According to published news reports, Everett Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) alleging racial and gender discrimination.
Tahiliani unanimously was appointed as superintendent in December 2019 with a contract that runs through 2024.
At the December meeting of the School Committee, several members tried to have Tahiliani’s contract extended to June, 2025.
The basis for the extension was that members claimed that Tahiliani has been hampered in carrying out her anticipated objectives and policies due to having to deal with the widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has required the implementation of temporary measures, most notably remote learning for students.
However, several of the newly-elected members of the School Committee spoke out against any changes to the contract by the “lame duck” school board. The matter was postponed for the new school committee to address.
At the School Committee meeting on January 18 during the public comment period, several people in attendance praised the job that Tahiliani has done.
A current student at Everett High School told committee members how important it is to have a superintendent of color, noting that the issue is not necessarily about skin color, but perspective.
Another student said that Tahiliani is “an amazing woman and that it is amazing to see women of color in power.”
The Independent has been unable to acquire a copy of the MCAD complaint, as it is the policy of the MCAD not to comment on pending cases.
In addition, calls to Tahiliani’s attorney, Benjamin Flam, to obtain a copy of the complaint have not been successful as of press time.
However, according to the news reports, Tahiliani wrote in her complaint, “The institutional racism championed by Everett’s Mayor, Carlo DeMaria, and his cronies on the now reformed School Committee is palpable.” City officials have not made any comment regarding the complaint, citing privacy issues for all of the parties involved.