Former central office employee sues Brunswick Co. school system

Superintendent Katie McGee
Superintendent Katie McGee

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email
Updated by Peter Smelser - email

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A former employee of Brunswick County Schools' central office is now suing the school system.

Sherry Dove was employed as an administrative assistant to superintendent Katie McGee until the school board transferred her to Leland Middle School.

Dove filed a lawsuit against the school system because she claims the move was an act of retaliation. At Tuesday evening's board meeting there was visible support for Dove.

"I think that a lot of members feel that what's been done to Sherry Dove, it it can be done to her, then it can be done to all of us," said Robin Randolph, President, Brunswick County Association Educators.

In the lawsuit, Dove claims that McGee began a campaign in 2006 of on-the-job harassment by using loud, angry, and intimidating language with the purpose of frightening her.

Dove filed a grievance against McGee in April, but the school board cleared McGee of any wrong doing. Dove and  her supporters say the process was unfair.

"If you are denied a hearing, they you can't really hear the problems that are going on," said Sandy Younce, North Carolina Association of Educators. "We'd like to convince the board to open up its doors and start listening to its employees."

The Brunswick County Association of Educators says Dove is not the only one who was denied a hearing. They cite five other employee complaints along with a laundry list of other concerns.

Last week the board voted 3:2 to transfer Dove to a secretarial job at Leland Middle School.

Since the case is pending, no one from either side is speaking.  Dove is seeking in excess of $10,000 from the suit.  She is also asking not to be transferred to Leland Middle School.

"We can't discuss personnel," said Shirley Babson, school board chair. "So they're only getting bits and pieces of it and I think it causes people to be concerned because they know something's going on, they just don't know what's going on."

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