SOUTH PORTLAND— A psychologist based in Readfield and Brunswick has been censured by the Maine Board of Examiners and Psychologists following allegations that he sexually harassed several co-workers while working for the South Portland School Department.

Scott J. Davidson has signed a consent agreement with the board that mandates censure, a $1,000 fine and six hours of “continuing education,” according to state records dated July 17. In addition, Davidson’s license is on probation for at least one year, during which he will attend monthly meetings where a consultant will “provide instruction with respect to professional boundaries,” according to records.

South Portland School Superintendent Ken Kunin said that Davidson worked throughout the district on a contract basis “providing psychological assessment and staff and parent consultation for about 20 years.”

According to board documents, Davidson worked as a contract school psychologist for the South Portland School District, but the consent agreement does not specify when his employment began. It does indicate that in 2015, the district finished an investigation into allegations by “several female co-workers.”

“Dr. Davidson was informed that a co-worker found several of his actions to be inappropriate and he agreed not to initiate any physical contact with that co-worker,” the consent agreement reads.

However, he “touched this same co-worker on the arm” in March 2017, according to the consent agreement, leading to another report to the district. A month later, the district “ended its business relationship with Dr. Davidson.”

On Friday, Kunin issued the following statement regarding the case: “The South Portland School Department takes all allegations of harassment and sexual harassment seriously as our constant aim is to provide settings where all students and staff feel physically and emotionally safe. When district leadership became aware in 2017 of an issue regarding a former contractor for the school district, we conducted a thorough investigation and took prompt and appropriate action.”

The issue came to the board’s attention on Sept. 20, 2019, when two former co-workers of Davidson’s filed an official complaint with the board. They claimed that Davidson “discussed personal issues with female co-workers that made them feel uncomfortable; repeatedly touched, hugged and put his arm around female co-workers and commented on female co-workers’ appearances.”

According to the agreement, Davidson denied knowingly behaving in an offensive manner, but “Dr. Davidson did acknowledge that cultural norms about boundary-crossing have evolved a lot over the last 30 years and that he can see that his understanding of these shifting boundaries might have, at times, lagged behind the curve.”

According to the website for Psychology Today magazine, Davidson is based in Readfield with an office in Brunswick.

When asked for comment, Davidson responded with the following statement: “I stand by the consent agreement and will follow through with all the commitments I made therein. I apologize without qualification to any colleague in the South Portland school system that I might have offended when I worked there.”

Davidson declined further comment.

This story will be updated.

 

Sean Murphy 780-9094

Email: [email protected]

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