A teacher has just filed a lawsuit in San Bernardino County Superior Court claiming not only discrimination based on her sexual orientation but also retaliation for encouraging LGBT and gender-non-conforming students to speak up against what she says was a hostile environment at Sultana High School in the Hesperia Unified School District. The woman, a lesbian, taught at the high school for two years and was the faculty sponsor of its Gay-Straight Alliance. Despite receiving positive job reviews, however, she was subjected to biased criticism by administrators and fired.
Teachers and school staff not only have to comply with school policy and the law, but often also with unspoken, unwritten rules of conduct unrelated to their actual job performance. As at least two Californians have learned so far this year, teachers and school can be fired for out-of-school behavior perceived to be objectionable.
A pattern seems to be emerging among public service agencies in San Francisco -- a pattern of age discrimination. As we discussed on this blog in September, a group of veteran San Francisco police officers filed have a class-action lawsuit over changes made in 2006 to the test required for promotion to inspector. They say the changes resulted in systematic age discrimination. That case has not been tried yet. Meanwhile, 15 San Francisco firefighters with a strikingly similar complaint were just awarded $3.7 million by a jury.