Local News

Jan 17, 2014 5:57 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

Former Superintendent Suing for Discrimination

CORPUS CHRISTI - There is a legal battle brewing between the Corpus Christi Montessori School and their former Superintendent, Minerva Salazar.

You may remember Salazar. She made headlines in 2001 when the West Oso Independent School District bought out her contract for half a million dollars.

After months in court, the district finally agreed to give Salazar $330,000 along with her walking papers.

Now, she is suing the Corpus Christi Montessori School and asking for as much as $1 million.

She was forced to leave back in 2012. She says the school and the school board didn't want her there because she was hispanic and because she complained about what she says were discriminatory practices against both teachers and students.

As grounds for her lawsuit, Salazar provided a sworn affidavit listing examples of what she says is racial discrimination against other teachers and students.

In March of 2012, Salazar claims the school's assistant director wanted to fire a Spanish teacher because of her accent, saying "can't we hire someone to teach Spanish who isn't hispanic?"

And in November of 2012, Salazar says she accepted two hispanic students, with limited English, for enrollment.

Salazar claims that same assistant director's response was, "what could two kids from Mexico possibly offer this school?".

Salazar also says the school discriminated against disabled kids.

She says that in November of 2012, she was expressing concern to a board member about a report that showed the overrepresentation of hispanic children in the special education program.

She says that board member responded, "What the hell does T.E.A. want us to do. That's where those little Mexican kids belong."

The bottom line is Salazar brought her concerns of discrimination to the board, and says finally, at one board meeting in December, members went into executive session, came out, and told her they had accepted her resignation.

She says she never gave that resignation.

She says she was paid through the end of her contract in June of last year, but is still suing for damages, citing lost opportunity for advancement and further employment.

We tried to talk to Salazar on camera today, but she couldn't be reached later in the afternoon.

We also tried to contact the Montessori School for comment today, and they did not call us back.

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