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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA


Alexandria Division
Rachel Charlton
Yolanda Calhoun
Marcus Calhoun, Guardian, on behalf ofJ.C.
Shyrone Stith
Plaintiffs,
Fairfax County Public Schools
Marie Lemmon,
Defendants.
Civil Action No.
FILED
' 2flm SEP 25 P 3=21
CLERK US DISTRICT COURT
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA
COMPLAINT
1. Rachel Charlton ("Rachel") brings this complaint against her current employer
Fairfax County Public Schools ("FCPS"), for damages and equitable relief arising out of violations
of Tide VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Tide VII"), as amended, including provisions of the
Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq., provisions of the Americans with
Disabilities Act Amendments Act ("ADAAA"), 42U.S.C. 12101, as well as provisions of Tide IX
of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX"), 20 U.S.C. 1681, resulting from Marie
Lemmon ("Ms. Lemmon"), her former principal, harassing her following her pregnancy and
childbirth, and FCPS not only failing to protect Rachel from the harassment, but also failing to
promote Rachel and then retaliating against Rachel for filing anEEOC complaint.
2. Rachel also brings this complaint against her former principal, Ms. Ixmmon, in her
personal capacity for defamation in violation of Virginia law.
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3. Yolanda Calhoun ("Dr. Calhoun"), an African American with a Doctorate in Higher
Education, brings this complaint against her current employer, FCPS, for race discrimination in
violation of 42 U.S.C. 1981 (1991) ("Section 1981") and Tide VI 42 U.S.C. 2000d, ct. seq. ("Tide
VI") because she was told by Ms. Lemmon that her position as a Title I Math Resource teacher
would be eliminated, but then Ms. Lemmon retained the position and replaced her with a young
blonde woman who was significandy less qualified.
4. J.C, a minor by way of her custodial parent Marcus Calhoun, brings this complaint
against her current school district, FCPS, for race discriminationin violation of Section 1981, and in
violation of Title VI after Ms. Lemmon forced J.C, an African-American student, to leave the
school following her mother's transfer to another school, even though she had a valid magnet
application and was granted magnet status, and two Caucasian children were allowed to stay after
their parents had also left the school.
5. Shyrone Stith ("Shyrone"), brings this complaint against his former employer, FCPS,
for race discrimination in violation of Section 1981, and in violation of Title VI after Ms. Lemmon
refused to hire Shyrone on the basis of his race, even though he was the most qualified applicant,
and recommended for hiring by all others on the hiring panel.
6. Dr. Calhoun, J.C, and Shyrone also bring this suit against Ms. Lemmon in her
personal capacity for race discrimination in violation of Section 1981.
PARTIES
7. Rachel is a resident of Fairfax County, Virginia and has been an employee of FCPS
in various roles since 1999.
8. Rachel is employed by FCPS as an assistant principal at Camelot Elementary, and
prior to this was anassistant principal under Ms. Lemmon at Bailey's Elementary-
9. Dr. Calhoun andJ.C are residents of Fairfax County, Virginia.
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10. Dr. Calhoun is an African American woman, previously employed by Bailey's
Elementary School in FCPS as a math resource teacher, providing remedial instruction to upper
level elementary students.
11. Dr. Calhoun now teaches fifth grade at another FCPS elementary school.
12. J.C. Calhoun is a eleven year-old African American child who was previously a
student at Bailey's Elementary School.
13. Shyrone Stith is a resident of Alexandria City, Virginia and is an African American
who was previously employed by FCPS as an instructional assistant and then as a teacher.
JURISDICTION ANDVENUE
14. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over Rachel's Tide VII, Tide IX, and ADA
claims pursuant to ArticleIII of the United States Constitutionand 28 U.S.C. 1331.
15. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Rachel's defamation claims against
Marie Lemmon under 28 U.S.C. 1367.
16. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over Dr. Calhoun, J.C, and Shyrone's
Section 1981 and Tide VI claims pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution and 28
U.S.C 1331.
17. This Court has personal jurisdiction over FCPS, as the county is located within the
jurisdictional reach of this Court.
18. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Ms. Lemmon because she lives and works
within this Court's jurisdiction.
19. Venue is proper in the Eastern District of Virginia pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391 as a
substantial part of the events giving rise to the claims occurred in Fairfax County, Virginia.
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FACTS
Rachel's FactualAssertions
20. Rachel was an employee of FCPS beginning in 1999, when she was employed as a
substitute teacher.
21. Rachel was hired full time in 2001 as first grade teacher, and was promoted to
assistant principal in 2008, and promoted again to assistant principal II in 2012.
22. Rachel receivedpositive performance reviews during her tenure, and was selected for
multiple prestigious opportunities within the county, such as a one year LEAD Fairfax
Administrative Internship, serviceon a Project Management Oversight Committee, a member of the
Social Studies Textbook Adoption Committee, participant in Supporting the Mission, and the only
Assistant Principal to serve on Advanced AcademicTask Force.
23. In 2009, Rachel was appointed to Assistant Principal at Bailey's Elementary School.
24. Bailey's Elementary is the largest elementary school in Fairfax County, and is
considered a "Title I" school, whereby it receives federal funding.
25. Rachel had a positive performance history at Bailey's and was selected to be in
charge of multiple programs within the school, including: the Magnet program, the Advanced
Academics program, the Tide I program, Heritage Language Literacy Club, Spanish Immersion,
Family Involvement, National Network of Partnership Schools, and Crisis Planning.
26. Inaddition, she consistendy planned and facilitated visits from leadership staff from
other school districts including superintendents, leadership from within FCPS, donors, politicians,
and a Taiwanese delegation.
27. In October2012, Rachel learned that shewas pregnant with her first child.
Marie Lemmon isAppointed Principal ofBaileys
28. On November 9, 2012, Ms. Lemmon is appointed principal of Bailey's Elementary.
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29. Before her start date, Rachel and Ms. Lemmon communicated via email on various
occasions.
30. Prior to becoming principal, Rachel had one interaction with Ms. Lemmon at a social
function for FCPS administrators in December 2011.
31. At this social function, Ms. Lemmon stated that Rachel should wait until she was a
Principal to become pregnant or have children.
32. Upon comingto Bailey's, and prior to learning of Rachel's pregnancy, Ms. Lemmon
stated that her goal was to assist Rachel obtaina principalship prior to the following school year.
33. In December 2012, Rachel told Ms. Lemmonthat she was pregnant.
34. Following her pregnancy announcement, Ms. Lemmon's behavior towards Rachel
drasticallychanged.
35. Ms. Lemmon began excluding Rachel from critical meetings with her fellow assistant
principals, Ms. Nicole Yacubovich and Ms. Heather Boyd.
36. At the time of Ms. Lemmon's arrival, Ms. Yacubovich had been a teacher on
administrative assignment, since she had not completed her administrative licensure.
37. Ms. Yacubovich and Ms. Boydare unmarried and without children.
38. On February 7, 2013, Rachel was six months pregnant and ill because she had not
eaten since breakfast and hadnumerous pregnancy complications.
39. Duringan evening event that night, Ms. Lemmon berated Rachel in front of another
teacher for eatinga small piece of cheese.
40. Ms. Lemmon tried toexclude Rachel from the presentation that night as a result.
41. Ms. Lemmon had not, and would not, treat any other assistant principals with such
unprofessionalism and disrespect, and prior toRachel's announcement of her pregnancy, she would
have not treated Rachel that way either.
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42. On that same night, Ms. Lemmon told Rachel that she better be on time to work the
next morning even though snow was expected.
43. Rachel had not had any previous attendance problems or issues with tardiness that
would warrant such a reminder, and no other staff member was given the reminder.
44. The next morning, February 8, 2013, Rachel slipped on ice, fell to the ground, and
was injured.
45. However, because Rachel was worried about being scolded for tardiness, she did not
seek medical treatment, and instead proceeded direcdy to school.
46. That very morning, Rachel was the first assistant principal at the school, and Ms.
Lemmon herself showed up over an hour late due to the weather.
47. In late February 2013, Ms. Lemmon was in a meeting with Rachel and the other
assistant principals when Ms. Lemmonstated that Rachel was sending too many emails to her.
48. Ms. Lemmon then went to her emails from Rachel and emphatically began saying
"delete, delete, delete, delete, delete..." while deleting Rachel's emails.
49. Ms. Lemmon then instructed Rachel to resend anything that was important, causing
more unnecessary work for Rachel.
50. This was completely unprofessional, humiliating to Rachel, and not a way that Ms.
Lemmon would have treated the otherassistant principals.
51. In March 2013, during a staff meeting, Rachel sat down briefly after walking across
theschool multiple times because shewas having contractions.
52. Ms. Lemmon then approached Rachel and demanded that she immediately "get up,
walk around and do your job."
53. During this confrontation there was nowork for Rachel tocomplete, and noreason
for her to stand.
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54. Additionally, the other assistant principals were not performing tasks at the time, and
were not berated.
55. Throughout this time, Ms. Lemmon repeatedly insisted that Rachel and the other
assistant principals only hire "pretty, young blondes," who did not have families, and would "work
for" her.
56. If a teacher was not a "pretty, youngblonde" Ms. Lemmon would frequendy refer to
the teachers as the "geek squad."
57. Ms. Lemmon also told Rachel on numerous occasions that she would not be able to
progress in her career with her responsibilities as a wife and mother.
58. During a conversation about children in March 2013, Ms. Lemmon made
disparaging comments about breastfeeding, indicating that it was unnecessary because, "we do not
live in a third world country like Africa."
59. On April 1, 2013, Rachel told Ms. Lemmon that she was concerned the baby would
be coming early becauseof the frequency of her contractions.
60. Ms. Lemmon told Rachel that it did not matter when Rachel went out on leave, she
was still expected to complete her end of the year evaluations.
61. Rachel was put on bed rest on April 4, 2013, as a result of pre-term labor, and was
put on a heart medication until for approximately six weeks inanattempt to stop thecontractions.
62. However, because Rachel was instructed that "no matter what," she must complete
the evaluations, Rachel completed the evaluations while on leave and on bed rest and heart
medication, even though this was inviolation of FCPS policy.
63. Rachel's child was born breech, viaC-section, on May 21, 2013.
64. During the summer, Rachel felt that she needed to report the discrimination andsent
an email tothe assistant superintendent of Human Resources onJune 26, 2013 requesting a meeting.
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65. No one ever responded to this request for a meeting.
66. Rachel also requested a meeting with Ms. Lemmon's supervisor, Mr. Douglas Tyson
which was also not returned.
67. In a following e-mail to Mr. Tyson requesting a meeting, Mr. Tyson responded, but
cancelled the meetingonce he heard of Rachel's discrimination complaint.
Rachel Returns From Maternity Leave
68. On July 29, 2013, Rachel returned from her maternity leave.
69. During an administrative meetingon that same day, Rachel was told that most of her
responsibilities had been transferredto the other assistant principals.
70. Prior to this meeting, Rachel was in charge of: the Magnet program, the Advanced
Academics program, the Tide I program, Heritage Language Literacy Club, Spanish Immersion,
Family Involvement, National Network of Partnership Schools, and Crisis Planning.
71. After this meeting, the only major responsibilities left to Rachel were custodians and
Spanish immersion, because Rachel was the only administrator who spoke Spanish.
72. Ms. Yacubovich requested custodians be moved from Rachel's responsibility and
Ms. Lemmon moved them back toMs. Yacubovich, leaving Rachel with only Spanish Immersion.
73. After the meeting, via email, Rachel requested to continue to be in charge of the
Magnet program, since it had been left off the list.
74. Later, Ms. Lemmon denied her request to continue as administrator in charge and
instead put Ms. Boyd in charge.
75. However, even Spanish Immersion program was essentially taken from Rachel
because Ms. Lemmon took over the program and coordinated direcdy with the program manager
and ultimately instructed Heather Boyd (who does not speak Spanish) to interview candidates for
the program, excluding Rachel's role altogether.
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76. During the same meeting on July 29, 2013, Ms. Lemmon requested volunteers for an
optional event that typically takes place on a Fridayduring the workday.
77. Rachel stated that she would like to lead the event. Ms. Lemmon then stated it
would be in the evening in a "couple of weeks." Rachel stated that it would be difficult for her to
commit at that moment, but would check on her husband's travel schedule to ensure shehad proper
childcare.
78. Ms. Lemmon then chastised Rachel in front of her peers and said that Rachel would
attend the voluntary event, and that she "will get a babysitter likeeveryone elsein the world."
79. In August 2013, Ms. Lemmon told Rachel that she didn't believe she was strong
enough to make decisions in the best interests of children.
80. In another instance, Ms. Lemmon stated that her doctor tried to put her on bed rest
but she had, "convinced him otherwise."
81. Thisconversation insinuated that because Rachel was put on bedrest shewas weak.
82. In or around August 2013, Ms. Lemmon noticed Rachel walking into the school
carrying her breast pump in a nondescript black bag, when Ms. Lemmon stopped Rachel and said,
"Is that your pump? Isn't that a bit obvious?"
83. This encounter was embarrassing for Rachel and meant to demean her for pumping
breast milk for her child.
84. Additionally, in August 2013, Rachel requested a recommendation from Ms.
Lemmon for the Aspiring Principal's Cohort so that she couldadvance her career.
85. Ms. Lemmon refused to give the recommendation, even though all of Rachel's
performance evaluations have been excellent and indicated that she should be moved into a
principal position.
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86. Furthermore, Ms. Lemmon stated that she was no longer comfortable
recommending Rachel for principalships.
87. In FCPS, it is not possible for a person to move from an assistant principal position
to a principal position without the recommendation of their current principal.
88. Ms. Lemmon also refused to recommend Rachel for the Aspiring Principal's Cohort,
a program designed for top performingadministrators to train for principalships.
89. A large majority of the new principals selected in FCPS have participated in the
AspiringPrincipal's Cohort.
90. Ms. Lemmon alsorepeatedly told Rachel that she needed to leave Bailey's.
91. Ms. Lemmon made several disparaging remarks indicating that Rachel's job was in
jeopardy.
92. In September, Ms. Lemmon scheduled the first staff outing to a Nationals Baseball
Game to occur on September 14, 2013.
93. September 14, 2013 was also Yom Kippur and Rachel and several other Jewish
teachers were unable to attend.
94. Ms. Lemmon was notified several weeks earlier via email from Human Resources
listing the dates of the upcoming Jewish holidays so that Ms. Lemmon could avoid scheduling
events on those days.
95. Ms. Lemmon purposefully scheduled the event on Yom Kippur so that the Jewish
teachers and Rachel would be unable to attend.
96. During her tenure at Bailey's, Ms. Lemmon was often discriminator)' towards
students andteachers who identified with any religion other than Christianity.
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97. On one occassion, Ms. Lemmon went on a tangent because a student's parent
requested that the student not participate in dance or music classes and had concerns about pork
being served in the cafeteria.
98. Ms. Lemmon told Rachel that if she, herself, were in the Middle East she would
"cover her head" and therefore, they should just participate in American customs.
99. Ms. Lemmon also said that there was no reason why the students should not eat
pork because, "we live in the United States."
100. When saying this, Ms. Lemmon knew that Rachel was Jewish and did not eatpork.
101. In August 2013, Ms. Lemmon threatened that Rachel would be on an evaluation
cycle.
102. In or around August 2013, Ms. Lemmon followed through on the threat and told
Rachel, in front of her colleagues, that shewould be on the evaluation cycle.
103. OnOctober 16, 2013, Ms. Lemmon notified Rachel in writing that she would be put
onsummative evaluation, even though Rachel was not due for an evaluation for another year.
104. Typically, staff members are placed on summative evaluation if there are
documented performance concerns and/or if they change roles.
105. Rachel received a formal letter confirming she was on evaluation and attended a
required self-assessment andgoal setting conference withMs. Lemmon.
106. Only after Rachel secured counsel was she taken offof the evaluation cycle, minutes
before her scheduled mid-year evaluation meeting.
Rachel Retains Counsel and Files EEOCComplaint
107. In October 2013, Rachel was under severe distress as a result of what was occurring
at Bailey's.
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108. Per the advice of another FCPS principal, Rachel sought the advice of a Licensed
Clinical Social Worker through the FCPS Employee AssistanceProgram.
109. The LCSW indicated that Rachel may be experiencing discrimination and therefore,
she should seek the advice of counsel.
110. Upon retaining counsel, a letter was sent to FCPS notifying them of the
discrimination, and requesting that it immediately cease.
111. However, because Rachel's statute of limitations was close to running on her initial
claims, she also was forced to file her claims with the EEOC on November 1, 2013.
112. On November 20, 2013, Rachel met with FCPS Department of Human Resources
and explained her claims in detail.
113. Human Resources stated that Rachel was an exemplary employee, with no
disciplinary recordand that she had the ability to progress far in her career at FCPS.
114. During this meeting human resources stated that they were willing to transfer Rachel
and that Mr. Tyson, Assistant Superintendent, was willing to give her "whatever she wanted" to
make the situation "go away."
115. This was despite the fact that human resources stated that Mr. Tyson did not read
the facts of the complaint.
116. Because Ms. Charlton was concerned about others who had been affected by Ms.
Lemmon's treatment, Rachel declined the offer of transfer, and instead insisted that human
resources conduct an investigation, because she was certain that Ms. Lemmon would continue the
deplorable behavior into the future.
117. Following the meeting with the Department of Human Resources, the harassment
not only continued, but also increased in frequency andseverity.
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118. Rachel's counsel sent numerous emails detailing the continued harassment and
retaliation over the next several months, but no action was taken by FCPS.
Retaliation for Engaging inProtectedActivity
119. Following Rachel's complaint to the Department of Human Resources, she was
severelyretaliated against, not just by Ms. Lemmon, but also by the administration of FCPS.
120. One example of the retaliation is that Rachel was excluded fromalmost every critical
meeting necessary to perform her job functions.
121. Instead of attending the meetings, Rachel was given information by the school
secretaries.
122. Additionally, many of the weekly administrative team meetings that were scheduled
were cancelled and instead Ms. Lemmon simply held impromptu meetings with Ms. Boyd and Ms.
Yacubovich.
123. The following dates were among the weekly administrative team meetings cancelled
and not rescheduled following Rachel's complaints: November 7, 2013, November 14, 2013,
November 21, 2014, December 5, 2013, December 12, 2013, December 19, 2013, January 9, 2014,
January 16, 2014, Januaty 23, 2014, February 6, 2014, February 13, 2014, March 13, 2014, April 10,
2014, April 24, 2014, May 8, 2014, May 15, 2014, May 22, 2014, June 5, 2014, June 12, 2014, and
June 26, 2014.
124. Ms. Lemmon cancelled approximately 20 of the 26 weekly administrative team
meetings following receipt of Rachel's discrimination complaint.
125. During the times that the weekly administrative team meetings were cancelled, Ms.
Lemmon frequendy met individually or collaboratively with both Ms. Boyd and Ms. Yacubovich.
126. On December 4, the Superintendent, Dr. Garza, came to visit the school.
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127. Both other assistant principals, and all administrative staff were informed of the visit
the prior afternoon.
128. Rachel was left in the dark and only told about the visit inadvertendy by a colleague
the morning of the visit.
129. Ms. Lemmon sought to prevent Rachel from interacting with the Superintendent,
which is a rare opportunity.
130. In fact, not only was Rachel not told of the visit, Ms. Lemmon tried to specifically
rid the school of Rachel during the visit.
131. After Ms. Lemmon found out the Superintendent would be visiting the school, she
sent an email to Rachel requesting that Rachel leave the school at exactly the planned visit time to
perform non-essential administrative tasks.
132. Typically if a Superintendent was visiting, a Principal would want all hands on deck
and not purposefully have one of their assistant principals leave thecampus.
133. In December 2013, Ms. Lemmon released the other assistant principals from their
duties so that they could go Christmas shopping, but specifically excluded Rachel from this early
release.
134. On Januaty 14, 2014, Ms. Lemmon was meeting with both other assistant principals
behindclosed doors, and blatandy excluded Rachel when she came to the door.
135. InJanuary, Rachel was alsosent away from the school so that she could not attend a
significant meeting with the Kindergarten teachers.
136. Since the complaints, Ms. Lemmon has had her Administrative Assistant, Nydia
Blake, fielding all communication and if not fielding, she was carbon copied on all Ms. Lemmon's
interactions with Rachel.
137. This was demeaning toRachel, and not done with the other assistant principals.
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138. On January 8, 2014, Ms. Lemmon made herself as the contact person for the Spanish
Immersion Program, essentially removing Rachel from this role entirely.
139. Additionally, Mr. Tyson, requested that Rachel leave Bailey's for three days and had
her sit and do busyworkassigned to her at Gatehouse Administration Building with no purpose for
her presence there.
140. This was both humiliatingand confusing for Ms. Charlton.
141. Mr. Tyson also made a comment to Rachel that she "went outside of Fairfax County
to resolve the issue [of discrimination]."
142. This statement insinuates that because Rachel engaged in protected activity, and
retained counsel to represent her, she was being punished.
143. Mr. Tyson also requested that Rachel transfer to a middle school that was struggling
and would make it difficult on Rachel's commute and childcare obligations.
144. Rachel had no middle school experience and the contractual hours would make it
impossible for Rachel to arrive on time.
145. Ms. Lemmon has also been overtly critical of Rachel's performance since her
complaints, chiding her for insignificant events that were well within the judgment call of an
assistant principal.
146. Following Rachel's complaints, Ms. Lemmon also requested that Rachel seek
permission before performing tasks that would traditionally beunsupervised.
147. Both other assistant principals performed these tasks or similar tasks unsupervised.
148. During this time, Baileys was also undergoing a very public opening of a second
school site, where thesecond site would beinanoffice building.
149. Rachel was excluded from all meetings, information and planning relating to the site.
Rachel isDeniedher Transfer Request in Retaliationforher Discrimination Claims
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150. Once it was clear that the harassment would not end, Rachel requested a transfer to
Dogwood Elementary.
151. Mr. Terry Dade was the principal of Dogwood, and told Rachel specifically that he
sought her presence as assistant principal at his school, as one of his assistant principals shared that
he would be retiring.
152. Rachel felt comfortable under Mr. Dade, and felt that she would be insulated from
further retaliation by Ms. Lemmon since the school was in a different cluster.
153. However, FCPS denied this transfer request for a multitude of reasons, which
changed over time.
154. First, FCPS stated that Rachel could not transfer to Dogwood because they could
not take a transfer assistant principal because it was a priorityschools initiative (PSI) school.
155. However, this was simply untrue, there is no regulation in FCPS that prevents an
assistant principal from transferring to a PSI school.
156. The next reason given for denying the transfer was because FCPS was facing layoffs
of assistant principals, and Dogwood would be oneof theschools targeted with layoffs.
157. This also was untrue, because a memo was sent in May 2014 stating that the county
no longer needed to have the layoffs.
158. According to "People on the Move," a FCPS update on transfers, there are regularly
transfers during the school year, sometimes simply as staffdevelopment.
159. There should not have been any hindrance toRachel's move toDogwood.
160. Once this was pointed out to Human Resources, they stated that the reason Rachel
could not move to Dogwood was because Dr. Fabio Zuluaga was the Superintendent over the
cluster, andhe didnot want her under his supervision.
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161. This is simply pretextual, because Rachel had previously been selected as one of the
top two interviewees in Dr. Zuluaga's area of responsibility, at Coates Elementary School, and they
had been on very friendly terms prior to Rachel's complaints of discrimination.
162. Human resources sought for Rachel to relinquish the rights to her claims in order for
her to transfer.
163. Assistant principals, according to FCPS policy, are routinely given transfers as a
matter of course, particularly to a school they requested if there is an opening and the principal has
invited the person, as is the case here.
164. Dogwood would have been a great fit for Rachel because it was a Tide I school,
which Rachel had experience in, and predominately Spanish speaking, of which Rachel is proficient
speaker.
165. The denial of Rachel's transfer request to Dogwood was simply in retaliation for her
complaints of discrimination.
Rachel is Transferred to Camelot Elementary in Retaliation
166. In June 2014, Rachel was notified that she would be transferred to Camelot
Elementary School.
167. Camelot Elementary School is under the direct supervisor of Dr. Zulaga, and in the
same region as Ms. Lemmon.
168. According to FCPS, Dr. Zulaga did not want her in his region, and that was the
exact reasonthat her transfer request to Dogwoodwas denied.
169. However, apparendy Dr. Zulaga was now not opposed tohaving her in his region.
170. Rachel was also informed that Dr. Zuluaga wanted to meet with her to discuss his
expectations.
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171. However, there was no indication that Dr. Zuluaga intended to meet with any other
assistant principals in his area of responsibility.
172. There was also no indication that Rachel needed his expectations explained to her, as
she was a well performing employee.
173. Camelot is significandy overstaffed, with three assistant principals in a school of
fewer than 600 students.
174. In comparison, Baileys is a school of 1,359 students and has Magnet and Tide I
programs, and has three assistant principals.
175. In fact, only 2 other elementary schools in FCPS have 3 assistant principals.
176. Typically, schools of similar size, like Chesterbrook and Cardinal Forest, only have
one assistant principal.
177. Even larger schools, such as Braddock and and Bonnie Brae only have one assistant
principal.
178. Putting Rachel at Camelot prevents her from excelling at her profession, and was
done specifically in retaliation for her protectedactivity.
179. Finally, since her claims of discrimination, Rachel has applied for numerous
positions, and not been selected for any interviews within the county.
180. Prior to filing her complaint of discrimination, Rachel was selected to interview for
the vast majority of the positions she applied for, and on two occasions made it to the very top of
the interviewing process for principalships.
181. FCPS has made it clear that Rachel's chance of upward mobility is essentially gone,
and instead she went from the largest, most prestigious elementary in the county, to a small,
overstaffed school with litde chance for her to advance.
Rachel is Defamed by Ms. lemmon
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182. After learning of Rachel's complaints against her, Ms. Lemmon began to defame
Rachel to her colleagues.
183. We have reason to believe that Ms. Lemmon told another principal within the
county that Rachel was incompetent in her position, and she made Ms. Lemmon's job harder to do.
184. These comments impute Rachel's ability to perform her job, and are in stark contrast
to the excellent performance evaluations that Rachel has earned during her employment with FCPS.
185. Ms. Lemmon made these comments knowing that they were false, simply to
jeopardize Rachel's future in FCPS.
Factual Assertions oj'Yolanda Calhoun
186. Dr. Calhoun is an African American Math Resource teacher in FCPS.
187. Dr. Calhoun holdsa Doctorate degree in Higher Education.
188. Dr. Calhoun has been employed successfully as a math resource teacher for nearly
twenty years.
189. Dr. Calhoun was employed as a math resource teacher at Bailey's Elementary School
since August 2012.
190. Dr. Calhoun was successfully performing her duties as a teacher when Ms. Lemmon
was appointedprincipal of Bailey's in November 2012.
191. Shordy after her arrival, Ms. Lemmon began to exclude Dr. Calhoun from all emails
and meetings related to her role as a math resource teacher.
192. In fact, Ms. Lemmon would not speak to Dr. Calhoun atall, perplexing Dr. Calhoun,
and making it nearly impossible for her to perform her job duties successfully.
193. Ms. Lemmon stopped Dr. Calhoun from attending any of her math lead trainings,
and instead only sent a Caucasianmath resource teacher.
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194. By April of 2013, Dr. Calhoun was excluded from anything pertaining to Math
Resource, includingorder placement, inventory, and trainings.
195. In the Spring of 2013, Dr. Calhoun was notified by Ms. Lemmon that her position as
a Tide I math resource teacher would not exist the following year.
196. This was simply a lie to remove Dr. Calhoun from the school.
197. The position did exist the following year, and was filled with a young, blue-eyed,
blonde Caucasian woman who was less qualified.
198. There was no interaction between Ms. Lemmon and Dr. Calhoun that would cause
Ms. Lemmon to resent Dr. Calhoun.
199. Hie only reason that can explain Ms. Lemmon's behavior is that Dr. Calhoun is an
African American woman.
200. Ms. Lemmon routinely told Ms. Charlton and the other assistant principals to hire
only "pretty, young blondes."
201. Additionally, during her tenure at Bailey's while Ms. Charlton was an assistant
principal, Ms. Lemmon did not hire even one African American.
202. Ms. Lemmon failed to promote multiple other African Americans employed at
Bailey's.
203. Instead, Ms. Lemmon only hired young, attractive Caucasian women, even if they
wereless experienced or qualified.
FactualAssertions ofJ.C. Calhoun
204. J.C. was a student in the fourth grade during the2012-2013 school year.
205. J.C's stepmother, Yolanda Calhoun, properly filled out a magnet application upon
her employment at Bailey's.
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206. The magnet application was turned in to the school Student Information Assistant
(SIA).
207. The magnet application was approved in due course.
208. Following Dr. Calhoun's discriminatory dismissal, Ms. Lemmon made a statement
that she wanted "her daughter (J-C] out!"
209. ShecontactedDebbieJones at the Magnet Office to removeJ.C's application.
210. Ms. Lemmon then told Rachel to call Ms. Calhoun to notify her of J.C's removal
from the school just days before school was scheduledto begin.
211. We have reason to believe that Ms. Lemmon intentionally and in bad faith removed
J.C's magnet application fromher student file in order to justify removingJ.C. from the school.
212. Awoman named Suzanne Whaley also left Bailey's, however, her Caucasian daughter
was permitted to remain in the school.
213. Another woman, Kathleen Fay, left Bailey's and her Caucasian son was also
permitted to remain at Baileys andher Caucasian daughter began kindergarten September 2014, even
though the school no longer employed Ms. Fay.
214. During Ms. Lemmon's tenure at Bailey's, she has repeatedly discriminated against
children of color.
215. In several instances, Ms. Lemmon disproportionately punished children of color
when compared to Caucasian children, or children who had Caucasian parents.
216. Ms. Lemmon also removed all children of color who had Individualized Education
Plans ("lEPs") from Bailey's Spanish Immersion program, in violation of the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act.
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217. Ms. Lemmon furthermore told Ms. Yacubovich that Bailey's would not provide pull-
out services, even though this was the setting in which services were to be delivered based on the
students' IEPs.
218. Ms. Lemmon told Ms. Yacubovich to tell the parents that the reading program in
which the children were participating in was delineated a "Special Education Setting," even though
this was not the case because the students were receiving services in the general education
environment.
219. This change disproportionally affected children of color, because Ms. Lemmon
repeatedly stated that minority parents "wouldn't complain."
Factual Assertions ofSlyyrone Stith
220. Shyrone is an African American male who has his Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts,
InterdisciplinaryStudies, and a Master's degree in Education.
221. Shyrone was employed by FCPS in 2012 as an instructional assistant.
222. His performance was completely above par, and he was very well liked within the
school.
223. InJuly of 2012, heapplied for a position under Shane Wolf, the previous principal at
Bailey's.
224. Shane Wolf, the prior principal at Bailey's prior to Ms. Lemmon's arrival at the
school, selected himfor the Instructional Assistant position.
225. Additionally, Ms. Boyd and the acting principal prior to Ms. Lemmon's arrival, Keith
Hall, had selected Shyrone for a promotion into a resource teacher position.
226. Once Ms. Lemmon had taken over as Principal of Bailey's, she vetoed the decision
to promote Shyroneinto the open resource teacher position.
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227. In December 2012, Shyrone applied for a fifth grade teachingposition.
228. Shyrone was a successful candidate in his interview, who exhibited the skills that
would be necessary to excel at Bailey's.
229. Additionally, he was already a Bailey's staff member and would easily transition into
the position.
230. The hiring team was comprised of Mary Madeiros, Rachel Charlton, and Ms.
Lemmon.
231. Both Rachel Charlton and Mary Madeiros recommended Shyrone for hiring.
232. Ms. Lemmon unilaterally rejected this decision, and decided to hire Britney
Naughton.
233. Ms. Naughton was a young, attractive, blonde, blue-eyed woman who had just
completed her education.
234. She was significantly less qualified then Shyrone.
235. Ms. Lemmon told Rachel that Ms. Naughton had just attended a Christian university
andwould be on a mission "from God," while Shyrone, "did not even speak English."
236. When Ms. Lemmon told Shyrone that he would not be getting the position, she
stated that he "wasn't a good fit at Bailey's."
237. Shyrone then applied andaccepted a position as a teacher at Cameron Elementary, a
school comprised of predominately African-American students.
238. Uponlearning of this, Ms. Lemmonapproached Shyrone and stated"See, that school
is a good fit for you," and"that is yourdemographic, thoseareyour kids."
239. Ihese actions are consistent with Ms. Lemmon's previous statements to Rachel that
she only hire "pretty, young blondes."
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240. During Ms. Lemmon's period at Bailey's, she has consistendy refused to hire and
promote minorities.
COUNT I: RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION INVIOLATION OF TITLE VII
42 U.S.C. 2000e
241. Plaintiffs re-allege everyallegation.
242. Tide VII prohibits harassment on the basis of a person's religion.
243. Rachel isJewish and Ms. Lemmonhad actual knowledge of Rachel's religious beliefs
and practices.
244. Ms. Lemmon excluded Rachel fromwork functions that would promote her career
on the basis of her religion.
245. Ms. Lemmon made multiple disparaging remarks regarding Rachel's religion in
violation of Tide VII.
COUNT II: HARASSMENT BASED ON SEX IN VIOLATION OF TITLE VII
42 U.S.C. 2000e
246. Plaintiffs re-allege every allegation.
247. Ms. Lemmon harassed Ms. Charlton on the basis of sex in violation of the
provisions of Tide VII.
248. According to 42 U.S.C. 2000c(k) "on the basis of sex" includes, but is not limited
to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women
affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
249. Ms. Lemmon made harassing comments to Rachel about her pregnancy, her
caregiving responsibilities, her bed rest, and her pumping breast milk.
250. The comments were repeatedly unwelcome and made for the sole purpose of
harassing Rachel based on her sex, and stereotyping Rachel on the basis of traditional gender norms.
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COUNT III: FAILURE TO PROMOTE BASED ON SEX IN VIOLATION OF TITLE
VII
42 U.S.C. 2000e
251. Plaintiffs re-allege every allegation.
252. Ms. Lemmon and FCPS failed to promote Rachel by refusing her recommendation
to the Aspiring Principals Cohort on the basis of her sex.
253. Rachel had outstanding performance reviews that recommended that Rachel be
promoted to Principal.
254. Rachel was on track to have a principalship, until Ms. Lemmon refused her
recommendation for the program.
255. Ms. Lemmon solely refused the recommendation because of Rachel's caregiving
responsibilities.
256. Ms. Lemmon made multiple comments stating that women with young children
should not be in a leadership role.
257. Ms. Lemmon did not make the same assumptions about male teachers with young
children.
258. Ms. Lemmon removed all responsibilities from Rachel so that she could not meet or
exceed performance expectations.
259. Ms. Lemmon put Rachel on evaluation even though this could only have been
justified byperformance relatedproblems.
260. Ms. Lemmon formed her opinion of Rachel based on stereotypical gender roles, and
assumed that Rachel would be unable to perform thefunctions of Principal.
COUNT IV: RETALIATION FOR ENGAGING IN PROTECTED ACTIVITY IN
VIOLATION OF TITLE VII ANDTITLE IX
42 U.S.C. 2000e, 20U.S.C. 1681
261. Plaintiffs re-allegeevery allegation.
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262. Title VII and Tide IX both prohibit retaliation for engaging in a protected activity, in
pertinent part, Tide VII reads, "[i]t shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to
discriminate against any of his employees or applicants for employment ... because he has opposed
any practice made an unlawful employment practice by this subchapter, or because he has made a
charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing
under this subchapter." 42 U.S.C 2000e-3(a).
263. Rachel reported discrimination to Human Resources in October 2013.
264. Following this report of discrimination, Ms. Lemmon because increasingly more
hostile.
265. Ms. Lemmon excludedRachel from nearly all meetings following the complaint.
266. Ms. Lemmon sent Rachel away fromcampus duringimportant events.
267. Ms. Lemmon took away the fewresponsibilities of Rachel's that remained.
268. FCPS requested that Rachel work away from her building and do menial
administrative tasks.
269. FCPS also took away Rachel's rights to transfer to a school of her choice, and
instead put unreasonable restrictions on the schools to which Rachel could transfer.
270. FCPS sought to have Rachel relinquish all rights to her claims by giving her a
transfer, which Rachel was entided to as a matter of coursewithout relinquishment.
271. Rachel was ostracized by her peers and administrators, was forced to communicate
with secretaries to get vital information, and was humiliated in front of her colleagues.
272. All of these actions would have deterred a reasonable person from making a report
of discrimination.
273. All of theseactions werea direct result of Rachel's complaint of discrimination.
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COUNT V: HARASSMENT BASED ON GENDER IN VIOLATION OF TITLE IX
20 U.S.C. 1681
274. Plaintiffs re-allege ever)' allegation.
275. Tide IX states that, "no person in the United States shall, on die basis of sex, be
excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under
any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." 20 U.S.C. 1681, et. seq.
276. Title IX applies to elementary and secondary schools, and applies to all aspects of
educational programs and activities, including employment, and includes discriminationon die basis
of pregnancy. 34 CF.R. 106.51(a).
277. Bailey's is a covered entity under Tide IX because they receive significant funds from
the federal government, including funds related to their Tide I status.
278. Ms. Lemmon harassed Rachel on the basis of her pregnancy and status as caregiver
of a young child.
279. Ms. Lemmon harassed Rachel for breastfeeding, and for having to make childcare
arrangements prior to committing to after school events.
280. Ms. Lemmon did not harass men with similar caregiving responsibilities.
281. This is in direct violations of the provisions of Tide IX.
COUNT VI: FAILURE TO PROMOTE BASED ON GENDER IN VIOLATION OF
TITLE IX
20 U.S.C. 1681
282. Plaintiffs re-allege ever)' allegation.
283. As previously established, Bailey's is a covered institution under Tide IX because it
receives significant federal funding.
284. Title IX prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of sex, and includes
discriminationin employment. 34 CF.R. 106.51(a).
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285. Rachel was stripped of her duties once Ms. Lemmon knew of her pregnancy because
Ms. Lemmon believed that women widi young children should not have leadership positions in
FCPS.
286. Ms. Lemmon failed to promote Rachel, and prevented her from receiving a
promotion by refusingher recommendation to the Aspriring Principal's Cohort for no other reason
than she was a women who was pregnant and would have a young child.
287. This is in direct violation of the provisions of Tide IX.
COUNT VII: HARASSMENT BASED ON DISABILITY IN VIOLATION OF THE
ADAAA
42 U.S.C. 12101
288. Plaintiffs re-allege ever)' allegation.
289. Under the ADAAA, conditions occurring as a result of pregnancy may be considered
a disability if theysubstantially limit a major lifeactivity.
290. During her pregnancy, Rachel experienced pre-term labor, andas a result was put on
restricted bed rest, which resulted in impairment in almost ever)' aspect of her daily life activities.
291. Rachel also was very ill with hypcremesis gravidarum, severe morning sickness, for
which she was hospitalized for dehydration.
292. Rachel also experienced red-degeneration of a large fibroid tumor, which caused
severe debilitating painduringher pregnancy, and also mimicked pre-termlabor.
293. Ms. Lemmon knew of these disabilities, and instead of offering an accommodation,
she beratedRachel for evenbasictasks suchas sitting and eating.
294. This is in direct violation of the ADAAA.
COUNT VIII: DEFAMATION IN VIOLATION OF VIRGINIA COMMON LAW
295. Plaintiffs re-allege every allegation.
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296. Under Virginia common law, a person is prohibited from communicating false
statements, with malice, to a third party that would impute the character of another.
297. Ms. Lemmon purposefully told colleagues that Rachel was incompetent and made
Ms. Lemmon's job harder.
298. This is patendy untrue; Rachel has always performed her duties with the utmost
professionalism, and has achieved exemplar)' performance evaluations.
299. These statements were made in an attempt to hinder Rachel's ability to secure
employment in not just Fairfax county, but also in adjacent counties.
COUNT IX: DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE INVIOLATION OF SECTION
1981
42 U.S.C. 1981
300. Plaintiffs re-allege ever)' allegation.
301. Section 1981 provides that "all persons... shall have the same right to make and
enforce contracts... to the equal benefit of all laws...as is enjoyed by white citizens." 42 U.S.C
1981(a).
302. The term "make and enforce contracts" includes the making, performance,
modification, and termination of contracts, and die enjoyment of all benefits, privileges, terms, and
conditions of the contractual relationship. 42 U.S.C 1981(b).
303. Dr. Calhoun and Shyrone were employees of FCPS and therefore had an
employment contract with FCPS.
304. J.C. was a student at FCPS and therefore was ina quasi-contractual relationship with
FCPS, which required FCPSto provide equal educational benefit.
305. J.C. was removed from Bailey's because she was African-American, while two
Caucasian students whose parents hadleft the school were permitted to stay.
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306. Dr. Calhoun and Shyrone were both denied the benefits of their employment with
FCPS.
307. Dr. Calhoun was unilaterally removed from her position and replaced with a
Caucasian who was less qualified.
308. Shyrone was denied both a promotion and his application for a new teaching
position on the basis of his race.
309. Ms. Lemmon made multiple comments stating that Caucasian people made better
teachers, and that she would only hire "pretty, young, blue-eyed blondes."
310. This is in direct violation of Section 1981.
COUNT X: DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE INVIOLATION OF TITLE VI
42 U.S.C. 2000d
311. Plaintiffs re-allege ever)' allegation.
312. Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in
programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. 42 U.S.C. 2000d.
313. Bailey's is a covered entity under Tide VI's provisions because it receives significant
federal funding, including funding for its Tide I program.
314. J.C, Dr. Calhoun and Shyronewerediscriminated against on the basis of their race.
315. J.C. was removed from her school, while Dr. Calhoun and Shyrone were denied
employment benefits only because they were African-American.
316. This is in direct violation of the provisions of Title VI.
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DEMAND FOR RELIEF
317. Plaintiffs demand, in amounts to be determined at trial, back pay, interest on the
back pay, front pay, punitive damages, and compensator)' damages.
318. Plaintiffs demand costs and reasonable attorney's fees.
319. Plaintiffs demand any other relief that the Court deems justandequitable.
PLAINTIFFS REQUESTS TRIAL BYJURY ON ALL ISSUES SO TRIABLE.
Respectfully Submitted,
31
Krista Goclz (VSB #8(5185)
Jackjarrett (VSB #86176)
Attorney for Plaintiffs
The Spiggle Law Firm, PLLC
4830B31stSt.,S.
Arlington, Virginia 22206
(202) 304-8187 (phone)
(202) 540-8018 (fax)
kgoelz@spigglelaw.com
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