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Former Swampscott teacher sues district

SWAMPSCOTT – A former Swampscott High School math teacher – who now teaches in Marblehead – has filed a lawsuit against the school district, the superintendent and the Swampscott High School principal.David Kalpin, 6 Pinehill Road, worked at the high school from 2000 to 2005. He left “after being subjected to lies and verbal abuse” by administrators and members of the School Committee, according to the lawsuit filed in Salem Superior Court.Kalpin left the district after butting heads with school officials and the School Committee during the 2003-2004 academic year over grading policies, according to the lawsuit.Kalpin filed the lawsuit against Superintendent Lynne Celli, Principal Layne Millington and secretary Nancy Olsen.Kalpin alleges Olsen advised several school employees not to hire him because he came with “baggage.”Olsen declined to comment and attempts to reach Millington were unsuccessful.Kalpin applied for a position as a math teacher at the high school on June 14, 2010 and was interviewed on July 12 by Mathematics Department Chairman Ana Monteiro, according to the lawsuit.When Kalpin asked Monteiro about the status of his application on July 22, 2010, she told him he did not get the job.Monteiro told Kalpin he was not hired because he came with “baggage” due to grading irregularity issues from several years ago, according to the lawsuit.Kalpin said he went to Monteiro’s home on July 23 and again the week of July 26 to discuss his concerns about the hiring process.Kalpin said Monteiro invited him in on both occasions and she admitted rumors surfaced after he was interviewed, according to the lawsuit.”Monteiro explained that after the interview, someone from the school’s main office spoke with the interview panel and informed them that Mr. Kalpin once tried to get the school registrar to change grades,” the lawsuit states.Kalpin alleges in the lawsuit he received a phone call from Millington on Aug. 3 informing him a teacher “felt uneasy” about a conversation with him. Kalpin alleges Millington told him to “drop it in order to avoid a harassment complaint.””You have a nice job in Marblehead,” Millington allegedly said. “If a harassment charge is filed it would become public and anybody could read about it.”Kalpin said he perceived Millington’s comments as a threat and when he asked Millington to discuss it further, he was again told to “drop it,” according to the lawsuit.Kalpin alleges on Aug. 7 he received a “purported legal notice” from Celli threatening to have him arrested if he entered the high school.His wife Cathy Kalpin is an adjustment councilor at Clarke Elementary School.The lawsuit alleges the legal notice served by the district prohibits him from entering the high school to see his wife “who occasionally has work meetings at the school” and to see his niece, who is a student there.Calls to Kalpin were not returned Monday, but his attorney, Timothy Bolen, said, “His main concern is the fact that he is prohibited from ever setting foot on the property again. From Mr. Kalpin’s point of view, he believes it is depriving him of his rights. He has always been on the property peacefully and legally.”Celli said she believes the lawsuit is without merit.”We will vigorously defend this suit,” she said. “We our totally behind our administrators.”

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