Bear Valley Unified School District Faces Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

According to the Big Bear Grizzly, Bear Valley Unified School District and some of its employees, including principal and interim superintended of schools have been named in a federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination. Coral Aviles filed the lawsuit alleging that she was harassed publicly and suffered racial discrimination in 2010 by a teacher at Big Bear Middle School.

Aviles wore a Mexico t-shirt to school during the final days of school when Mexico was playing in the World Cup soccer tournament. The suit alleges that Suzy Carpenter, after asking Aviles if she was Mexican, asked Coral what she was doing in her country. Carpenters said it was because of people like Aviles that she had to pay higher taxes.

Aviles did not return to the classroom remainder of the school year. Former interim superintended Kegham Tashjian and former principal Julie Chamberlin are also named as defendants in the lawsuit. Chamberlin is involved in her own battle with the school board after being involuntarily re-assigned to a teaching position in 2011. She claims the school board did not follow proper protocol in removing her as principal of Big Bear Middle School. Chamberlin is scheduled to meet with the EEOC, a step necessary before she can seek legal action against the school district.

Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorney