A guidance counselor in Texas is accusing the Grand Prairie Independent School District of making her resign under duress. Gabriana Clay-White claims she witnessed a teacher call a student a “dumb” n-word before using physical force against the minor.
After Clay-White reported the incident to the school and Child Protective Services (CPS), she alleges the school district forced her resignation. The former counselor filed her lawsuit on Aug. 17 in Dallas County, per Newsweek. Gabriana Clay-White is seeking between $250,000 and $1 million to cover “loss of pay, mental anguish and legal fees.”
The alleged teacher abuse happened on May 18, 2022, per the lawsuit. Two weeks later, on June 2, 2022, Clay-White says the school district’s human resources department gave her two options: resign or face termination. The HR contact reportedly told her she had “violated an ethics code,” per Newsweek. To “protect herself,” Gabriana Clay-White opted to “resign under duress.”
On Wednesday, a Grand Prairie District spokesperson told the outlet that their internal team and CPS had investigated the incident, which was “considered resolved.” Additionally, they claimed to have no formal notice of the lawsuit.
“At this time, GPISD has not been officially notified of a potential lawsuit filed by a former employee of the district. As a matter of policy, the district does not comment on personal matters or issues pertaining to employment. We can confirm any allegation of misconduct by teachers in our classrooms is taken seriously, investigated fully, nad followed by the appropriate action if necessary.”
It’s unclear if the school district disciplined the teacher involved in the incident. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services told Newsweek a report of the incident was made but stalled on additional details due to confidentiality laws.
Guidance Counselor Explains What Happened Between Teacher & Student With Learning Disabilities
The lawsuit reportedly doesn’t name-drop the teacher or the school involved–though the suit cites two school officials as elementary school employees. However, Clay-White says last May, she was assisting a teacher with a student with special needs. At one point, the minor called the teacher “dumb,” the teacher responded, “Oh, I’m dumb,” and allegedly pulled the chair from under the child.
As mentioned, the minor reportedly suffers from learning disabilities, per the lawsuit. After pulling the chair, the teacher allegedly called the child a “dumb n***a” who “can’t read.” Then, the teacher again pulled the chair from under the student.
Clay-White says she stepped in, declaring she was removing the child from the classroom. While Clay-White and the student exited the classroom, the minor allegedly shouted something else, causing the same teacher to “advance” toward them. The student reportedly swung at the teacher in response, but Gabriana Clay-White stepped in and prevented contact.
However, the swing caused the child to fall to the ground, and the educator reacted by putting “her boot on the child’s chest” and pushing “down.” Clay-White again intervened, moving the teacher’s boot off the minor’s chest.
Gabriana’s lawsuit says the school district violated the Texas Family Code by allegedly forcing her resignation after she reported the incident to CPS. The code is meant to protect employees from employer retaliation for mandated reporting.
This is a developing story.