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Middletown Transcript
  • Former Appoquinimink Principal loses discrimination suit

  • The former Appoquinimink High School principal, who alleged that the district wrongly demoted her, lost her employment discrimination case in federal court Feb. 5.
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  • The former Appoquinimink High School principal, who alleged that the district wrongly demoted her, lost her employment discrimination case in federal court Feb. 5.
    Felicia R. Duggins, who served as principal at Appoquinimink High School and later as assistant principal at Middletown High School, filed suit against the school district Jan. 1, 2012, alleging that the district violated her medical and civil rights, and that she was treated unfairly because of her race.
    Duggins filed a racial and disability discrimination charge Aug. 21, 2009 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She was issued a right to sue letter by the EEOC Oct. 26, 2011.
    The judge ruled that Duggins failed to prove that she was victim of racial and disability discrimination and that she could not prove that the district retaliated against her for taking medical leave.
    After working for 15 years in the educational field, Duggins became Principal at the newly built Appoquinimink High School in 2007. She held this role for two years.
    During her first year, she received a positive evaluation, but in her second year, a series of reviews placed her performance significantly lower, according to the Judge's Memorandum Order.
    Her 2009 evaluations concluded that she had behaved unprofessionally and that she missed two key meetings involving her superiors and parents of her students.
    Duggins told the court that during this time she was exhausted because of her significant workload, that she was diagnosed with severe depression, and that she had at least one racially charged encounter with a parent.
    Duggins took district approved medical leave from May 13, 2009 through June 22, 2009.
    When she returned, Duggins was informed that she had been reassigned as the Assistant Principal for Middletown High School, where she continued for two years to receive her salary at a Principal's rate.
    It wasn't until July 1, 2011 that her pay was reduced to be consistent with the level of her position as Assistant Principal.
    In her suit Duggins alleged that the district had violated the Rehabilitation Act of 11973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Family Medical Leave Act, and a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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