Marblehead sued by ousted Glover School official

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Chair of Student Services at Glover School Ann Haskell has been fired by Interim Superintendent Theresa McGuinness, and is now suing Marblehead Public Schools and McGuinness.

A complaint was filed by Haskell in Essex Superior Court on March 25 after McGuinness released a heavily redacted 54-page report from Comprehensive Investigations and Consulting, detailing the investigation into a student restraint crisis at Glover School in November 2023. That incident resulted in four educators being placed on leave, including Haskell, according to the complaint. 

Haskell was the only educator placed on leave who is not a part of the Marblehead Education Association.

The complaint states that McGuinness notified Haskell of her termination in a March 19 letter, effective that same date for “a specific reason unstated and unknown.” On March 1, Haskell received a notice of intent to dismiss, citing “conduct unbecoming an employee, incompetence, and untruthfulness,” which stemmed from the Nov. 20 incident, according to the complaint. 

Haskell is requesting to be reinstated to “her former, or an agreeable equivalent position with MPS with full fringe benefits, seniority rights and back pay,” dating back to her termination on March 19. She is also demanding compensation for lost wages and benefits if not returned to her position, as well as compensation for emotional distress, public humiliation, and embarrassment. 

The complaint argues that McGuinness “manufactured” policy violations for Haskell’s termination, despite a statement by an “expert witness hired by the MPS’s investigator,” which found Haskell innocent. 

“The finding in this incident is that Ms. Haskell did not violate the rules and regulations of the Marblehead Public School knowingly or with reason to know,” the statement, provided in Haskell’s complaint, reads. 

According to the complaint, the investigator’s report also stated that “no disciplinary action should be taken against Ms. Haskell.” 

“McGuinness’ action in discharging the Plaintiff in the face of the investigator’s report and the expert’s finding and recommendations… lead to the conclusion that the discharge was for manufactured violations intended to insulate McGuinness from public criticism or possible future legal action, and to enhance her professional resume as she searches for her next professional placement,” the complaint stated.

McGuinness announced that she would not be pursuing the permanent superintendent position in the district less than two months after the incident at Glover School. 

Haskell was hired by MPS as the student services chair on Oct. 31, 2022. During the Nov. 20 incident at Glover, Haskell was serving as principal of the elementary school in place of Hope Doran, who had been on leave before announcing her resignation in January. 

The complaint states that Haskell has not been trained on Quality Behavioral Solutions, nor has she been Safety Trained or trained with the Safety-Care Manual “as the (then, now resigned) Director of Student Services did not want team chairs trained in Safety-Care,” referring to Paula Donnelly. 

Haskell’s termination is the latest part of the fallout resulting from the Nov. 20 incident. The three other MEA educators remain on paid administrative leave as the MEA has demanded and protested that their colleagues be reinstated. Donnelly, along with Associate Director of Student Services Emily Dean, resigned from their positions in January after a 98 percent vote of no confidence in Student Services leadership by the MEA. 

The complaint states that Haskell had performed in her role without criticism or “any disciplinary issues whatsoever” up until the Glover incident. 

“Each of these four named administrators (Doran, Donnelly, Dean, and McGuinness) have resigned or sent notice of intention to leave the school system, rather than face public scrutiny for their failures in training, educating, and setting administrative policies to have supported the educators in situations such as occurred here, including the Plaintiff Ann Haskell now being wrongfully terminated,” the complaint alleges.

  • Ryan Vermette is the Item's Marblehead reporter. He graduated from Springfield College in 2021 with a Bachelor's degree in Communications/Sports Journalism. While in school, he wrote multiple sports articles for the school newspaper, the Springfield Student, and joined Essex Media Group in August, 2022. Ryan is a college basketball fanatic and an avid Boston sports fan and in his free time, enjoys video games and Marvel movies.