About 30 people gathered outside City Hall Monday to protest alleged sexual harassment and discrimination by school Supt. Frederick Foresteire.
The Everett Education Coalition rally was organized after charges of sexual harassment were levied against the superintendent by former School Department Payroll Clerk Andrea Garay. Many of those who took part Monday night said they stood behind Garay.
“It’s important for women and girls to know they are supported and that they are believed,” said the Rev. Renee Solano. “Even though I do not have a lot of faith that anything will come out of this, I will continue to speak out.”
Several parents and EEC members said they want to see Foresteire placed on administrative leave while the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) fully investigates all charges against him.
“I’m here because as parents and residents of Everett, we deserve better and we deserve to know that the school leadership is not above reproach,” said Sara Hilinski.
Joanna Garren said she and her husband moved to Everett three years ago and want to be invested in the community and create a positive environment for their infant son.
During the rally, a number of people held brightly colored signs touting the #metoo movement along Broadway. There were also several speakers at the event, including Everett High School senior Diana Pierre.
“I want to make a difference in the high school,” she said. “We can’t allow things like this to happen.”
After the rally, many of the EEC members made their way to the City Council meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting, Council President Peter Napolitano read a short statement noting that the Council was taking the allegations against Foresteire seriously and that the issue would be handled appropriately.
Gerly Adrien, a former state representative candidate, spoke for the group and the Coalition during the public speaking part of the Council meeting.