Clovis teacher sues district over alleged age discrimination

The Fresno BeeOctober 15, 2013 

A Clovis Unified kindergarten teacher who alleges she was treated unfairly by her boss for years because of her age is suing the district, the latest move by the teacher to regain her job and be compensated for the alleged harassment.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday by teacher Carolyn Glenn, 65, alleges she was the target of repeated discriminatory and retaliatory conduct at Jefferson Elementary School by Principal Geoffrey Tiftick from 1998 to 2013.

The claim is similar to a complaint Glenn filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in July. That charge -- now under investigation by the EEOC -- says Tiftick gave her unwarranted poor reviews, showed preference to younger teachers and repeatedly forced her to switch grade levels.

It also alleges she was retaliated against when she refused to retire on several occasions.

On Monday, Glenn said she decided to sue after two internal complaints she filed were dismissed by district officials, who said Tiftick's actions did not constitute age discrimination.

"I've had no recourse from them," she said. "It's just brushed aside. My only recourse now is to go to a court of law."

She said she hopes the suit helps her regain her job and also prevents discrimination against her peers.

Glenn, who is on medical leave, is also seeking at least $300,000 in damages for emotional distress and compensation for medical expenses she's racked up since she's been off work.

The suit names both Tiftick and the district as defendants.

District spokeswoman Kelly Avants said Clovis Unified received a copy of the lawsuit Tuesday.

"We will review this lengthy document with legal counsel and take the appropriate next steps to respond in a timely manner," Avants said in an emailed statement.

Glenn said if she decides to go back to work she'd have to switch grade levels. She taught kindergarten last year but was reassigned to a different grade after she refused to retire last spring.

"I would like to" go back to work, she said. "It depends on what happens."

Reach the reporter at (559) 441-6412 or hfurfaro@fresnobee.com.

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