By The Associated Press
ALSEA, Ore. — A lawsuit claims the Alsea School District enabled its former superintendent to create a hostile work environment with gender discrimination, sexual harassment and general misogyny.
The lawsuit claims Marc Thielman was the superintendent of the rural school district in western Oregon. He resigned in February after several complaints were made against him.
Rice, Alsea Elementary school principal, filed the suit against the school district in Benton County Circuit Court last Wednesday. Thielman is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Thielman could not be reached by district officials for comment.
Thielman is running as a Republican for Oregon governor.
According to the legal complaint, he would talk about his sexual life and genitalia almost every day. He also made sexually suggestive comments about women’s bodies and used sexual innuendos regularly. Rice would go on a mental vacation whenever Thielman tried to steer a conversation toward having sex, according to the lawsuit.
District officials are accused of allowing him to ignore concerns and complaints, and then retaliating against Rice by not renewing Rice’s contract, effectively terminating Rice as of June 30, 2022.
Rice is seeking $3.7 million from the District for the alleged hostile workplace, sexual harassment, discrimination, and whistleblower retaliation.
Thielman made waves in January by announcing that the school board had passed a resolution at his direction to restore local control to them and to make indoor masking mandatory during the COVID-19 pandemic.