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Delaney v. Lynwood Unified School District

August 6, 2009

JOHN DELANEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LYNWOOD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, RACHEL CHAVEZ, MARTINA RODRIGUEZ, MARIA LOPEZ, JOSE LUIS SOLACHES, ALFONSO MORALES, GUADALUPE RODRIGUEZ, DHYAN LAL; ROBERTO CASES; DIANE LUCAS, ANIM MENER, MALCOLM BUTLER, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

[Motion filed on May 11, 2009]

I. BACKGROUND*fn1

Plaintiff John DeLaney, who is Caucasian and over forty, was working as a teacher at Will Rogers Elementary School ("Will Rogers") in Defendant Lynwood Unified School District (the "District") during Summer 2005 and for the 2005-06 school year.*fn2

(Statement of Uncontroverted Facts ("SUF") ¶¶ 1-2; Rees Decl. Ex. I ("Delaney Depo") 35.) Beginning in Fall 2005, Malcolm Butler became the principal at Will Rogers. (SUF ¶ 3.)

During the 2005 school year, Plaintiff states that Butler confronted him in front of his students, angrily berated Plaintiff in a physically threatening manner, and intimidated Plaintiff so that Plaintiff was afraid for his personal safety. (Delaney Decl. ¶ 9.) March 20, 2006 was Plaintiff's last day of work. (SUF ¶ 6.) On September 1, 2006, Plaintiff officially retired from the District. (SUF ¶ 12.) However, Plaintiff states that his retirement was "in reality a constructive discharge, or termination, caused by principal Malcolm Butler's threatening and harassing conduct to such a degree that [he] could not then, and still cannot, function as a teacher." (DeLaney Decl. ¶ 8.)

In addition, Plaintiff provides evidence that in 2005, Dhyan Lal, who was the Superintendent of the District until 2008, published an autobiography book in which he detailed negative experiences within the African-American community in various school districts in Los Angeles against Lal personally. (Statement of Genuine Issues ("SGI") ¶ 2.) Plaintiff argues that this book is evidence of general racial animus in the District, because the District Board Members do not act to ensure there is no racial discrimination or question Lal's employment recommendations. (SGI ¶ 9.) Lastly, Plaintiff presents statistics from the District that show, in general, the number of African-American teachers has declined, while the number of Latino teachers has increased. (SGI ¶ 11.)

In his Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"), Plaintiff makes the following claims:

1) hostile work environment harassment based on race discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"), Cal. Gov. Code § 12940(a);

2) discrimination based on age in violation of FEHA § 12940(h);

3) failure to prevent harassment in violation of FEHA § 12940(h);

4) constructive wrongful termination due to hostile work environment harassment based on age discrimination in violation of FEHA § 12940(k);

5) racial discrimination under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.;

6) age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. ยงยง 621-634. (SAC 5-11.) Defendant now moves for ...


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