MAPLEWOOD, NJ — On behalf of the South Orange Maplewood School District (SOMSD), the Board of Education filed a verified complaint and order to show cause with the Chancery Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

If the district is successful, a judge will order the South Orange Maplewood Education Association (SOMEA) to return to school buildings for phase 3 of reopening. The district is also asking that SOMEA be compelled to file all grievances through the process agreed upon in the January 27 agreement.

These legal proceedings will not impede the ongoing mediation process agreed to by both the district and SOMEA. Both parties have met with the state appointed mediator separately, but it has not been announced when the joint mediation sessions will begin.

Sign Up for SOMA Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

In a statement the Board of Education said “While the Board is hopeful that a voluntary agreement can be reached through mediation, the Board also believes its unique reopening circumstances provide support for a legal remedy.”

In his statement to families during Monday night’s board meeting Superintendent Ronald Taylor did not rule out pursuing any other legal options at the recommendation from the district’s counsel.

The district has two weeks until March 15, the date that teachers will be returning to school buildings for hybrid learning. However, without orders from a judge or a binding agreement that comes out of mediation, schools could close again should the district not meet SOMEA’s standards of safety.


Get your local news delivered to your inbox for FREE each day. Sign up to get all the news as it happens at Celebrating Something Special? Showcase Your Wedding, Christening, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Graduation, Reunion and MORE on TAPinto Milestones.


CHS Basketball Win

Seton Hall Addition Approved

Jasey on Schools

SOMSD Budget 21-22

Rally for In-Person School

South Orange Leader Honored


TAPinto SOMA is a free online newspaper serving the Townships of Maplewood and South Orange Village with no paywall. TAPinto SOMA is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.