Demoted twice, white Hazelwood schools employee alleges racial d -

Demoted twice, white Hazelwood schools employee alleges racial discrimination

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Hazelwood School District Hazelwood School District

HAZELWOOD, Mo. ( -- A former administrator within the Hazelwood School District is suing the district and two administrators, claiming the district removed her from her position because she is white.

Crystal Reiter, who had 21 years of experience within HSD, was demoted from her position as assistant superintendent down to middle school principal in 2015. According to the lawsuit, she was again demoted in April of 2017, this time to “indefinite teacher.” The final demotion essentially made Reiter an unassigned teacher and reduced her annual pay by $55,000. Her benefits were also greatly reduced.

Reiter names two HSD administrators in the suit, Nettie Collins-Hart and Julia Burke, both of whom are African-American. Reiter alleges Collins-Hart and Burke were responsible for her first demotion and campaigned to intimidate her into leaving the district.  

The suit states that early in 2017, Burke told Reiter she should look outside of HSD for employment, and in mid-February Collins-Hart told her the district board may not renew her contract and suggested she resigned.

A month later, Reiter’s supervisor told he she would be removed from her job as principal and be replaced with an African-American who was assigned to the school.

Reiter's lawyer said neither Burke nor Collins-Hart discussed performance issues with her and her performance reviews were always extremely positive. 

The Hazelwood School District released the following statement in response to the suit:

“The Hazelwood School District cannot comment on any pending litigation. However, the Hazelwood School District is committed to providing equal opportunity in all areas of education, recruiting, hiring, retention, promotion and contracted service. The District further commits itself to the policy that there shall be no unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation or disability, or any other characteristics protected by law, in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs and activities. Employment decisions are based on the best interest of our students, staff, and District.”

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