FALL RIVER, Mass (WPRI) — The superintendent of Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School is suing the school committee, which is currently trying to replace him.
According to court documents obtained by the Fall River Herald, Thomas Aubin and 11 other plaintiffs want to nullify a vote the committee took on December 6 not to renew the superintendent’s contract.
The 11 other complaintants are taxpayers in Fall River, Westport, Swansea, and Somerset – the communities which send students to Diman.
The suit claims the committee violated Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, by deliberating during three executive sessions, in which Aubin was not included.
The Diman School Committee’s decision not to renew Aubin’s contract was quickly received backlash from past and present students and faculty who support him.
Rallies were held and supporters spoke out at public meetings, but to no avail.
In the court documents, the plaintiffs said, “Third parties who attended the school committe’s open meetings urged the committee to discuss Aubin’s performance in open session, and to reconsider their vote, which requests were denied.”
The committee will hold a meeting on Friday, March 1 at 3:00 p.m. in Diman’s conference room to formally appoint John Davis as the attorney to defend them in this lawsuit, according to the meeting agenda.
Mr. Aubin is a Diman graduate and has worked at the school since 1984. He became superintendent in May 2016 after working as the vocational director since 2003.
At a meeting on February 13, the school committee approved a motion to offer the superintendent position to Dr. Elvio Ferreira, the current assistant superintendent.
The committee told the crowd, who booed at the decision to replace Aubin, they’ve heard plenty of complaints the district is moving in a new direction.
“This toxic environment as described to me, it’s evident there is discontent among staff, both union and not.” said Jeffrey Begin, a committee member from Swansea.
Dr. Ferreira will now either accept or decline the position.
If he doesn’t take it, the Diman School Committee will start searching for someone else.