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Discriminated School Teachers Often Have Difficulty Proving Their Cases

Holly Hicks,

Discriminated School Teachers Often Have Difficulty Proving Their Cases

In the United States, it is against the law for employment decisions to be based on certain criteria such as gender, race, national origin, marital status, or religion.

Furthermore, it is illegal to discriminate against people solely based on any handicap they may have or if they’ve been discharged unfavorably from the military.  For many school teachers who are fired, inevitably the reason for such termination is that they don’t fit in with what administrators view as the culture of the school.  They may not be the right color or perhaps practice a different religion that isn’t as tolerated as it should be.  Whatever the case may be, the only course of action for many of these teachers is to seek out a remedy through the courts.

Successfully suing a school district and its administrators, even when the case appears to be solid, isn’t as easy as one would imagine.  Unfortunately, the majority of those who would break the law know about it all too well.  As such, they usually give cause during a termination which they hope is enough to protect them from liability.  An experienced attorney, however, understands too well how this particular game is played.  They know that in many of the cases where cause is given for firing a teacher, the reason for the termination doesn’t warrant such a rash decision to begin with.  For example, when one teacher is fired for an offense that other teachers wouldn’t be fired for, then the cause given is questionable.  In this situation, the attorney can pursue other possible reasons for why the termination happened, including the likelihood of discrimination.

Still, it is never an easy process.  Often it takes years for the cases to fully work their way through the court system. During this time, a teacher has a damaged reputation which often prevents them from working within their profession.  To make matters worse, it is required by law for the plaintiff, meaning the teacher, to prove the discrimination alleged in the lawsuit.   In other words, the teacher through his or her attorney must have evidence which fully supports the claim that the initial reason for termination provided by the employer was only a pretext.  Unfortunately, this can be difficult to nearly impossible to accomplish, even in cases where legitimate discriminatory practices are believed to exist.

That isn’t to say, however, that one should simply accept defeat.  At the very least, speaking with an attorney who has experience in teacher discrimination cases will help you to better understand your chances of success.  These attorneys understand the odds better than anyone else.  If one of them is willing to accept your case on a contingency basis, then you probably have a good chance of winning


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