PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) – Parents, faculty, and concerned Palmer residents gathered for a School Committee meeting Wednesday night after the Superintendent of Palmer Public Schools resigned.
The resignation of Superintendent Patricia Gardner came after a no confidence vote from teachers and administrators in 2018 amid allegations of creating a hostile workplace environment. People Wednesday night told 22News they hope the former superintendent is held accountable.
Dozens gathered at the Palmer High School Library to voice their concerns and complaints against Superintendent Patricia Gardner who tendered her resignation last month. Her resignation comes after the members of the Palmer Teachers Association signed a letter of no confidence on Gardner several years ago and the school committee received complaints about her behavior and treatment towards school district staff and students. Many angry at the school district for allowing such behavior to take place.
“Pages of documentation of bullying by this Superintendent and wrongdoings and lies and hostile work environment. It goes on and on, and the school committee ignored it. They brush it under the rug and renewed her contract and the school committee is still doing the same thing and refusing to let us talk because we’re not Palmer residents,” said Elaine Fuller, a retired teacher for the Palmer Public Schools.
Former teachers at Wednesday night’s meeting say that Superintendent Gardner had allegedly driven and bullied many of them out of the school and into retirement.
“Teachers have retired at 35 percent, 40 percent, 45 percent and I say retired because they didn’t retire, they were bullied out. So many people have been working in this hostile work environment for so long,” said Michelle Corbeil-Crawford, a retired teacher of the Palmer Public Schools.
22News reached out to the Principal of Palmer High School and the School Committee but they were unable to comment. Gardner is currently not issuing any public statements.
The Palmer School Committee has started taking steps to find a new Superintendent for the Palmer Public Schools.