April 15, 2021


Beyond law

San Rafael district, demoted principal tussle around evidence

San Rafael City Schools and a former principal are jousting more than evidence in his lawsuit alleging an unlawful demotion.

Legal professionals for the college district and Juan Rodriguez, the previous head of Venetia Valley College, reported for a situation management listening to Tuesday in Marin County Top-quality Courtroom. The attorneys informed Choose James Chou they were being in a dispute in excess of the scope of documents demanded by the plaintiff.

The amount of appropriate district information and e-mails Rodriguez is looking for could generate 1 million files or additional, claimed Ilana Kohn, the lawyer for the faculty district.

“We simply cannot even suit that on our server,” she informed the judge. “The plaintiff was utilized in that job for just about a decade. There are privacy concerns. He interacted with several, numerous staff.”

Chou set one more listening to for June 29 for the litigants to report their development.

Rodriguez sued the district and various officials soon after he was demoted to a teacher’s place very last March. He alleges defamation, retaliation and discrimination.

The district, in a Feb. 26 reaction temporary, denies the allegations — including accusations of slander versus the school board and Jim Hogeboom, the district superintendent.

Rodriguez alleged the demotion, which was publicly declared, defamed him and prevented him from acquiring new function. Rodriguez, who is on paid depart from the district, is demanding compensatory and punitive damages, reinstatement in the position and penalties in opposition to the district.

Rodriguez’s demotion triggered outrage by people, neighbors and neighborhood members who mentioned he was their hero and that he stood up for the legal rights of Latinos. Several testified to several awards granted to Rodriguez for his advocacy work and for upgrading educational high quality at Venetia Valley.

But some academics who experienced worked underneath Rodriguez mentioned he had an abrasive management design and style that brought about them damage. Some testified they experienced requested to be transferred out of Venetia Valley due to the fact of that.

Rodriguez’s criticism alleges that district officers have been upset with him since he “objected to policies that he reasonably thought had been unlawful functions of discrimination toward the students and staff customers based mostly on their race, ethnicity and national origin.”

In accordance to the hottest available enrollment info from the 2019-20 university 12 months, Latino students comprise 70% of the elementary university district and 87% of Venetia Valley University.

The district’s denial states it “exercised acceptable treatment to avoid and suitable immediately any allegedly harassing and/or discriminatory actions, and that plaintiff unreasonably unsuccessful to just take advantage of any preventive or corrective prospects supplied by SRCS or to prevent harm otherwise.”

As to the defamation allegations against Hogeboom and the trustees at the time — Rachel Kertz, Maika Llorens Gulati, Linda Jackson, Greg Knell and Natu Tuatagaloa — the courtroom dropped them as defendants. The district explained they are immune from liability less than state code that protects community staff.