Legal troubles tonight for Lee County schools as they face a lawsuit from a former assistant principal.
Peggy Slichter’s claim against the school district involves wrongful termination and discrimination. She is looking for financial compensation, insurance and benefits and reinstatement.
Slichter worked for the school district for two decades.
A week ago, Slichter told WINK News she had major concerns about the district’s safety reporting, claiming she had been let go because she pushed for state guidelines to be followed.
“Everybody needs to follow protocol. Everybody needs to know what’s going on, eyes open at all times,” Slichter said. “It has to be done correctly.”
The Lee County school district declined to comment on pending litigation. They have until next month to file a response to the lawsuit. There is no date set for when a trial could take place.
Ben Yormak, Slichter’s attorney, said decades of a career have been extinguished in the blink of an eye.
“All because she did the right thing,” Yormak said. “Educators should be coming forward and reporting these types of issues.”
The lawsuit expands on her concerns while working at Manatee Elementary School.
She said the school failed to report several violent and disruptive incidents involving students. It also states she was discriminated against based on health issues and her ethnicity.
“You have disparate discipline that’s being assigned based upon what your racial makeup is,” Yormak said. “Ms. Slichter does something that’s allegedly incorrect and she’s held to a very different standard.”
Slichter’s personnel file, obtained by WINK News, does not show any behavioral or performance issues that would have led to her termination. The school district did not provide her personnel record from the last two years because they are exempt from the public record.
“It is inappropriate to have an educator fired for seeking compliance with the law,” Yormak said. “This is somebody who should be getting a pat on the back if not a promotion.”
Slichter’s legal team is seeking back pay, front pay, insurance costs, benefits and damages.
The suit is also asking for her to be reinstated.
“She wants to continue in education. It is her love, it is her passion,” Yormak said.