Discrimination Claim “Unsubstantiated” Says Charter Board of Trustees
Today the Board of Trustees of the Marblehead Community Charter School (MCCPS) announced that it had determined that a discrimination claim by a school employee against Head of School Dr. Peter Cohen was “unsubstantiated,” and the Board has closed the investigation.
As reported in our earlier coverage, we had learned from someone associated with MCCPS that a teacher had made a complaint against Cohen alleging discrimination in reference to being asked to move an LGBTQ pride flag. Following Dr. Cohen’s suspension, that individual was involved in a school-wide slide show presentation to the fourth-through-eighth graders about his transition from female to male.
We communicated with Dr. Cohen today, and although the complaint against him was found to be unsubstantiated and the case closed, he has chosen not to return to MCCPS. He stated:
I want to thank the MCCPS community for your support over the past few weeks. I am moved by the many parents who took the time to reach out to me personally. I am grateful for those who worked to advocate on my behalf and tried to push for a speedy resolution. As you have been notified by the Board, the original complaint was without merit, and I have been cleared of any wrongdoing as it relates to the allegations that were raised in the complaint. After careful consideration of this matter, I have decided that it is in my best interests to move on from my current position. I have shared my letter of resignation as Head of School with the Board, effective April 14.
I have decided that what is best for the school and for me professionally and personally is to leave the school. I wish the school the best of success in the future.
The Board of Trustees released a statement to parents that read, in part, that it “acknowledges Dr. Cohen’s decision” to resign “to pursue other endeavors” and “thanks Dr. Cohen for his service to the school.” It went on to note that the current Assistant Head of School (who was Acting Head of School during Dr. Cohen’s administrative suspension), Stephanie Brant, will now serve as Interim Head of School while the Board conducts a search for Dr. Cohen’s replacement. The statement describes Brant as “an accomplished educator with 30+ years of experience in the areas of program direction, mental health, social work, law enforcement and educational leadership.”