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Former superintendent suing Tiffin City Schools in federal court, says district is sexist in hiring practices

TiffinOhio.net Staff

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TIFFIN, OH — According to records from the office of Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick, United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, a lawsuit against Tiffin City Schools filed by a former superintendent is expected to be decided on or settled by late 2019.

The records state the case is assigned to the standard track. A telephone conference was set for 5/29/2019 at 10:00 AM before Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick, but was vacated last month.

Now, a joint status report is due from both parties by the end of August, before the case goes to trial.

Wheatley is suing the district and local school board, alleging gender-based employment discrimination, retaliation, unequal pay (based on gender), and a hostile work environment.

Vicki A. Wheatley, of Port Clinton, served as Tiffin City Schools superintendent from January 2014 up until late July 2017.

Wheatley claims in the lawsuit, originally filed July 3, that she was told by school officials that they would “only hire a male,” and that her replacement, a male, only has his master’s degree and five more years of experience than her, but is receiving pay and benefits that are “substantially” more than what she received, according to the lawsuit.

Wheatley was often the center of the controversy during her time as superintendent, being accused of unfairness in the debate regarding the Family Learning Center and Tiffin City Schools’ partnership with local educational service centers.

Tiffin City Schools published a press release in response to the lawsuit. “The Tiffin City Schools board is unanimous in its support of new Superintendent Gary Barber who is aggressively implementing a plan to put our schools on the right path to success,” it states. “It appears to be working. Our ultimate success will be measured in terms of our students’ ability to be college or career ready.”

“We had an agreement some time ago,” the release from TCS states. “We will respond appropriately to the lawsuit.”

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