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By Jake Wolf-Sorokin (Online Exclusive)
Dean of Students Adrian Mims filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) on April 6, 2012 alleging employment discrimination on the basis of race. The complaint was filed against the Brookline Public Schools and Superintendent William Lupini and charges that during the recent headmaster search, Mims was discriminated against because he is African-American.
Mims stated that his freedom from employment discrimination, as protected by state and federal laws, was violated and that he suffers emotional distress as a result, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Sagamore from MCAD under the Freedom of Information Act.
The complaint initiated MCAD’s investigation. According to MCAD Media Liason Barbara Green, the town is required to submit its response to the allegations in a document called the Position Statement, and then Mims will have an opportunity to offer a rebuttal. The Position Statement and rebuttal are not public record and therefore cannot be released to The Sagamore.
Lupini declined to comment on the issue due to legal considerations.
The complaint contains a section titled “The Particulars Are” in which Mims described events from his time at the high school and outlined what he stated was an unfair and biased headmaster search process. In Particular 37, Mims said, “In or around late January or early February 2012, I met with a member of the Interview Team who stated that, based on conversations that took place during the deliberations to select the finalists, she did not believe that BHS was ‘ready for an African American Headmaster.’” This person was not identified in the complaint.
Particular 19 refers specifically to the job posting for Headmaster. The job posting states “Doctorate preferred” under the heading “Requirements.” Both Deborah Holman, the incoming headmaster, and Jamie Chisum, the other finalist, do not currently hold doctorate degrees.
In Particular 34 of the complaint, Mims stated, “Upon information and belief, I am more qualified for the Headmaster position as compared to both Chisum and Holman with respect to my experience with education administration and the fact that I hold a doctorate degree.”
The job posting also says, “We are proud of our diversity; and we have simultaneously created great unity amidst the diversity… The next leader of Brookline High School should value our diverse community of teachers, students and parents.”
In Particular 34 of the complaint, Mims stated that he has history of fostering diversity through his efforts over the last 18 years.
Mims declined to comment on the MCAD proceedings due to advice from his attorney.
Once the complaint, position statement and rebuttal are submitted, the MCAD investigator will hold an investigative conference with both parties, according to Green.
There is no timeline for MCAD cases. “Each investigation is unique, and there are many variables that can affect how long it takes,” said Green in an email.
Ninety days after filing his complaint, Mims has the right to withdraw it from the MCAD and file directly in court, thus closing the MCAD investigation, according to Green. At any point, should the two parties agree, they can enter mediation and work out a settlement, she said.
According to the complaint, Mims does not intend to leave his position as Dean of Students next school year.
“If there are adverse actions that occur once a complaint has been filed, and the complaintant feels that they have their base in retaliation, the complaint can be amended to include that charge,” said Green.
Emma Nash contributed reporting to this article.
Jake Wolf-Sorokin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information about Dean of Students Adrian Mims’ MCAD complaint you can check out articles written by The Brookline Patch, The Brookline Tab, The Boston Globe and The Sagamore’s interview with legal expert Nancy Gertner.