DAMASCUS — According to court documents, a former security guard that worked at John T. Baker Middle School in Damascus is suing Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) on claims that the female principal of the school sexually harassed him.
Security guard Scott Wilson also alleges that John T. Baker Middle School Principal Dr. Louise Worthington engaged in hostile behavior and gender-based discrimination in 2014.
Wilson was initially hired in 2002 by MCPS as a paraeducator, and from 2007 to 2017, he worked as a security assistant.
According to the court documents, Worthington was Wilson’s supervisor.
In 2014, Principal Worthington made multiple unwanted sexual advances towards Wilson, according to the lawsuit.
“In one incident, Dr. Worthington asked (Wilson) to show her around his farm after she had completed giving speeches at local elementary schools. After seeing the farm, Dr. Worthington insisted that (Wilson) show her around his house and specifically show her his bedroom,” the court documents allege.
Upon further reading, Wilson alleges that he was very uncomfortable with the principal’s request, but agreed to show her his bedroom because Worthington was his employer and because she had been helpful to Wilson’s career in the past.
The documents allege that another reason he obliged the request to see his bedroom was that Worthington was allowing Wilson’s daughters to attend John T. Baker Middle School even though the family lived outside the boundary.
In another incident, Wilson alleges that Worthington took his keys and hid them in her underwear. She then walked away and insisted that he follow her into her office.
“When (Wilson) insisted she give him his keys back, Dr. Worthington did, and then asked him if the keys were wet and if they smelled good,” the court documents allege.
Following a complaint to Wayne Farrell, who works as the Cluster Security Supervisor at a management level, there were no consequences for Worthington, and nothing further was done to rectify the situation, according to court documents.
But in 2015, Wilson claimed that Worthington began to retaliate against him. According to Wilson, there were several occasions when Worthington allegedly left Wilson alone during lunch periods to supervise hundreds of middle schoolers when there should have been multiple supervisors.
“Another time, Worthington insisted that (Wilson) spend a day supervising an in-school suspension for a teenage girl alone. (Wilson) refused, stating that it was not appropriate for him to be in a closed room alone with a teenage girl,” court documents allege.
Wilson also alleged that he was unsuccessful at finding work at other local schools because Worthington “blackballed him.” Despite having a strong resume and performing well during the interviews, Wilson claims he was not chosen for the jobs because of the rumors Worthington was spreading about him.
In early 2017, Wilson was arrested in Washington D.C for impersonating a police officer and possessing an illegal firearm.
Court documents indicate that the firearm was legally registered in the State of Maryland, and Wilson disclosed his arrest and the charges to his supervisors.
MCPS instructed Wilson to continue reporting to John T. Baker Middle School to work, according to court documents.
Prosecutors in the case dropped both of the criminal charges and sentenced Wilson to two years of unsupervised probation and repaying court costs of $50.
In May 2017, shortly before Farrell’s retirement, he reported the allegations of sexual harassment against Worthington to a different employee within MCPS, Darryl Williams who serves as Upper MCPS Cluster Superintendent.
Worthington claimed that she was first hearing of the complaints against her in 2017.
Court documents allege that Wilson was then placed on leave from his position during May 2017 at the same time the allegations of sexual harassment against Worthington were reported to higher-level management.
“(Wilson) was terminated from his employment with (MCPS) on or about January 3, 2018,” according to court documents.
Wilson claims in the court documents that the sexual harassment and retaliation affected his mental and physical health. He also alleges that the stress of the ordeal has caused him to gain a considerable amount of weight, which has exacerbated his diabetes diagnosis.
He also claims in the case that he has anxiety over the future of his children.
MCPS made a statement saying that the school district takes all complaints of harassment seriously.