In November SFGN wrote about Scott Melton, who was fired from Saint Andrew’s private school in Boca Raton. In the story, Melton, who is an openly gay, black, Jewish man, didn’t know if he was pushed out because of his sexuality, or because he was a whistleblower – or a combination of both.
Melton complained to the head of his department that certain administrators were attempting to cover up a possible sex abuse scandal, alleging that outside authorities were not being notified, as required by Florida law. In addition, he declared in front of faculty and staff “I have to tell you this is the most racist and homophobic place I’ve ever worked.”
That same week he was put on a leave of absence.
Months later he wrote to the school: “Since being put on administrative leave with pay, I have been contacted only once. Saint Andrew’s School has been negligent and derelict in duty to communicate my status for not only this year but also for the 2016-2017 school year. Therefore, due to the hostile work environment and lack of information I have experienced … I am forced to give my resignation … and seek employment elsewhere.”
Melton later filed a lawsuit against the school asking for back pay, lost fringe benefits, compensatory damages and reinstatement. The lawsuit alleges that the school violated state law by retaliating against Melton for being a whistleblower. In an earlier letter to the school from his lawyer, he separately alleged discrimination based on his race and sexual orientation.
Currently, the lawsuit continues and since SFGN’s story was published, one of the administrators involved in the controversy resigned from her position. Melton claimed she had once told him there was “too much gay content” in his class.
A half-dozen teachers and several students came to Melton’s defense in the story. One student said “His class was amazing. It was my favorite. He always listened. If we had a problem, we could always come to him. We could always trust him. For the school to treat him with so much disrespect it’s really frustrating. He was trying to teach us. To challenge us.”