Everett Superintendent Placed on Leave Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Two women have made complaints of sexual harassment against Fred Forestiere, the Everett superintendent of nearly 30 years

The Everett, Massachusetts School Committee has placed Superintendent Fred Forestiere on paid administrative leave amid sexual harassment allegations against him.

The school committee also voted to allocate $50,000 to an independent investigation into the allegations against Forestiere.

A meeting was held Monday night at Everett High School, where the committee made the decision pending the outcome of the independent investigation.

The committee discussed Forestiere's fate for 90 minutes behind closed doors before announcing their decision to those who had gathered at the high school.

The move comes after complaints of sexual harassment from two different women.

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria has voiced his support for the committee's decision.

"I believe the school committee took the appropriate action tonight by voting to place the superintendent on administrative leave pending a thorough investigation of these allegations," Mayor DeMaria said in a statement.

The public has been very vocal on the matter, including parents and teachers who showed up Monday night in protest, wondering why this kind of action didn't happen sooner.

The superintendent has been under investigation by the state's Commission Against Discrimination since earlier this month. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Those protesting Monday night called the committee's decision a victory but they are still wondering why it took so long.

"There’s still a long way to go in terms of accountability," Jessica Haralson said. "There's still a lot of things that the Everett public schools needs to do to truly ensure that it's accountable to all but with that said we do think this is a step in the right direction."

Janice Gauthier will take over as interim superintendent while the investigation into the allegations against Forestiere takes place.

"It's a tall order and there are big boots to fill," Gauthier said.

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