AACS Superintendent Retires Immediately in Wake of Lawsuit
George J.W. Lawrence stepped down, following a lawsuit accusing him and the school of fostering a hostile work environment. A transition team is in place.
Annapolis Area Christian School announced that Superintendent George J.W. Lawrence Jr. will retire immediately, after three former employees filed a lawsuit against the school last month alleging sex discrimination and retaliation.
The school, which has campuses in Severn and Annapolis, said it will implement a transition team consisting of the principals of the three schools and its business manager.
"The board and former Superintendent Lawrence are in agreement that the interests of our students, parents, faculty and staff cannot be best served by the distraction of his on-site presence in light of the lawsuit filed on December 27, 2011, and therefore he is immediately retiring," said AACS Board of Directors President Michael Edmonds in a statement released by the school.
Lawrence had planned to retire at the end of the school year, when his three-year contract was set to expire. The school’s board of directors already started a nationwide search for a replacement.
The lawsuit reportedly alleges that Lawrence contributed to a hostile work environment after he was hired in 2009, and that the school board allowed it to continue. The three employees who brought the lawsuit all resigned separately over the last 18 months.
Edmonds said AACS denies the allegations, and that "we are highly confident that AACS will be cleared of any wrongdoing once all of the facts of this matter are brought to light."
"Unfortunately, due to the ongoing legal nature of this matter, we will not be commenting any further at this time," Edmonds said. "It is important to note that we are committed to providing each student with an education of excellence and today’s announcement allows us to continue with our important mission."
Lawrence provided the following statement: "When you all honored me by appointing me Superintendent, I saw Annapolis Area Christian School as a school with a great deal of unrealized potential. The school is moving forward. It is realizing its potential. It was a privilege to be used by the Lord to help foster that work."