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Reed v. Clark County School District

United States District Court, D. Nevada

January 13, 2015

KELVIN L. REED, Plaintiff,
v.
CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant.

ORDER

GLORIA M. NAVARRO, Chief District Judge.

Pending before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 18), filed by Defendant Clark County School District, to which pro se Plaintiff Kelvin L. Reed filed a Response in opposition, (ECF No. 22).[1]

I. BACKGROUND

This case centers upon workplace discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment claims by Plaintiff Kelvin L. Reed against his employer, Clark County School District. (Compl., ECF No. 1). Plaintiff, an African-American male, alleges that he began working as a counselor for Defendant in August 2006 and has continued in that position through the present. On February 16, 2012, Plaintiff alleges that he was transferred from Cambeiro Elementary School to Desert Pines High School ("DPHS") pursuant to an out-ofcourt settlement regarding prior claims of workplace discrimination. (Compl. at 2:19-27). The Complaint details five separate instances of alleged discrimination and harassment that began shortly after Plaintiff began his employment at DPHS.

On April 10, 2012, Plaintiff alleges that he received an oral warning regarding an incident that took place on March 14, 2012, between himself and a disruptive student. ( Id. at 3:1-4). Plaintiff claims that the DPHS administration's investigation into the incident was "totally biased, " and that it concluded, without any factual basis, that Plaintiff had yelled at a student so it could give Plaintiff a poor performance evaluation later in 2012. ( Id. at 3:6-13).

On May 24, 2012, Plaintiff claims that he was "taunted" by his immediate supervisor, Assistant Principal Barbara Collins, when she publicly referred to him as "Mr. Reed" three times despite knowing that Plaintiff holds a Ph.D. ( Id. at 3:14-21).

On September 24, 2012, Plaintiff alleges that he was singled-out for harassment when Ms. Collins issued a written warning based on Plaintiff's failure to prepare student schedules by the first day of school, though he had never been instructed to complete the task by that date. ( Id. at 3:27-4:2). Plaintiff alleges that, though other counselors made errors in preparing student schedules, he alone was investigated by Ms. Collins and ordered to take a remedial training course regarding schedule preparation. ( Id. at 4:9-20).

Plaintiff alleges that he was again harassed when Ms. Collins issued a another written warning regarding a public argument that had taken place between Plaintiff and Assistant Principal Christie Ford on September 24, 2012. ( Id. at 4:21-24). Though Plaintiff does not describe the event in detail, he claims that the incident arose out of a "misunderstanding" by Ms. Ford, and that the investigation into the incident was "totally biased." ( Id. at 24-28). Ms. Ford did not receive any disciplinary sanctions as a result of the incident. ( Id. at 5:2-3).

On October 8, 2012, Plaintiff alleges that Ms. Ford said, "You are so unprofessional" as Plaintiff walked by her in the hallway, though Plaintiff had said nothing to provoke such a statement. ( Id. at 5:4-6).

Despite Plaintiff's written complaints about these incidents to several members of Defendant's administration, including: Superintendent Dwight Jones, Associate Superintendent Patrick Skorkowsky, Director of Guidance and Counseling Kim Boyle, Academic Manager Sheri Davies, Executive Manager for Affirmative Action Thomas Rodriguez, and Trustee Lorraine Alderman, Defendant never initiated an investigation. ( Id. at 5:7-14).

Based on these allegations, Plaintiff filed two complaints with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), claiming that Defendant issued the written warnings and negative performance evaluations because he is an African-American male. ( Id. at 8-9). The EEOC issued right-to-sue letters on December 12, 2012, and February 7, 2013. In the Complaint, Plaintiff raises claims for (1) workplace discrimination, (2) retaliation, and (3) hostile work environment, each under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, codified at 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 2000e, et seq.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for summary adjudication when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Material facts are those that may affect the outcome of the case. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute as to a material fact is genuine if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See id. "Summary judgment is inappropriate if reasonable jurors, drawing all inferences in favor of the nonmoving party, could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor." Diaz v. Eagle Produce Ltd. P'ship, 521 F.3d 1201, 1207 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing United States v. Shumway, 199 F.3d 1093, 1103-04 (9th Cir. 1999)). A principal purpose of summary judgment is "to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

In determining summary judgment, the Court applies a burden-shifting analysis. "When the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial. In such a case, the moving party has the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact on each issue material to its ...


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