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Maryland teacher wins racial discrimination suit

A former Prince George's County teacher has won a racial discrimination lawsuit against his school district. The 65-year-old teacher, who is white, claimed that the African-American principal of a Maryland high school used racial slurs against him and told him and others that she planned to terminate him because of his race.

The lawsuit says that the first confrontation between the teacher and principal, who was a gym teacher at the time, was in 2003. The woman reportedly told students that he was only hired because he couldn't find any other teaching position. At the time, she allegedly warned him that she would fire him first if she earned the role of principal.

According to teacher evaluations, the man was named Teacher of the Year and had high performance ratings until the woman became principal. She also removed him from teaching honors English, reportedly telling students that he was being fired.

The teacher cited Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in his lawsuit. This Act prohibits racial discrimination in programs that receive federal funding. The man's lawyer pointed out that, in 2008, the school was given federal stimulus funds. The lawyer also brought attention to the several complaints that the teacher filed with the school district, which were all ignored. When the teacher tried to transfer schools, administrators blocked the move.

Other teachers have sued the school system for similar reasons, but the district did not launch an investigation into the principal's behavior until after the teacher was awarded $350,000 in compensatory damages since he developed health problems because of the circumstances. The teacher may also receive benefits and back pay.

In relation to education, Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits racial discrimination in all public institutions from the elementary level to higher learning. Title IX also allows the federal government to get involved in pending lawsuits involving discrimination. School employees have the right to sue an employer or school district for discrimination damages.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, "Types of Educational Opportunities Discrimination"

Source: Breitbart, "White teacher wins $350,000 in bias lawsuit against Maryland school", Warner Todd Huston, August 09, 2014

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