News Flash


Posted on: December 31, 2019

Essex County Court decision regarding South Elementary

A decision from an Essex County Superior Court Judge issued late yesterday afternoon denied the Andover Education Association’s (AEA) request for a temporary restraining order that would have halted the Andover Public School's investigation of allegations by employees that there is a hostile work environment among educators at South Elementary School. 

The court stated that “curtailing the School District's ability to investigate the nature and scope of the problem(s) at South Elementary by issuing the proposed injunction essentially would force the School District to allow apparently serious workplace difficulties at an elementary school to fester unaddressed during the pendency of the injunction. Such delay, in turn, raises substantial concerns about the educational environment for the students at the school. This is an important public interest that the School District is charged with protecting, and a court should exercise caution before issuing an injunction limiting the ability of the School District to carry out this important responsibility.”

The court added that “… without such interviews, the School District effectively would be unable to determine the source or scope of the workplace difficulties and also, therefore, to devise an approach to remedying them…”

Rather than ruling on the merits of any of the allegations by the AEA, including allegations of alleged union monitoring at South Elementary which are independent of the investigation, the court has deferred those to the Department of Labor Relations (DLR) where the AEA has filed these charges. We have already filed responses with the DLR, which show that the AEA’s claims are unsubstantiated.

Our goal is to provide the employees at South Elementary working conditions in which they can focus on educating our students. It is our responsibility to provide a healthy work environment for every APS employee, and we will continue to do so, including completion of the investigation.

Dr. Sheldon Berman, Superintendent

Andover Public Schools

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