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updated: 7/25/2012 5:59 PM

Discrimination suit against District 15 moves forward

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A federal judge has allowed a former assistant principal's wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuit against Palatine Township Elementary District 15 to move forward, according to court documents.

In the suit, Elizabeth Wong, a former assistant principal at Carl Sandburg Junior High School in Rolling Meadows, claims she was fired in March 2011 for reporting to district authorities that her supervisor was drinking on the job, sexually harassing women at the school and not doing his job.

In June, U.S. District Court Judge John Nordberg denied District 15's motion to dismiss the case and ordered the parties to move forward to the discovery phase before trial.

Defendants' have filed a second joint motion to dismiss based on an amended complaint filed by Wong, which includes new discrimination claims. The judge has not yet ruled on that second motion.

The lawsuit accuses District 15 Superintendent Scott Thompson, the school board, and three other administrators of violating the Illinois Whistleblower Act. Wong, of Schaumburg, claims she told authorities that her principal came to school intoxicated or would leave during the school day to go drinking. Other women at the school complained to her that he sexually harassed them, she said.

The Sandburg Junior High principal who was the subject of Wong's reports retired from District 15 in June 2011 and is currently working part time as an assistant principal in a DuPage County school district.

The lawsuit claims Wong had three separate meetings with district administrators starting in early 2010, as well as email and telephone conversations, but her complaints went ignored. She was later transferred to Whiteley Elementary School in Hoffman Estates as assistant principal.

Wong is disputing that her firing from that school was performance-related, as claimed by the district.

Her suit seeks more than $500,000 in damages for lost wages and benefits, and emotional distress. She also is asking to be reinstated to her previous post at Sandburg.

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