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Teacher Files Discrimination Suit Against Valley View

Arlette Morris, an RHS teacher since 2004, is seeking $50,000 in damages plus attorneys' fees.

Credit: File photo
Credit: File photo
A longtime Romeoville High School special education teacher is accusing Valley View School District of discriminating against her due to her age and the fact that she suffers from several illnesses. 

In the November Will County court filing, 61-year-old Arlette Morris claims she's been harassed by RHS' principal and assistant principal since 2010, according to the Chicago Tribune. Morris reportedly suffers from cerebral palsy, diabetes and other medical conditions.

Derek Kinder has been principal of RHS since August 2010. 

Among other allegations, Morris' lawsuit accuses the principal of asking her, "What else is wrong with you?" when she had to leave her classroom due to low blood sugar. She also claims the district changed her schedule in early 2011, took away assigned classes and did not allow her to teach summer school that year. The suit further alleges that Morris was forced to teach geometry, even though she is not qualified to do so.

The Will County lawsuit also claims approval was given, then rescinded for Morris to teach summer school in 2012, and that in March of that year, school officials suggested "falsely and without basis" that she might improperly touch a student.

Morris filed discrimination charges with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April 2012, according to the suit.

She alleges that Valley View harassed and retaliated against her after learning of the charges. In the lawsuit, Morris also states that she believes the incidents were intended to either force her to quit, or to give officials grounds to fire her.

Click here to read the full Chicago Tribune story.

Valley View Director of School and Community Relations Larry Randa did not respond to a message from Patch regarding the suit. The case is due back in court on March 17.

Morris is seeking $50,000 in damages plus attorneys' fees.
Pete Simon February 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM
AMEN Marcos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Marcos February 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM
Politically it makes sense for the powers that be to have Mr. White leave now. Knowing that a vast majority of the staff are White not Administration people, get rid of your opposition. Pay him off, they have a long history of paying to get people or things to go away with Fabby and lawsuits settlements... Now they intimidate the staff into being good boys and girls or you know what comes next. A page from every political handbook and even dictatorship. Though with the latter, they don't pay people to go away but use a more direct approach... LOL
my opinion February 13, 2014 at 10:13 AM
So now we get another "acting principal", which inexperienced admin person will that be? . How many BHS principals have we had? Well, there was Mr Mitchem (2009 - 2010), "acting principal" (2010 - 2011), Mr. Williams (2011 - 2012), Mr White (2012-2013 & 2013-2014) and now "acting principal" (2013-2014). So if you have a senior at BHS they will have had 4 principals in 4 years. Facts speak for themselves.
Pete Simon February 13, 2014 at 10:17 AM
Remember when the Patch reported on the Principle White Resignation letter before the three day weekend? Hoping after three days it would blow over (someone mentioned it was the oldest PR stunt). Looks like that one Backfired!! More time=More Evidence GO BOLINGBROOK!!!
concerned parent February 13, 2014 at 10:47 AM
Wow, just got this news. To me, this just makes the district look that much more to be crooked!!!! Email is down already, so no one even has a way to get his side of the story. I hope Patch can find him and get his side of the story ;)
Kristie February 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM
Maybe it's time to get some to the bottom of what is going on and have an impartial news organization investigate. http://abclocal.go.com/wls/channel?section=news/iteam&id=7098428
Pete Simon February 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM
Tom. In the PDF School Year 2012-2013 it says his BASE salary is $294,513.80. and other Benefits are $17,683.50. In the other PDF you posted his BASE salary was $191,345 and Other Benifits are $24,669.00. Now, when I think BASE salary I think that is what that person is going to get every year no matter what, but Mr. Gougis said his reimbursement was in his salary. Now I know why everyone is confused, I thought base meant base and his reimbursement would be under "other Benefits" Am I Misunderstanding something?
Pete Simon February 13, 2014 at 11:17 AM
I think the school board underestimated how much Mr. White was respected by some members of the community. They only heard from the one's that had a problem with him. Those of us that were happy about his performance didn't say a thing, but why would we have to. He was doing his job (in our eyes). Now they are hearing from the rest of us!
Pete Simon February 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM
@ Marcos.....Pilot to bombardier, Pilot to bombardier. Drop when ready.
tom February 13, 2014 at 12:20 PM
Pete- That is what I was saying. The email I received from Mr Grizaffi, said "The figure on the report of $191,345 did not include TRS or vacation day pay. If you add the $24,669 figure from the right hand column on the report to the $191,345, it totals $216,014. >> >> Dr. Mitchem’s actual salary for 2011-12, his first year as superintendent is as follows: >> >> Base $199,000 >> TRS $20,646 >> Vacation pay $4,816 >> TOTAL $224,462 >> >> Reported as stated above was $216,014 >> >> Difference of $8,448, or exactly 1/26th of his gross pay. This was caused by using sort date beginning with 7/2 instead of 7/1 for report." .....In this report he said that TRS was included in "other benefits" not salary but comparing this report to the report for the following year, it looks like Dr Mitchem is the only one that had TRS included in "other benefits". I say this because "other benefits" are substantially larger for Dr Mitchem for this compared to the following year but "other benefits" for everyone else for the two reports are pretty close.
tom February 13, 2014 at 12:23 PM
Pete- The answer that I received for his second year as Super was "Here is the breakdown of the reported salary for 2012-2013: Base salary $199,000 TRS $ 20,646 2% adjustment $ 4,393 Tuition Reimb. $ 60,658 Total $294,513" --------He said that other benefits for the report for that year "represents the value of the elected insurance coverage that Dr Mitchem carries."
tom February 13, 2014 at 12:26 PM
Pete- Lastly he said "Salary for 2013-14: Base salary $202,980 TRS $ 21,059 Total $224,039"-------So it looks like they included TRS in "Other benefits" for his first year as Super but put TRS (and the tuition reimbursement) in "Base Salary" for the last 2 years. Retirement is based on your salary so maybe that's why they want it there instead to increase retirement payouts?
Pete Simon February 13, 2014 at 01:08 PM
Tom, My head is spinning. Can anyone answer this: Is it lawful for a school board member to receive a campaign contribution from an alcohol company? Please answer and confirm source of proof.
FOLLOW THE MONEY February 13, 2014 at 06:12 PM
What are the chances that this is the same beverage company that has the Bolingbrook Golf Club contract or contracts for community events? Has this company also or ever made contributions to other village officials? I'll wager....YES! Though I do "think" it is NOT unlawful, I also feel as a school board member it would be a somewhat unethical/immoral decision to accept. I could be wrong about the legality though.
Buzz Lightyear February 13, 2014 at 06:32 PM
FOLLOW THE MONEY = Rhonda Reed Slaughter?
Cirrock February 13, 2014 at 09:56 PM
Pete and Tom: Apparently my base salary is not what it is, since I'm a teacher in the district. Oh wait, NOOOOOOO it's exactly as declared. Someone has handing you a line of Graziffi or should I say cr**.
Pete Simon February 13, 2014 at 10:49 PM
Cirrock: It's like putting lipstick on a pig, you can say all you want.......it's still a pig. BASE is BASE (or it is in most peoples eyes)
FOLLOW THE MONEY February 13, 2014 at 11:39 PM
Buzz...Try again. I am the nightmare that visits when they are most vulnerable. I can provide council and connections, but not my methods. I will be making calls tomorrow, as I suggest you all do as well.
Tristan February 13, 2014 at 11:54 PM
Follow the Money, I don't know who you are but I love the way you think. Go get 'em!!!!!
Pete Simon February 14, 2014 at 09:34 AM
Follow the Money: Your'e right it might not be illegal but I was questioning why a Liquor company in Florida would give campaign $ to a school board member in Bolingrook Illinois? I thought we were a drug free zone, does that include alcohol? What's next now that Pot is being legalized in so many states, Are they going to allow "Marijuana Inc" to give campaign donations to local school districts? Where does it stop?
whatsgoingon February 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM
Hey Buzzie, why would you automatically think of Rhonda? That is the conculsion that 85% of us reading this came to. It isn't a far stretch to connect the dots. But, we are all getting off topic this is about the District and what is happening at BHS.
FOLLOW THE MONEY February 14, 2014 at 01:59 PM
The question is not where does it stop...it's where does it start. Look to the leadership of Bolingbrook government that is empowering these scumbags to run roughshod. Lastly, I will again say I am not Rhonda, I am a relatively new homeowner to this community (big mistake) and cannot believe the Population here has allowed their employees, at every level of public service, to create this monster. Decades of apathy, NOW is the time take charge.
FOLLOW THE MONEY February 14, 2014 at 02:00 PM
Pete, Do you know if Quigley has a relative named Michael Quigley? There is a representative in Springfield, Michael Quigley, that is lobbying for marijuana legalization here in IL.
Adam West February 14, 2014 at 02:52 PM
Let me add to some of the non-sense here: Pete, Did you watch the movie, Quigley Down Under? Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck) is a cowboy and sharpshooter from America with a keen eye and a specially modified rifle with which he can shoot accurately at extraordinary distances. When he arrives in Australia, he is met by employees of the man who hired him, Elliot Marston (Alan Rickman). Quigley tries to prevent them from forcing "Crazy Cora" (Laura San Giacomo) onto their wagon and beats the men until they learn that Quigley is the individual they were sent to pick up. Quigley is eventually taken to Marston's station in the Western Australian outback. Upon seeing Quigley, Cora consistently calls him "Roy," much to Quigley's annoyance.
Pete Simon February 14, 2014 at 05:20 PM
Follow the Money: I honestly don't know if the two are related, I was actually just making a statement. If it's true that would be funny. Adam West: Been aloooooong time since I have seen that movie.
Pete Simon February 14, 2014 at 05:21 PM
Follow the Money: Are you talking about this type of behavior? http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/October-2007/BolingbrookaCest-Moi/
chris February 18, 2014 at 07:33 PM
ok- remember this is about RHS and how the teachers are being treated, not some stupid stuff about a movie. Teachers are losing faith and the parents and the community need to step up and do what is correct for their children. Maybe RHS has gotten rid of one of the administrators; but there are still several others that should GO!
whatsgoingon February 20, 2014 at 09:44 AM
Oh, and don't forget that this is about a principal that is very very very good friends with the superintendent, his boss the asst superintendent is his wife, and allegedly his teachers and staff have no respect for him. This straight from the some of the staff that attended a meeting in December.
Pete Simon February 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM
@ Marcos : I see you commented on Feb. 20th 2014 @ 11:14am but I don't see anything. Did you delete it or was it deleted? Please clarify.
Dan February 25, 2014 at 04:02 PM
her illness = be a dummycRAT.

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