In a unanimous action, on April 4 the Skagway School Board voted not to support a complaint of age discrimination and harassment.
The matter was discussed in a closed executive session as it involved confidential personnel issues.
The board voted on the complaint following its closed-door discussion.
The complaint was filed by teacher Dottie DeMark against Superintendent Dr. Josh Coughran, and argued that DeMark’s upcoming transfer was based upon age discrimination and age harassment.
DeMark had spoken out at a board meeting in February in protest to a change in roles at the school, which would take place in the next academic term. A 13-year teacher with Skagway, DeMark expressed displeasure at being moved out of a mathematics-teaching position.
Coughran said at the time that DeMark would be moved into a role supporting special, gifted and talented education, and would also
become the district test and distance learning coordinator.
“It doesn’t really change anything with how we move forward with things,” School Board President John Hischer said. “We’re going to continue with our current staffing plan, so there will be no change in anything.”
Prior to the vote, Hischer thanked DeMark for bringing the situation to the board’s attention, as well as thanking Coughran for telling his side of the story.
Following the vote, the board approved a motion to direct Hischer to work with legal counsel to prepare a draft decision outlining the board’s decision.