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Make of this what you will: One of the featured speakers at a news conference last week hosted by Almost Mayor Vince Gray in support of the NAACP, labor unions, and other groups was Sheila Gill, a counselor who was laid off from McKinley Tech last fall as part of a round of teacher layoffs due to, for the most part, budget reasons.
That Gill, a popular counselor whose dismissal sparked student protests and an outpouring of support from students and parents, spoke isn’t too terribly interesting—other than the fact that it reinforces the notion that Gray’s a lot more sympathetic to fired teachers than his soon-to-be predecessor was.
What’s more interesting is that Gill is suing the city for $80 million for the way she was fired. In her complaint filed in federal court, Gill alleges she suffered “emotional distress” because she was “intimitated, humiliated, devastated and embarrased by the Metropolitan Police Department by being abruptly confronted, screamed at, and escorted out of McKinley for no apparent reason, in the presence of the students, administration and parents at approximately 3:15 p.m. which resulted in an uprising of the students, the pepper spraying of students, serious injury to one student and the arrest of a parent.”
Gill also alleges that School Chancellor Michelle Rhee “acted with malice and intent to harm” when she made some inartful comments to Fast Company Magazine about the 266 teachers that were laid off. She also said that her former principal referred to her as a “Black B____” to students.
LL has a call into Attorney General Peter Nickles for a response and will update as necessary.