

That's always part of the problem, isn't it. Some jackass in government is awful and instead of the individuals responsible being held accountable, the City/State/Police Department/etc picks up the bill. Including people who didn't vote for this guy, or in the case of various city departments (cough-Cops-cough) have NO control over the hiring and firing of.

Wish these suits could require the asshole who did the bad thing to cough up their own money.

Voting closed 8

Both plaintiffs previously worked for BPS. Both filed racial/gender discrimination complaints against Boston before they landed in Everett.

Voting closed 30

If the FBI had to remove cameras, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

Voting closed 49

If they prove that in court the judgement should go to the plaintiff.

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Wow almost like people of color may face discrimination from multiple sources or something.

Voting closed 21

The Mayor is 100% guilty

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I read this as... You discriminated against me because i was discriminatory my hiring practices.

Why is one acceptable while the other is not. Both seem guilty here. Someone who didnt get hired while she was employed could easily now sue and win due to her admission on guilt in her filing.

Voting closed 17

School staff being over 80% white in a majority minority community (and the school age population is even more diverse) is discriminatory in itself. Actively hiring people of color so that the employee demographics more closely match the population and student demographics isn't discriminatory at all. It is actually directly undermining discrimination.

This is such a ridiculous point to try to make.

Voting closed 27

where the Register of Probate was once caught stealing quarters from the copy machines in the Registry of Deeds. No wonder the casino is located there.

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It contains not just cities you may have heard of like Everett, Somerville, Cambridge, and Malden, but also most of Boston's western and northwestern suburbs, and the city of Lowell, and even far-off rural towns like Ashby.

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