Case against South Colonie School District dropped

"We're claiming it was just a set-up," Conway said in July.

The district attempted to have the case dismissed in July, saying Helmes did not have enough evidence to prove the district had practiced discrimination.

On Tuesday, July 9, U.S. Justice David Hurd decided Helmes' case against the district could move forward, and it was scheduled to be heard Wednesday, Nov. 12, before Helmes withdrew it. A settlement conference was held Nov. 17.

District officials posted an update on the Web site claiming Helmes withdrew the because of the "overwhelming evidence" compiled by the district.

"I'm pleased with the result of the legal process as it shows the district took appropriate steps when evaluating this employee, and that the district has always taken employee rights and employer responsibilities very seriously," Board of Education President James Tim Ryan said. "It's simply a shame that we needed to go through this process and we look forward to returning to our main mission which is striving for educational excellence at South Colonie."

William Ryan Jr., the school district's attorney, said, "It is noteworthy that no claim of pregnancy sex discrimination has been found by any New York State Court or any United States District Court."

Superintendent of Schools Jonathan Buhner, who was not an employee of the district during most of the proceedings with Helmes, said he was pleased that the lawsuit has reached a conclusion, and one that clears the district of a bad name.

"I'm pleased that this will be behind us as we have many things to be proud of here in South Colonie," he said.""

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