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Father In Peekskill Lawsuit On Leave From Schools

A father who filed suit against the Peekskill City School District for giving his daughter birth control pills is on leave from the district.
A father who filed suit against the Peekskill City School District for giving his daughter birth control pills is on leave from the district. Photo Credit: File Photo

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- A father who filed a lawsuit against the Peekskill City School District for allegedly giving his daughter birth control pills without parental consent is on leave from the district.

Anthony Jackson, who is suing the district with his wife, is a teacher and coach at Woodside Elementary School. In 2013, he was appointed coach of the girls junior varsity volleyball team and has also coached tennis and basketball. Jackson has been a teacher at the district since 2001.

The Peekskill Board of Education said in a statement released by spokeswoman Deirde Gilligan that Jackson has been reassigned to his home since January due to a pending disciplinary matter.

"Evidently, there may be an opportunistic connection between Mr. Jackson’s current status and this specious lawsuit," Gilligan said.

Gilligan said the district has not been served with a lawsuit, calling the situation an intimidation tactic meant to bring disrepute to the board and district. The lawsuit was filed in state Supreme Court in White Plains on May 30.

"Regardless, should this alleged lawsuit be commenced, the district intends to vigorously defend itself in this matter," Gilligan said.

In January 2012, Jackson admitted to assaulting a colleague in June 2011. Jackson was fined 15 days' pay, given a letter of reprimand, and ordered to attend anger management classes, according to a letter of agreement between the district and Jackson.

The Jackson's lawsuit alleges in June 2011, the district took the Jacksons' daughter to Hudson River Community Health Center in Peekskill, where she was examined and prescribed birth control pills without their knowledge.

The Jacksons claim Peekskill High School psychologist James Tosto and his wife Dawn Totso, who works at the health center, "conspired" to give their daughter the birth control pills.