JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Update 9:55 p.m.: Chris Rackers, the attorney representing JCPS, released a statement Wednesday night:
“It is important to limit public comment on the two claims, because we want to make sure that all parties have a chance for a fair trial. The two employees who are suing the District filed complaints with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights months ago, to which we had to respond. As part of our response, the District had to file the two suits in March in order to preserve some defenses.The two employees have now chosen to sue the District. The District is committed to providing a lawful environment for everyone—teachers, administrators, and students. We absolutely deny the allegations and will vigorously defend the District in both cases.”
Original story: Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of two Jefferson City Public Schools employees claiming discrimination.
Tammy Ferry and Gretchen Guitard said school administrators are guilty of retaliation, sex discrimination and creating a hostile work environment.
Both women were granted a "right to sue" notice through the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, a branch of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
Attorneys for the school district attempted to block that notice last month in court.
A jury ruled less than a year ago in favor of a similar lawsuit filed by Karen Ray, who claimed that she was bullied and forced out of her job.
Ferry testified in that case, in which Ray was awarded $225,000 in punitive damages.
Ferry's lawsuit claims that the retaliation by administrators got worse after her testimony in May 2016.