Two female employees file sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against Goodpasture Christian School

Posted at 3:13 PM, Oct 17, 2019

MADISON, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two former female employees at Goodpasture Christian School have filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and discrimination.

They claim to have been repeatedly called out for being emotional or having "too much estrogen."

The lawsuit centers around the alleged behavior of school president Ricky Perry -- who they say created "a culture of ridicule and insult toward female subordinates where masculinity was preferred."

Goodpasture is a private Christian school in Madison, Tennessee. Perry has served as president and CEO for the past eleven years, and now he's part of the civil suit filed by former employees Karen Farley and Dianne Sturdivant.

"The nature of the comments they allege maintain a hostile work environment for anyone who is female in this particular case," legal analyst Nick Leonardo said.

Neither side would comment on camera, but Leonardo said the lawsuit cites the Tennessee Human Right Act, and it includes alleged comments made by Perry. With regard to certain tasks -- the lawsuit claims Perry would say "female employees should leave it to a man to handle and go get their nails done."

The suit claims Perry referred to himself as "a knight in shining armor riding in to save the day because the female administrators were too emotional to handle families." It goes on to say Perry would frequently remark he "had to leave the room ... because there were too many hormones in the room."

"When you see a pattern it is much more egregious than just an isolated incident of discrimination," Leonardo said.

He adds the case will hinge on the testimony of witnesses, as well as any electronic records like text messages or emails with regard to the alleged comments.

The lawsuit states both Sturdivant and Farley reported Perry's behavior to the school's Board of Directors, but no action was taken, and that the two women ultimately were given no choice but to resign.

The two women are each seeking more than two million dollars in damages and are asking for a jury to hear the case.

The Goodpasture Board of Directors issued a statement which reads in part, "Goodpasture Christian School has great respect for Mrs. Sturdivant and Mrs. Farley and their contributions to the school."

However, Goodpasture strongly denies the claims made in their lawsuit.