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CPS to pay more than $300,000 to settle discrimination cases

Columbia Public Schools will pay $306,000 to settle two cases filed by school administrators in 2017.

Andrew McCarthy and Rachel Henderson settled their cases with CPS last week. The district will pay each of them $153,000, with 40 percent of each settlement going to TGH Litigation, the firm that handled both lawsuits.

The couple sued the district and former assistant superintendent Kevin Brown over claims of discrimination and retaliation. The suits said that Brown made derogatory comments toward students and faculty at Battle High School, and that Brown separated the two after they complained to district leaders about his behavior. McCarthy also sued over the way Brown conducted the search for the next Hickman High School principal, which he applied for.

The district did not admit any fault, liability or wrongdoing in the case, according to the settlements.

The payment marks the only relief the two can get from the district in relation to their claims, according to the settlements. The settlements release the district from any future lawsuits from the two, but allow both to pursue claims with state or federal agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

A third lawsuit continues in Boone County in relation to the Hickman High School principal search. Dr. Melita Walker sued the district in 2018, claiming racial discrimination.

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