The almost five-year battle between the ACLU, Buffalo Public Schools, and former Principal of McKinley High School Crystal Boling-Barton looks like it's finally over.

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According to reports from the Buffalo Public School system, they have announced a settlement has been made with principal Boling-Barton that will result in her receiving a significant financial settlement and the option to return to her former position as head of McKinley High School in Buffalo's Park Meadow neighborhood.

Back in 2017, Boling-Barton was accused of discrimination against students who identified as LGBTQ+. Subsequently, the NYCLU filed a lawsuit against the City of Buffalo Public Schools on behalf of the students who felt discriminated against. After an investigation, officials from the school system placed Boling-Barton on administrative leave.

The BPS eventually agreed with the NYCLU to make some changes in the district, including anti-discrimination training for students and staff. This legal case and complaint were resolved in the winter of 2018, however Boling-Barton remained on administravei leave. During the additional 4 years that have passed, both Boling-Barton and the BPS have battled back and forth regarding Boling-Barton's status with the district. At the end of March 2022 the Buffalo Public School District agreed to finally settle their dispute.

As part of the settlement agreement, Boling-Barton, and others, are due to receive the following:

  1. $200,000 for payments she should have earned if she was on the job since 2017,
  2. $60,000 to cover her legal fees, and
  3. $15,000 for the legal fees incurred by the school administrators union.

This is in addition to the more than $600,000 that she received in pay while being on administrative leave.

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.
-Buffalo Public Schools Public Statement

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