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|Schools Reach Settlement Agreement in Coachâ€™s Discrimination Suit|
|Written by Administrator|
|Monday, 15 January 2001 12:33|
The school department and veteran DHS coach and teacher Foster Cass have reached aÂ settlement in his age discrimination suit against the town filed with the Mass.Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).
â€œThe school department and Mr. Cass have reached an amicable agreement to their mutual satisfaction. Mr. Cass will voluntarily retire from his teaching position on Aug. 19. 2001 and will begin a voluntary leave of absence this month, â€ according to School Superintendent Eileen Williams.
The settlement means the MCAD complaint will not go forward.
It was uncertain if Cass would continue as DHS varsity soccer coach, a position he has held since 1976, leading nine teams to state championship titles. Williams would not confirm or deny speculation he would continue to coach DHS soccer team.
Neither the 58 year old Cass nor his attorney Martha AwiszusÂ returned phone calls from the Clipper seeking comment on the settlement.
Cass was fired as DHS varsity basketball coach in late 1998 and was replaced the next season by Asst, Coach Gordon Cushing.Â Cass retained his teaching and soccer coaching position and his team went on to capture a ninth state soccer championship in 1999.
In November of 1999, Cass filed an age discrimination suit against the town with the MCAD naming school officials in the complaint, which his attorney claimed established â€œa clear pattern of age discriminationâ€.
Awiszus said at the time, an evaluation of Cassâ€™s performance by Athletic Director Dana Battista â€œwas devoid of any factual basisâ€ and was â€œa pretext to justify Cassâ€™ unlawful employment termination on the basis of age discriminationâ€ by his employer in violation of state law. She cited irregularities in the firing procedure as outlined in the coachâ€™s handbook and teacher evaluation process. She also cited a letter of congratulations from the Mass. Basketball Coaches Association Inc on Cassâ€™300 basketball victories, among other exhibits.
In 1998, former DHS Athletic Director Debbie Brooks was replaced in her position at age 57 by Dana Battista after more than 20 years on the job. She filed a lawsuit citing discrimination and later reached a settlement with the schools in which she reportedly retained her athletic directorâ€™s salary until her retirement while just teaching physical education classes. She retired from the Duxbury School system last year. Brooks settlement was cited in the MCAD complaint.