• 43°

School board wants discrimination lawsuit dismissed

By Sarah Campbell
scampbell@salisburypost.com
Attorneys for the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education are disputing claims made in a discrimination lawsuit filed by the former principal of Henderson Independent High School.
In a filing in U.S. District Court earlier this month, the school board denies the allegations made by Trisha Hutson-Baptist that the board discriminated against her and the students who attend the school because of their race.
Baptist served as principal of the school for one year, resigning Aug. 29 after being placed on paid suspension July 5.
She claims in her lawsuit the district offered no reason for the disciplinary action and did not advise her of any problems with her job performance.
Baptist alleges she lost her job after pointing out discrimination at Henderson to Rowan-Salisbury School System officials.
In the response to the lawsuit, the board admits Baptist signed a three-year contract, but denies terminating that agreement.
The school board’s attorneys also argue the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction for the case because Baptist “failed to exhaust administrative remedies.”
According to the school board filing, Baptist did not file a Title VII complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before filing her lawsuit with the district court.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the aggravated party must file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days of the time the discrimination allegedly occurred.
Baptist’s lawsuit alleges the district follows a pattern of discriminating against minority students who attend Henderson by providing them with fewer resources and accommodations because of their race.
Baptist also accuses the board of assigning other black students to “inadequate and inferior facilities,” depriving them of a good education.
The school board’s attorneys wrote that claim lacks standing because of its vagueness.
Baptist’s claim does not allege “sufficient factual allegations to establish her standing to bring a school segregation claim,” the school board’s filing states.
The board has “emphatically denied” limiting resources to students attending Henderson solely because of their race.
Baptist is seeking to be reinstated with back pay and the benefits she received before her dismissal. She is also asking the court to award punitive damages for harm to her professional reputation.
The school board’s attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the case.
The school board is seeking to recover its costs and expenses related to the lawsuit, including attorney’s fees.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
Twitter: twitter.com/posteducation
Facebook: facebook.com/Sarah.SalisburyPost

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city

Business

Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove

Education

A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation

Local

Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park

Local

City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star

Columnists

Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return

News

Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina

Nation/World

Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped

Coronavirus

Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday

Crime

Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?

Local

City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event

Local

Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race

Crime

Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children

Coronavirus

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

Nation/World

Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

News

Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?

Local

Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina

BREAKING NEWS

Kannapolis Police searching for suspect who fled scene of homicide

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park