According to Knox News, a former Campbell County Schools employee is suing the school board alleging sexual harassment. Alexis Keiser, now a school health coordinator for the system, alleges that the school board chairman sexually harassed her and wanted a relationship. Keiser insists she did not agree with his unwanted advances, so the chairman spread false rumors about her, tried to get her fired and delayed her from getting tenure.
Keiser says the former board chairman Mark Wells repeatedly tried to date her and that she rejected his advances. In return, he created a hostile work environment, according to her sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit.
Keiser filed her suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, claiming the harassment began in 2003, the same year she was hired as an alternative education teacher. Wells would allegedly call Keiser at home on Friday and Saturday to ask her out for dinner and drinks, and stalk her by driving by her house. Wells learned that Keiser was in a relationship with someone else and then proceeded to ask the Superintended to fire her, claims the plaintiff.
When she refused to fire Keiser, Wells turned around and spread a rumor that Keiser and the Superintended were in a relationship and he made efforts to prohibit Keiser from getting tenure, says the complaint. Wells allegedly contacted alternative schools where she worked at to embarrass her and that the school system’s policies did not prohibit sexual harassment and retaliation in the work place. The EEOC found that Keiser was sexually harassed and that the school system failed to take any action after her reports. While she was eventually granted tenure, the EEOC found that she was retaliated against by the board denying her tenure for two years. The plaintiff is seeking a jury trial which is expected to take three days.