Parent Eric Lane has renewed his call for Gorham Superintendent Heather Perry to be fired, this time charging she and the school department are racist against white people in their hiring practices.

Lane’s formal complaint calling for Perry’s dismissal, filed with the Gorham School Committee on Oct. 11, comes on the heels of his May complaint that said Perry, in denying his request to have gender-term posters removed from a classroom, discriminated against him because he is a Christian. The School Committee upheld Perry’s decision.

Perry has categorically denied Lane’s accusation of racism and says he is basing his complaint on a statement she made that he took out of a larger context on hiring and retaining diverse job candidates.

Lane told the American Journal he came across Perry’s “prejudiced” statement during a study of her emails that he has obtained through the Maine Freedom of Access Act.

In a lengthy April 27 email to recipients that included Gorham School Committee members Nicole Hudson and James Brockman, Assistant Superintendent Brian Porter and high school Principal Brian Jandreau, Perry wrote: “We often do have candidates who are not fully certified apply, but I’ll be honest, that is often because they are white candidates who feel empowered to do so.”

Lane, who provided the email to the American Journal, says that is a “clear” statement of Perry’s “prejudice for white individuals who apply for jobs without meeting every job qualification on the job listing based on her assumptions that they feel empowered to do so because of the color of their skin.”


In his formal complaint filed with School Committee Chairperson Anne Schools, Lane wrote: “Judging a group of people because of the color of the their skin is racism.”

In a private meeting Oct. 19 with Lane that was part of the school department’s formal complaint process, Perry said her statement pertained to advertising a list of job requirements that can dissuade some people from applying.

Porter also attended that meeting, which was recorded and has been posted on social media.

In the video, Perry strongly objects to Lane’s continued prodding for her to read aloud the statement he said was discriminatory

“I don’t think that is necessary Mr. Lane,” Perry said, asserting numerous times that the statement was taken out of context.

As she wrapped up the meeting in about 10 minutes, Lane said, “You’re wasting my time.”


In a meeting summary letter sent to Lane on Oct. 24, Perry wrote, “After about the fourth time that you continued to point to the single sentence in the email, it became clear that the meeting was not productive and would not likely lead to a resolution. Therefore, I stated that I had listened carefully to your perspective but believed it made the most sense to end the meeting.”

Lane wrote in an Oct. 20 letter to Schools that Perry became “belligerent” and “abruptly” ended the discussion.

Perry further wrote to Lane, “I explained that the Gorham School Department does not make employment decisions based on race and that our policies squarely prohibit such conduct.”

The school department makes “hundreds of employment decisions annually and none of them are motivated by race” or any other “protected status,” she said.

Lane will take his complaint before the School Committee, likely next month, according to Schools. Two committee members will be elected Nov. 8 and a new chairperson could be named. Schools said the incoming chair would set a date and time.

When reached for comment about this story, Perry deferred to her comments in her Oct. 24 letter to Lane.




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