A former York City School District administrator is suing the district because, he claims, he was discriminated against for being white.
The school board on Monday terminated the contract of Director of Buildings and Grounds Brad Harman, who worked in York City since 2003. That was a few weeks after he filed the suit.
Harman had been on short-term disability leave since the summer because of various health issues; he had previously had a kidney transplant.
According to his contract, the board could either give him a year of leave or terminate his contract.
Harman said his time with York City had felt like a "very hostile work environment."
Primarily, according to the amended complaint filed in U.S. Middle District Court earlier this month, Harman said he felt discriminated against by some board members as a result of his race.
Harman is seeking compensation and health insurance. The district has filed a motion for dismissal, saying Harman didn't exhaust all options in addressing his concerns over harassment.
"It just kind of wore me down," Harman said of the al-
'Hit list': The lawsuit names the district, board president Margie Orr, board member James Morgan and former board member Jeffrey Kirkland. Orr, Morgan, and Kirkland are black. Former board member Samuel Beard and current member Beverly Atwater were originally included, but later dropped as defendants.
Harrisburg attorney Chris Conrad, representing the district, declined to comment, and Orr said the board isn't allowed to comment on active litigation.
Harman said things really came to a head around 2010 when a new wave of board members came to power and were able to fire then-Superintendent Sharon Miller, who is white.
Miller had filed a complaint in 2011 against the board because she believes racial discrimination played a part in her 2010 dismissal. Miller's ongoing case is with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Harman claims in recent years he and several other administrators were told the board had a "hit list of people they wanted to get rid of," all connected to people who were under Miller's team and mostly white.
"The writing was on the wall for us," Harman said.
The district has had a major overhaul of its top administration in the past few years because of resignations or retirements, including both assistant superintendents, a business manager, the director of technology, the director of pupil personnel services and the security director. None have filed complaints similar to Harman's.
According to the complaint, filed by York-based attorney Sydney Benson, Harman alleges former board member Hiawatha Powell and current board member Beverly Atwater complained the administration was "only hiring white people."
That complaint is "untrue and meant to harass," Benson wrote.
The complaint also includes allegations that Harman was forced to hire or interview people who are black but had not met application deadlines. And he also alleges some board members tried to get him arrested for taking scrap parts from a construction site, despite Harman's having a letter from the construction crew that the parts were worthless and that he was authorized to take them.
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