By DAVID LOPEZ
SAN BENITO—The San Benito Consolidated Independent School District recently settled a lawsuit filed by Mary Julia Treviño on June 29, 2018.
According to the lawsuit, Treviño claims she was “constructively discharged,” meaning the worker resigned as a result of the employer creating a hostile work environment. Treviño was Executive Director of Academic Services and had been employed with the district since November 2015 and was discharged on April 2, 2018.
SBCISD Public Relations Director Isabel Gonzales responded to inquiries on the settlement, stating that the Texas Association of School Boards recommended that the district settle the claim for $37,500 to curb costs to the district.
“The referenced lawsuit and subsequent settlement stemmed from a member of the San Benito CISD Board of Trustees allegedly making discriminatory comments, which the district defended,” read Gonzales’s email.
The mentioned discriminatory comments came from Mary Lou “M. L.” Garcia, according to the lawsuit. In the document, Treviño claims SBCISD board member M.L. Garcia entered her office around June 27, 2017, and informed Treviño that Dorothy Shelton, SBCISD Director of Curriculum and Development, needed to be fired from her position.
After Garcia made this statement, the suit alleges, she asked Treviño what type of contract Dr. Shelton was working under. Treviño replied that Dr. Shelton was under a probationary contract and that there was no documentation of any performance issues.
Two days later, Treviño went to Acting Superintendent Hilda Rendon to tell her about Garcia’s comments. Rendon replied, “Go to the HR Director and find out what could be done to fire an employee who has a probationary contract.”
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 June 5-11, 2020 issue of the NEWS.