SAN ANTONIO (CN) - A charter school fired three teachers for objecting to "sex toy parties" on school grounds, and promoted one of the partiers to superintendent, the teachers say. They sued the Community Council of Southwest Texas, operator of the Gabriel Tafolla Academy Charter School, in Bexar County Court.
Deanna Allen, Janice Mireles and Rosalinda Padilla say they lost their jobs at the Tafolla Academy in Uvalde after the school's second campus shut down in June, despite the school board's promises that they "would have continued employment at the remaining campus."
They claim the Community Council fired them because they complained about "sex paraphernalia parties," in which "catalogues that contained sex toys and other paraphernalia were being distributed amongst faculty and staff and orders placed for some items."
The teachers say the council's executive director, Richard Juarez, brushed off their complaints by asking "why he was being told about 'staff issues' since he did not have authority over charter school personnel."
But weeks later, the teachers say, he had enough authority to hand promote one of the teachers who attended the parties to superintendent and give her a $30,000 pay raise, though she lacked the "requisite certifications."
"In spite of Richard Juarez's claim that he had no authority over charter school personnel, Juarez promoted Deanna Kilpatrick, the lead teacher or acting principal of [campus 2], who had participated in the parties, to superintendent," according to the complaint.
After a San Antonio television station picked up the story about the "handling (or mishandling) of the sex toy parties" (parenthesis in original), and an article appeared in a local newspaper, "La Voz de Uvalde,"
the Community Council fired the plaintiffs, they say.
The complaint in Bexar County Court does not identify the plaintiffs as teachers, but a visit to the school's website this morning (Monday) showed the three of them listed as teachers.
They sued the Community Council of Texas for civil rights violations, gross negligence and costs. They seek compensatory and punitive damages, including back pay, front pay and benefits.
They are represented by Edward Piña of San Antonio.