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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco teacher's discrimination case appears headed to court

A Pasco County teacher is suing the school district in federal court over accusations that she was demoted for wanting to become a mother.

Buffey Simon Leonard first made these allegations in 2012, as she was removed from her assistant principal post at Hudson Middle School. She said her then-principal and assistant superintendent, both of whom no longer hold those posts, took her out of the administration after she asked questions about how her schedule might work if she were to become a parent.

Simon Leonard later was removed from the district's administrative pool, and not accepted when she reapplied.

She filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which did not find in her favor. She next turned to federal court to seek relief.

District officials have attempted to settle this case, discussing it in executive session to review details as recently as March. But Dennis Alfonso, the School Board's attorney, said the sides could not reach agreement.

Lawyers have been taking depositions this week leading up to the anticipated trial. Read the complaint for more details.

Simon Leonard currently works in the district office of student support programs. In 2012, she also accused her supervisor of pressuring her to support former superintendent Heather Fiorentino's reelection bid, a claim that district investigators did not substantiate.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2016 10:27am]


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