The Grand Prairie Independent School District is being sued by a former employee who alleges she was forced to resign after reporting a teacher who called a student a racial slur and pulled a chair out from under him.
Gabriana Clay-White, a former guidance counselor with Grand Prairie ISD, filed a lawsuit Thursday in a Dallas County district court against the school district, alleging administrators pressured her to quit her job after she reported the teacher to Texas Child Protective Services and to the assistant principals of the school.
The suit does not name the school or the teacher.
Grand Prairie ISD did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
According to the lawsuit, Clay-White was assisting a teacher with a student who had special needs on May 18, 2022. When the counselor asked what the problem was, the student replied with, “She took my chips and she’s dumb,” referring to the teacher, the suit states.
The teacher responded to the student, “Oh I’m dumb?” and pulled his chair out from under him, causing the student to fall to the ground, the suit alleges.
The teacher then used a racial slur toward the student and pulled the chair out from under the student a second time, according to the suit. Clay-White said that she got in between the two and told the teacher that she was removing the student from the classroom, the suit states.
As Clay-White was walking the student to the door, the student began to yell at the teacher and the teacher made an advance toward him, Clay-White alleges. The student swung first, but Clay-White was able to stop him from hitting the teacher, the suit states.
The student then fell to the ground and the teacher put her boot on his chest, stepping on him, and pushed down, causing Clay-White to have to remove the teacher’s foot off of the child, she said. The teacher continued to curse and make profane remarks toward the student, the suit alleges.
The lawsuit does not say how old the student was.
Clay-White said she reported the incident the following day, May 19, 2022, to Vice Principals Lisa Hilbert, Candice McCartney and Beatriz Flores, and Child Protective Services, but was told on June 2, 2022, that she violated the district’s ethics code and could either resign or be terminated, according to the suit.
She was effectively “terminated in retaliation for reporting the incident to Child Protective Services,” the suit said.
She is suing the district for allegedly violating section 261.110 of the Texas Family Code, which prohibits an employer from firing a person who reports child abuse or neglect.
The actions of the district have caused Clay-White to suffer damages including past and future mental anguish, the suit claims.
Clay-White is seeking monetary relief of over $250,000 but no more than $1 million.