United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
SHARON M. THOUROT, Plaintiff,
MONROE CAREER & TECHNICAL INSTITUTE, et al., Defendants.
F. SAPORITO, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a pro se employment discrimination case. The
plaintiff, Sharon M. Thourot, has raised sex discrimination
and retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
et seq., against her former employer, Monroe Career
& Technical Institute (“MCTI”). (Doc. 30).
has filed a motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 66). In
support, as required by the local civil rules, MCTI has
submitted a statement of material facts, accompanied by
deposition transcripts and documentary exhibits, and a brief
in support. (Doc. 67; Doc. 68; Doc. 69). Thourot has filed a
brief in opposition and a response to MCTI's statement of
facts, accompanied by deposition transcripts and documentary
exhibits. (Doc. 74; Doc. 75). MCTI has filed a reply brief.
defendant's summary judgment motion is ripe for
disposition. For the reasons set forth herein, the
defendant's motion will be granted.
plaintiff was employed at MCTI as an Instructional Assistant
from January 2007 until August 2012. MCTI is an extension of
Monroe County's four school districts, providing
secondary students in those districts with a tuition-free
career and technical education. As an Instructional Assistant
at MCTI, Thourot was charged with “provid[ing]
instructional or other direct support services to students .
. . alongside of the educator, who is responsible for
educational programming and student progress.”
contends that, over time, Thourot experienced personality
conflicts with various teachers, making it difficult for her
to be paired with them in the classroom; Thourot disputes
this contention, suggesting that there was little or no
substance to the “global concerns” expressed by
these teachers. In addition, Thourot admittedly lost the
confidence of the students due to trust and respect issues.
January 27, 2012, Thourot was placed on a written Performance
Improvement Plan (“PIP”) for the remainder of the
2011-2012 school year. In its entirety, the PIP stated:
During the current school year, it has become increasingly
evident that you are having difficulties interacting with
peers and students in accordance with your role as an
instructional assistant as defined by your job description.
Throughout the school year, you have been counseled about
this unacceptable behavior and coached on ways to improve by
Dr. Rushton and me. During the meeting that took place on
January 18, 2012, you expressed an enthusiasm and commitment
You have been made fully aware of this situation. MCTI
administrative team is here to support you, however, it is
important that you realize the responsibility to improve is
You are being placed on a written improvement plan for the
remainder of the 2011-2012 school year and your performance
will be closely monitored.
MCTI Performance Improvement Plan
Effective February 8, 2012[, ] through the remainder of
2011-2012 school year for Mrs. Sharon Thorout [sic].
The following improvement goals have been established:
Maintaining effective communication and conducting
appropriate interactions with teachers and students are two
of the most important attributes of a successful
When dealing with staff and students, you must exhibit
professionalism. You are expected to be calm and in control
of yourself in every aspect of your action with others. You
need to be proactive and not reactive in nature.
Deficiency Statement: Mrs. Sharon Thorout [sic] needs to
consistently demonstrate effective communication between
staff and herself and students and herself. Mrs. Thorout
[sic] needs to follow through on directives given by her
supervisor and director with no exceptions.
Plan and Time Tables:
• Follow teachers' instructions without exception.
• Limit use of the computer during instructional hours
to inputting special services log notes into ClassMate. This
should account for no more than 20 minutes per session.
o Exception - under direction of the teacher or an
administrator you have been given a specific computer related
o Computer use will be monitored through the IT Department.
• Maintain direct student contact with all learners,
focusing on those with individualized education plans (IEPs).
o Ensure specially designed instruction is followed.
o Take special consideration of individual needs and
disabilities by analyzing the student's behavior and
determining whether the behavior is manifestation of the
• Redirect students respectfully and ...