Former Lexington Principal Files Discrimination Lawsuit

LEXINGTON, KY -- In a civil rights lawsuit filed Friday, former Booker T. Washington Academy principal Peggy Petrilli says she was forced to leave the elementary school because she's white, and parents and others wanted a black principal, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Saturday edition.

The lawsuit also claims that parents and school district officials retaliated against Petrilli because she had complained about race discrimination that she suffered at the hands of parents and members of the school's site-based decision-making council.

The suit names Superintendent Stu Silberman; Carmen Coleman, a district elementary school director; and the board of education. The lawsuit asks for $75,000 in damages, reports the Herald-Leader.

"I'm completely shocked that Ms. Petrilli is making these kinds of allegations," said Silberman, adding that he hadn't been formally served with the lawsuit. "I think to try to turn that situation into a race issue is totally ridiculous."

On Aug. 22, parents and others associated with Booker T. Washington presented Silberman with a 21/2-page document of grievances against Petrilli, including allegations of financial mismanagement, and unethical scoring and administering of standardized tests. She became principal at the school in 2005. After a meeting with Silberman, Petrilli, 59, announced her departure as principal Aug. 26, the newspaper reports.

District staff members continue to investigate accusations of improper test scoring and official misconduct. The investigation is ongoing and no report has been issued yet, Silberman said.

When reached at her home Friday afternoon, Petrilli declined to comment, reports the Herald-Leader.

copyright: Lexington Herald-Leader
www.Kentucky.com


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  • by ? Location: Ky on Feb 10, 2008 at 06:22 AM
    Rights are there for all citizens not only blacks,women and minorities.WE ARE ALL FROM THE SAME CREATOR AND NO ONE PERSON SHOULD BE TREATED BETTER/WORSE BECAUSE OF SEX,ORIGIN,COLOR OR ANY OTHER REASON.That is whats wrong with the world today....Everyone crying because of a difference made regardless of how you look where you are from ect. It burns my (edited) to hear of things like this.We have Mexicans coming up here just to marry a white/black person and get to stay.We all better watch out. We are going to eat each other alive and our country will be taken over by foreigners.Wake up people, this is all of our land and we need to stick together.Stop all the bickering!
  • by Steve Location: Lexington on Feb 9, 2008 at 02:13 PM
    Why is it that when someone who is white claims racial discrimination, the other side always says that it's ludicrous or ridiculous. I hope everyone knows that it does, in fact, work in all different directions, not just one direction. And, if this woman was principal of a mostly black school, and she was white, and has won so many awards and been consistent in raising test scores prior to this appointment and did the same this time...yet she was forced to resign...I would be inclined to think that she did have a case. Particularly when the SBDM Council (which needs to be abolished at schools, it was one of the worst provisions of KERA that it had) is mostly black and they seem to be the only ones complaining...probably because she runs things her way (which seem to work like it or not), she probably has a really good case. What I'm saying is that just because she's white doesn't mean she can't be discriminated against in her employment. She most certainly can be.

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