A Massachusetts school superintendent candidate said that his job offer was rescinded after he addressed two women on the school’s committee as “ladies” — a greeting they deemed a “microaggression.”
Vito Perrone was offered the position as the head of Easthampton schools on March 24 but he said the opportunity vanished when he used the perceived slight in an email to the chairperson and executive assistant, according to The Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Perrone was attempting to negotiate a salary when he realized the $151,000 over three years was less than he had been making as interim superintendent of West Springfield Public Schools.
Perrone then made requests over email for a more generous compensation package to Chairperson Cynthia Kwiecinski and Suzanne Colby, executive assistant to the committee, but the negotiation got off to a bad start when the women took issue with his salutation.
The candidate reportedly claimed that Kwiecinski told him that using “ladies” in the missive was hostile and derogatory and told him that “the fact that he didn’t know that as an educator was a problem,’” he said.
“I was shocked,” he told the local outlet. “I grew up in a time when ‘ladies’ and ‘gentlemen’ was a sign of respect. I didn’t intend to insult anyone.”
“This job was not about the money for me. I honestly felt like I was coming home to Easthampton. I coached football here. I was principal here when we built the school. I have such wonderful memories … I was excited to come back.”
Perrone said he attended a fundraiser at the school Thursday before negotiating with the committee in person. After a 45-minute recess, the school officials reportedly told him that they had rescinded his offer.
Kwiecinski, one of the purportedly offended women, told the paper she could not comment on the executive matter, which Perrone said he found distasteful.
“I don’t want people to think I was not willing to negotiate in good faith. I have chosen not to just leave it as ‘negotiations stalled.’ I would rather share my truth, my sadness and disappointment and try to find a way forward positively,” he told the outlet.
He had reached out to the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, which reportedly told him there was no recourse since he hadn’t penned a contract.
“Honestly, I am truly, truly disappointed that I won’t be in Easthampton in that building,” he lamented, according to the report. “I’m just sad.”
By: Ny Post