Chester Upland School Board president cited for harassment

The president of the Chester Upland school board was cited Friday for harassment in connection with a March 14 confrontation with a teacher inside Chester High School.

Wanda Mann was charged with a summary offense carrying a maximum $300 fine or 90 days in jail.

Mann got into an argument with Leslye Jordan, a second-year instructor teaching a dental-technology class at the high school. A physical fracas ensued.

Each woman said the other struck first; both sought medical treatment.

Chester Police Commissioner Joseph Bail Jr. said Friday that an investigation determined that Mann was the aggressor. Bail commended the high school students, who he said broke up the fight, for "acting like adults in this horrible situation."

Jordan had written a letter earlier in the year to district authorities saying that she was being terrorized by a student and that no one was addressing the situation. Jordan also made other complaints about conditions teachers faced at the school.

Jacquie L. Jones, Mann's attorney, said Friday that Mann was upset at the letter. She was alarmed, she said, because Jordan's daughter was at the school and the board president had been told the daughter planned to fight with the student Jordan said was terrorizing her.

Jones said Mann had come to the school to meet with students and "had no intention of getting into an altercation. . . . The idea that she was the aggressor is completely false."

Jones added that she had not yet talked to Mann about a response to the citation.

Jordan said earlier that her daughter, who attends school in another district, was at Chester High only because she had been let out of her school early.

Jordan declined to comment Friday on the charges against Mann. She said she was still too shaken by the fight and by the harassment to return to work.

Chester Upland spokesman Joel Avery said the district was conducting its own investigation and would hire a lawyer to oversee it.

Mann remains at her unpaid post. At a school board meeting following the fracas, the board voted, 5-4, against removing her. The majority, which included Mann, were all Republicans. The four who voted for her to step down were all Democrats.


Contact Dan Hardy at 215-854-2612 or dhardy@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @DanInq.