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Principal sues Houston schools for race, age discrimination

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A renowned Houston high school principal who was suspended with pay in September has filed a race and age discrimination lawsuit against the Houston Independent School District.

Bertie Simmons, 83, the longtime principal of Furr High School, was suspended for allegedly changing grades, improper spending, and harassment. In mid-October, the school district seemed to be on the verge of reinstating her when faculty came forward with fresh allegations—that she made an announcement over the school’s intercom in which she threatened to beat students with a bat.

The district extended Simmons’ suspension while it investigated the new claims. The school system’s superintendent noted in a letter to Simmons that “some employees feared retaliation for reporting concerns while you were still on the premises.”

Simmons fired back in October with a lawsuit claiming the school district has made a concerted effort to push white principals out of their jobs in favor of black and Hispanic principals. She also claims her age played a part in the school district’s actions.

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