Special Education Teacher Fired After Complaining About Understaffing In Bordentown: Lawsuit

A special education teacher has sued a South Jersey school district for firing her after she complained about understaffing.

Clara Barton Elementary School
Clara Barton Elementary School Photo Credit: Google Maps
Bryanna Mostak's lawsuit against Bordentown Regional School District
Bryanna Mostak's lawsuit against Bordentown Regional School District Photo Credit: Burlington Superior Court

Bryanna Mostak, 30, of Hamilton, was fired after taking a medical leave due to stress and anxiety.

Mostak claims her supervisors failed to respond to her complaints as an elementary school teacher in the Bordentown Regional School District.

Mostak began the 2021 school year with seven special education students  "who often had very aggressive or violent tendencies and suffered from numerous physical, emotional, behavioral, and psychological challenges," the lawsuit says

After complaining to her supervisor on Sept. 14, 2021, Mostak was written up for an "unrelated 'not returning an email' issue,” the lawsuit states. Mostak went to her union representatives but said she faced backlash from others in the district due to her whistleblowing in an already-hostile work environment, the suit says.

While Mostak was later given classroom aides, the suit says they were unqualified — and mentions one who apparently had no prior related work experience, court papers say. Mostak requested a meeting with district superintendent Trudy Atkins to discuss "unresolved issues," but according to the suit, that request was denied.

Atkins was not available for comment on Monday, March 13.

"Plaintiff endured a work environment rife with stress and was overwhelmed by the lack of proper support staff and resources," the suit reads. "Plaintiff’s multiple requests for remedial action to properly supply the students with qualified teachers or aides were simply ignored and instead, Plaintiff became the subject of Defendants' Hostile Work Environment, Retaliation, Harassment, and Discrimination."

Motak was suspended on Jan. 21, 2022, about one month after taking medical leave, and was terminated on Feb. 3, 2022, without cause, the suit says.

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