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Maplewood Local School District Hit with Lawsuit for Alleged Gender Discrimination

— November 3, 2021

Maplewood Local School District is at the center of a lawsuit over allegations of gender discrimination.

Women have come a long way in recent decades, but workplace discrimination continues to be alive and well across the country. Unfortunately, being discriminated against based on gender can really put a damper on a woman’s career and make it difficult for her to climb the ladder to better pay and opportunities. Sometimes, the only thing left to do is sue. For example, one teacher in Maplewood Local School District is now filing a lawsuit after she was allegedly discriminated against.

A metal pea whistle
A metal pea whistle; image courtesy of Zephyris at English Wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons,

What happened? According to the suit, the teacher, Jeanne Dana, was removed “from her position of physical education teacher and was replaced by a man.” The complaint names the school district and the board of education as defendants. As part of the complaint, Dana is accusing “the district of violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and asks that the defendants give her back her physical education teaching position and award appropriate compensatory damages.”

Dana is represented by two attorneys, Jared Klebanow and Avery Friedman, and is seeking a jury trial. The case will be overseen by U.S. District Judge Bonita Pearson of Youngstown.

Dana attended Youngstown State University where she earned a teaching certificate in K-12 Physical Education and 7-12 Health. She also received her elementary education teaching certificate in 1990 and began working at Maplewood schools where she taught fourth grade from 1990 to 2009. When one of the district’s gym teachers retired, she was hired to teach Physical Education at the K-9 elementary building. While there, “Dana implemented new programs that enhanced the educational experience of her students,” according to the suit.

From there she was assigned to teach Physical Education to Kindergarten students and grades 3-6 in 2017. In 2020, the district told her that three Physical Education teachers “were no longer needed in the district…and she was reassigned to teach third grade.” However, during the school year, she learned that a third Physical Education teacher “was needed and the district filled the spot of teaching grade 7-12 the subject to a man who is not licensed to teach that subject,” according to the lawsuit. The complaint further states:

“The only female physical education teacher was removed for no reason, other than her being female, and replaced with an unqualified male.”

Since the filing of the lawsuit, the case has been referred to Magistrate Judge Amanda M. Knapp and is set to conclude around March 15, 2022.


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