A California English teacher is alleging that Hesperia Unified School District fired her because she helped LGBT students. The woman claims that she was subject to retaliatory action after she assisted students who wanted to file complaints against their teachers and administrators. The school is denying all of these allegations, saying instead that it had the right to dismiss the woman under probationary teacher hiring policies.
Even though the school argued that she was terminated through proper legal action, the woman said she believes she was fired because of her sexual orientation as a lesbian, along with her involvement with the LGBT student community at Sultana High School. Administrators at the district say they are being treated unfairly by a former employee who is causing unnecessary controversy.
The woman was reportedly held in high esteem among her supervisors, receiving excellent performance reviews up until a critical point: She involved the ACLU in a series of complaints against LGBT students. The ACLU also argued that the district was mistreating the members of the Sultana High School Gay Straight Alliance, according to reports. Interestingly, the woman’s performance was only called into question after those advocacy efforts were revealed.
As a result, the woman claims that she was subject to discrimination, retaliation and harassment during her time at the school. The woman was only trying to help LGBT students by supporting their legal rights.
This case comes in the midst of a national employment law debate that is pushing for increased rights for LGBT employees in all sectors. Currently, it is not against federal law to fire someone because of one’s sexual orientation. Changes in the national legal climate may cause this philosophy to be discarded, however. LGBT employees who have been unfairly dismissed or retaliated against still have legal options in the state of California. Qualified employment attorneys can advise discrimination or retaliation victims about their rights, allowing them to recover damages from employers who have treated them inappropriately.
www.sbsun.com, “District denies retaliation against teacher who helped LGBT students” Beau Yarbrough, Nov. 19, 2013