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Ex-principal accuses school district of discrimination

June 22, 2021 GMT

ALBANY, Ore. (AP) — A former South Albany High School principal is suing Greater Albany Public Schools, claiming the district racially discriminated against him and created a hostile work environment.

Nain “Nate” Munoz filed the suit last month in U.S. District Court in Eugene, The Albany Democrat-Herald reported Monday. Munoz was interim principal and then principal of South Albany from July 2018 to June 2020.

The case is linked to two separate complaints Munoz filed with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries last year accusing the district of employment discrimination and retaliation.

The state agency co-filed the complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. Both issued Munoz a “right to sue” letter earlier this year in connection with both complaints.

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Munoz is identified in the lawsuit as being of Mexican American descent. He contends the district discriminated and retaliated against him based on his race and national origin and for engaging in whistleblowing.

Barrett Mersereau, who is representing Greater Albany Public Schools, told the newspaper last week he could not discuss the case.

Munoz’s attorney, Dan Snyder, also declined to comment.

“While the District cannot comment on pending litigation, GAPS is dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all students and employees,” District Superintendent Melissa Goff said in an email.

In the lawsuit Munoz alleges numerous instances in which he said he either did not receive requested support from the school district, was held to a higher or different standard than other staffers or was reprimanded for matters outside his knowledge or control. He claims he was terminated because he filed complaints about the issues.