By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
Special to the NEWS
Former San Benito Consolidated Independent School District Public Relations Director Celia Longoria filed a lawsuit against the school district last month, claiming age discrimination.
Longoria, who worked approximately 22 years in the school district, was terminated from her position on Nov. 7, 2018.
After working for several superintendents and receiving excellent performance evaluations, Longoria’s lawsuit names SBCISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nate Carman as the culprit behind her dismissal.
The lawsuit also claims that the district terminated Longoria without justification. It argues that Carman forced Longoria to resign; otherwise, he would fire her, making it nearly impossible for her to find future employment.
The NEWS could not reach Longoria for comments.
The lawsuit also claims that, before Longoria’s termination, current Public Relations Director Isabel Gonzalez filed a grievance against Longoria, which was allegedly orchestrated by Carman as an excuse.
“After the hiring of Nate Carman, Plaintiff was discriminated against by Defendant who was motivated by her age, as Carman has exhibited a pattern and practice of age discrimination against older employees of the district who had been employed for numerous years until he was hired as superintendent,” the lawsuit reads on the factual background section.
The lawsuit names numerous employees who had faced a similar fate, including Mary Julia Trevino, Margot Torres, Lynda McKinney, Theresa Kitamura, Dr. Dorothy Shelton, Maria Concepcion Cruz, Theresa Servellon, Olivia Flores, Maria Del Carmen Ramos, and former After School Program director Jack Garcia.
According to the lawsuit, all older employees mentioned had been employed for numerous years until Carman was hired as superintendent.
Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or make sure to grab a copy of the March 13 –19, 2020 issue of the NEWS.