Syracuse mortuary school pays restitution, changes policies after sexual harassment lawsuit

A Syracuse mortuary school and its president have agreed to pay $30,000 in restitution to students and employees to settle a lawsuit filed by the state Attorney Generalâ??s office.

The Simmons Institute of Funeral Services has also agreed to reform some of its policies after several women accused the president of the school of sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

School president and CEO Maurice Wightman was accused of harassing female students by making sexual comments and subjecting students to unwanted touching in 2011. Wightman was the designated staff member at the school to receive harassment and discrimination complaints.

The school was also accused of maintaining a policy of prohibiting pregnant students and teachers from participating in certain school activities, even if doctors permitted them.

The school will create and implement a new sexual harassment reporting policy and will report any future claims to the Attorney Generalâ??s office.