The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC says lesbian suit unfounded

By Joshua knopp/managing editor

The college has filed a motion to dismiss charges against the NE Campus English department chair and humanities dean, denying allegations of discrimination based on sexual orientation and also stating the allegations would not be punishable even if they were true.The plaintiff, Jacqueline Gill, held a temporary full-time position as an English teacher August 2009-December 2010. After her contract was not extended without an interview while her contemporaries moved on to permanent positions, Gill filed a lawsuit in September against those in charge of the hiring process, chair Eric Devlin and dean Antonio Howell. She alleged the decision not to hire her was because of her being a lesbian and thus a violation of the 14th Amendment, which says everyone has equal protection under the law.The college’s motion to dismiss, filed Nov. 8, states that the charges in Gill’s complaint are both not true and not enough to award a settlement over.Where Gill states that she had received praise from all around her, the motion states, “Plaintiff’s employment was terminated due to poor job performance including not showing up for her assigned classes, lying to her supervisors and generally failing to conduct classes at the collegiate level.”

The motion states that even if Gill’s claims are proved, they reflect a single decision rather than a policy, and Gill does not prove that decision constitutes TCC policy. 

The only concrete wrongful act she alleges of either defendant is that Devlin told her “Texas and TCC do not like homosexuals,” in the context of a conversation he

had with her after a student complained that Gill was paying untoward attention to the women in her class.

“Gill asks the court to make a giant leap and assume that if Devlin made these alleged remarks, and Gill is no longer employed with the district, then Gill is not employed with the district because of her sexual orientation and, therefore, Howell, and consequently the district, must discriminate against homosexuals,” the motion reads. “Gill does not allege facts sufficient to support these conclusions. One stray remark does not constitute an actionable claim for employment discrimination.”

The court has already responded and set a deadline of Dec. 8 by which the two sides must meet face to face to see if they can resolve their differences, vice chancellor of administration and general counsel Angela Robinson said. If they cannot come to an understanding, discovery and deposition for a civil trial will follow.

Gill’s attorney, Kenneth Upton, did not return a phone call from The Collegian seeking comment.

Both Devlin and Howell declined comment.

 

 
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