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Buffalo Public Schools, former McKinley High School principal reach settlement

Barton will receive $200,000 in settlement
CRYSTAL BARTON.png
Posted at 6:58 AM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 17:19:42-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A settlement has been reached between the Buffalo Public School District and former McKinley High School principal Crystal Boling-Barton.

7 News obtained a copy of the settlement through a Freedom of Information Law request with the district Tuesday.

The district must pay Barton $200,000, for certain payments she would have earned since 2017. It will also pay attorney Lindy Korn $60,000. The administrators union will receive $15,000.

“The settlement represents a piece of justice and I was very honored to represent Crystal Barton," said Korn in a statement.

Read the full settlement here:
Barton Settlement Agreement by Sean Mickey on Scribd

As part of the agreement, the district will drop disciplinary charges against Barton, and the union will drop its grievance against the district.

Barton must also drop her pending New York State Division of Human Rights charge.

The agreement also details the possibility of a return to work for Barton. She has the ability to return to McKinley High School as the principal.

"In employment related cases those terms are always negotiable and so in this situation that was one of the terms negotiation, likely as a compromise, to pay a lower settlement value," legal analyst Florina Altshiler told 7 News.

Altshiler says Barton had additional rights because she was under contract.

"What makes this case a little bit different is she has the protection of her negotiated contract, and so that contract is what determined how much at a minimum she was owed and what rights she had," Altshiler added.

The district sent 7 News the following statement late Monday night:

“The District and Mrs. Barton have amicably resolved and settled various forms of litigation amongst them. As part of the settlement, Mrs. Barton, who is one of the longest tenured and highly regarded principals in the District is eligible to immediately return to service at McKinley High School. Mrs. Barton is currently considering all of her options at this time. We are all very pleased to have finally put all these matters behind us and the District is appreciative and thankful to Principal Barton for all of her years of service.”
Ka’Ron Barnes

Barton was initially placed on leave in 2017 when the New York Civil Liberties Union sued, saying Barton repeatedly ignored a student's request to form an LGBTQ group at the school.

In 2018, an investigation was opened into $22,000 worth of purchases she allegedly made using public funds.

Since Barton was placed on paid leave, she's been paid more than $500,000. She was one of three former principals still getting paid, despite being off the job at the time.