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Newton Police face new gender discrimination claims

2013 June 18
by Jerry Reilly

Trevor Jones reports in the Newton Tab that “A series of sexual discrimination complaints have been filed against the Newton Police Department since November, raising questions about the ability of female police officers to rise through the ranks and the treatment of female civilian employees.”

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  1. Tom Sheff permalink
    June 18, 2013 07:06 PM

    This is what I can’t stand to read:
    ” She said word of her complaints has spread throughout the department and she feels “like an outcast at a job I previously loved.”
    She claims officers in the department are now calling her a troublemaker and a “bitch who thought [she] could just walk into the job.”

    People can’t even stand up for themselves these days.

    I am putting together a sped forum and was told through email that some parents are concerned about criticizing sped due to retaliation. Is that what we’ve become? Is this the city that preaches tolerance and respect or do we just preach it to kids, while not practice it ourselves.

  2. Tom Sheff permalink
    June 18, 2013 07:13 PM

    Here’s the announcement of the SPED Forum I just referred to in the prior post. I hope village14 will start a new thread on this subject:

    Announcement: I just want to announce that I just got off the phone with Newtv and on Wednesday August 7th, at 7:30 we are putting together a forum on special education. The Format is simple, parents/teachers, etc of special ed children will come up as I call them off a list and spend a couple of minutes talking about their families experience with special ed. in Newton. It will be unfiltered and unscripted you say what is on your mind. If you bring pictures of your kid(s), we can put them on air while you are talking. I think the kids will get a kick out of that when they watch the taped version. If this matters, it’s been arranged to be aired on the education and community stations. Thanks
    Sincerely, Tom Sheff

    This was an email I got:
    Be aware that people who have complaints are afraid of retaliation from NPS. I am not sure you will get many people to be on the air. If you can ask for anonymous complaints which are read by someone that may get more responses, in addition to on air personal responses, you may be more successful.

    My response:
    That’s a great idea!! Anyone with complaints I will read on air and the author doesn’t have to leave their name, if they do, we’ll keep it anonymous. It sad people have to worry about retaliation, when it comes to advocating for their own child…sad state of affairs. Thanks.

  3. Jerry Reilly permalink
    June 18, 2013 08:32 PM

    Tom it would indeed be a sad state of affairs if parents had to worry about some form of retaliation from the school department. I would be a bit careful though with that thought unless someone has also told you of a specific case where there was some form of retaliation. i.e. that the person’s fear was based on something rather than just a vague fear.

    Occasionally I have seen people be very timid and afraid that somehow a complaint reported to any types of authority will have repercussions. A credible fear based on some history is a very serious issue. An unfounded fear based on nothing but a vague worry is more of a personal issue than a problem with the department.

    In any case, I think giving people the option to remain anonymous might help allay people’s nervousness.

  4. Tom Sheff permalink
    June 18, 2013 08:49 PM

    Jerry, I hope this person is wrong along with you.

  5. mgwa permalink
    June 18, 2013 09:32 PM

    Jerry – I don’t know about Newton, but in general SPED parents do have to worry about retaliation in districts everywhere. I used to be involved with a SPED advocacy organization and the stories we heard regularly would make your stomach turn. Because of stories like those, parents in even the best of districts get nervous about possible retaliation – as do teachers in problem districts who want to do the right thing but are getting pressure from the powers-that-be to lie in order to keep kids from getting services.

  6. David permalink
    June 18, 2013 09:36 PM

    What Ofc. Goudeau hasn’t stated to the media is the fact she has held every job, and gotten whatever she has ever wanted in the department, including traffic officer. The first time she didn’t get her way its gender discrimination?

    For once the best candidate and most deserving got a posted position, and because Ofc. Goudeau didn’t get what she wanted its gender discrimination? I hope the city doesn’t give in to this absurd claim!

  7. nathan phillips permalink
    June 18, 2013 09:58 PM

    I’ve had the chance to interact with Officer Gourdeau several times over the last few years in her work promoting bike safety in Newton. She has been a tremendous resource and an all around class act. Hopefully her excellent skills and service will be recognized.

  8. Tom Sheff permalink
    June 18, 2013 10:02 PM

    mgwa- I hope you come to the forum and share with us.

  9. mgwa permalink
    June 18, 2013 10:29 PM

    Tom – I won’t because I don’t have any personal experience in Newton. My work was a email list moderator for a national group, plus participating in other special ed email lists.

  10. June 18, 2013 11:02 PM

    Tom,
    Seriously believing that the convention will promote your conscientious forward thinking SPED Forum is like believing they would nicely ‘not endorse’ you for Mayor or Alderman. I commend you for reaching out to the community with something you believe is an important topic of conversation in this city.

  11. Tom Sheff permalink
    June 19, 2013 12:09 AM

    Janet,
    Thanks, I know what to expect from people. This is not a political ploy, you will not see one Tom Sheff for Mayor sign at the forum….I promise.

  12. June 20, 2013 10:31 AM

    Perhaps this topic should have it’s own entry. Just noticing that only 2 comments are on the topic of gender discrimination.

  13. Jerry Reilly permalink
    June 20, 2013 10:35 AM

    TF – Yes, we did start a separate thread for the SPED topic yesterday, for just that reason – thanks.

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