Former school guard accuses Maryland principal of sexual harassment – Washington Post

A former security guard with Montgomery County Public Schools is suing the suburban Maryland system, alleging he was sexually harassed by a middle school principal.

Scott Wilson is accusing Louise Worthington, principal of John T. Baker Middle School in Damascus, of making unwanted sexual advances toward him. Wilson, who worked at the school for a decade before being fired in 2018, also accused the system of failing to investigate the allegations and of retaliating.

The school system’s conduct created a hostile work environment and subjected Wilson to “unequal terms and conditions of his employment on the basis of his gender,” according to the lawsuit, filed in May in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Montgomery County Public Schools said in a statement that Wilson’s claims were investigated and “found to be unsubstantiated” but declined to comment further.

Worthington, who is still principal at Baker, directed questions from The Washington Post to the school system’s communications office.

The Montgomery school system — the largest in Maryland — has asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit. In court papers, the system argued that Wilson “cannot establish that the alleged conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive.”

According to the lawsuit, ­Worthington, after giving speeches at local elementary schools, asked for Wilson to show her around his farm. Wilson said the principal insisted on seeing his bedroom, which he agreed to do, despite feeling uncomfortable.

Wilson accused Worthington of laying on his bed and telling him she was “waiting for him.” Wilson said he insisted they return to the school. In another incident, according to the lawsuit, Worthington allegedly took Wilson’s keys and put them in her underwear and made lewd comments.

The lawsuit says Wilson reported the alleged incidents to a security supervisor in early 2015. The supervisor allegedly took a statement from Wilson and informed Worthington of the allegations but did not take further action.

Wilson accused Worthington of retaliating after he reported the sexual harassment, including having him “blackballed” at four schools where he applied to work, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit was first reported by WJLA-TV.

In a separate incident, Wilson was arrested in Washington in February 2017 on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and falsely impersonating a police officer. He was found guilty of attempted possession of an unregistered firearm in Washington and sentenced to two years of probation.

The firearm, according to court papers, was legally registered to Wilson in Maryland. The security guard reported the arrest and charges to supervisors and was told to continue coming to work, according to the lawsuit.

Neil Hyman, Wilson’s attorney, said the former security guard was “completely open and honest about the arrest.”

In May 2017, the security supervisor reported Wilson’s allegations of sexual harassment against Worthington to an associate superintendent, according to the lawsuit.

The Montgomery school system allegedly used Wilson’s arrest as “subterfuge” to place him on administrative leave in May 2017 “at the same time his allegations of sexual harassment were reported to more senior supervisors,” according to the lawsuit. Wilson was fired in January 2018.

In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the school system said Wilson was fired because of the conviction and because he misrepresented facts about his arrest.

The former security guard displayed “compelling evidence of dishonesty and lack of integrity during the investigation,” the school system said.

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