Ohio school reaches settlement in principal’s discrimination case


AP



GROVEPORT, Ohio (AP) — A Black assistant principal who lost his job after complaining that his Ohio school district’s dress code enforcement discriminated against African-American students would get $200,000 in back pay and damages under a proposed settlement, according to the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

In a complaint filed in federal court, former Groveport Madison High School assistant principal Amon-Ra Dobbins alleged racial discrimination and retaliation against him by the Groveport Madison Local School District in central Ohio.

He had raised racial bias concerns about school officials enforcing a prohibition on students arriving to school wearing durags on their heads while other dress code violations were ignored, according to the complaint. He alleged that he was subsequently disciplined and then not employed by the district for the following school year because of retaliation.

An investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded Dobbins was “terminated for his race and for protesting what he perceived as … discriminatory treatment,” according to the complaint.

If approved in federal court, the consent decree announced this week would require the school district to submit its complaint investigation procedures and policies about discrimination and retaliation for approval, and to train employees on those policies.

Messages seeking comment were left Friday for the school district.

Dobbins supports the Justice Department’s work on the case but is not commenting beyond what’s in the court filings, said his attorney, Chanda Brown.

AP