ANDOVER (CBS) – Special education teacher Jacqui Silvani is suing the Andover School District for wrongful termination. She believes that she was terminated after the school received the hospital bills from her son’s battle with cancer.
When five-year-old Joe Silvani was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, his mother took a leave of absence from her teacher job in Andover to help her him. Silvani believed that when her son’s battle with cancer was over, she’d be able to go back to work, however, she was not hired back and her job had been posted.
“I had no reason to believe I didn’t have a job to come back to,” Silvani said.
Silvani is convinced she lost her job because of her son’s medical bills, which totaled over a million dollars.
“It breaks my heart to think it was Joe’s bills that did it. But I thought I had a job to come back to,” Silvani said.
Andover has private health insurance and she is convinced that Joe’s medical bills cost the town money, therefore, she wasn’t rehired.
“It’s a real thing that happens to people when you have a kid who gets sick, and I never thought it was a thing that happened to people,” Silvani said.
Silvani was not looking to file suit, she just wanted her job back. Now, she has filed suit with Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
“The district disagrees with the allegations and characterizations being made by the complainant in this matter,” Sheldon Berman, the Superintendent of Andover Public Schools, said. The superintendent went on to say that he could not further comment due to the lawsuit.