Bethel Park schools pay $270K to settle discrimination suit

| Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011

Bethel Park School District paid $270,000 to settle an elementary school teacher's claim that the district repeatedly refused to hire her because of her age, according to the Oct. 29 settlement document released in response to a Tribune-Review Right to Know request.

The terms of the settlement include paying $189,000 to Susan McCool, 58, of Bethel Park and $81,000 to her attorney, Colleen Ramage Johnston.

McCool claimed in the lawsuit that she started working for the district as a substitute teacher in 1999 but had been passed over for several permanent teaching positions since 2002 because the district wanted to hire people who would work for the district for the next 30 years.

The district denied it bases hiring decisions on age and, instead, didn't hire McCool because of her performance as a teacher. As part of the agreement, McCool agreed not to apply for an future openings at Bethel Park. Both sides agree the settlement doesn't validate either side's claims.

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