Harassment case against TPSD set for trial July 27

TUPELO – Tara Nicole Sloan’s sexual harassment lawsuit is headed for a July 27 trial date against Tupelo Public School District and principal Craig Shannon, but with fewer legal issues at stake than before.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock ruled in the defendants’ favor on several issues, but retained Sloan’s complaints for sexual harassment, retaliation and violations related to a cut in work hours.
In a lawsuit filed in October 2007, she claimed Shannon sexually harassed her, which led to a reduction in her work hours as a security officer and to a transfer from Fillmore Attendance Center to Tupelo High School.
She also insisted her report of her concerns resulted in a hostile work environment.
Aycock’s order dismissed accusations against the defendants as to Sloan’s claim of retaliation for her transfer.
Aycock’s written opinion stated Sloan could not show her transfer was a direct result of rejecting Shannon’s alleged sexual remarks.
She also concluded that TPSD had in place a reasonable policy to prevent and report such incidents during the time Sloan claims she was harrassed, although Aycock said the issue remains about whether the district acted promptly enough.
Aycock also tossed out Sloan’s claim that Shannon’s comments were bad enough to support her claim they caused intentional emotional distress.
However, the judge agreed to let a jury decide Sloan’s allegations of sexual harassment in relation to her work reduction as a hostile work environment claim.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal