updated July 2, 2010 at 9:23 a.m.
by Martha Quetsch
KANELANDâ€”McDole Elementary School teacher Richard Scott and his wife, Debi Thomas, are suing the Kaneland School District and three of its administrators for discrimination.
In the complaint they filed in U.S. District Court on June 22, Scott and Thomas allege that the School District, former superintendent Charles McCormick, and former assistant superintendent Jeff Schuler (now superintendent), discriminated against Scott because of his gender and his disability.
Scott, a fifth-grade teacher at McDole in Montgomery, is the only male teacher at the school. He has been a teacher in the Kaneland School District for 14 years. His complaint states that he has been diagnosed with severe attention deficit disorder and major depression.
The complaint alleges that Scott consistently received excellent performance evaluations until three years ago, when Martne McCoy became assistant principal at McDole and began lowering his performance evaluations. According to the complaint, she continued to lower them and severely criticize his teaching after she became principal in 2008.
Scott’s complaint alleges that McCoy scrutinized his performance more rigorously than the performance of female teachers at McDole. The complaint also alleges that the School District did not provide reasonable accommodations for his disability, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Specifically, Scott alleges that the district denied his requests to transfer him from McDole to the junior high school as a way to accommodate his disability.
The district’s denial of his requests caused him to become so depressed that he required an in-patient hospitalization, continuing treatment and multiple leaves of absences from work, the complaint states.
The couple is seeking a judgment in excess of $75,000 plus court costs and attorney’s fees.
In the complaint, Scott’s wife alleges that the School District’s refusal to accommodate her husband’s requests caused his depression to become so severe that it impaired her marital relationship.
â€œThe district is aware that the lawsuit has been filed in Federal Court,â€ Schuler said in a statement released Monday. â€œBecause Mr. Scott has brought this into litigation, the district will not make specific comment on the issue, other than to say that the allegations are false. The district remains committed to the fair treatment of our employees and to providing a quality education for our students. This has been, and will continue to be, a core value supported by the work of our administrative team.â€
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Steven Glink, has yet to respond to messages from the Elburn Herald seeking comment.