The Tower Pulse

Redlin appeals summary judgement in favor of Grosse Pointe Public Schools

Redlin+filed+an+appeal+against+the+judge%27s+decision+to+dismiss+the+case+on+June+1.+The+case+will+go+to+the+United+States++Court+of+Appeals%2C+Sixth+Circuit%2C+in+Cincinnati.+
Redlin filed an appeal against the judge's decision to dismiss the case on June 1. The case will go to the United States  Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati.

Redlin filed an appeal against the judge's decision to dismiss the case on June 1. The case will go to the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati.

Redlin filed an appeal against the judge's decision to dismiss the case on June 1. The case will go to the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati.

Alyssa Czech ‘19, Editor in Chief

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Following a motion to dismiss the case in favor of Grosse Pointe Public Schools on May 10, 2018, Parcells assistant principal, Debra Redlin, filed an appeal on June 1, to the U. S. Court of Appeals.

Redlin filed a lawsuit against the district on Nov. 15, 2016 for alleged gender discrimination and retaliation.

Redlin alleges South Principal Moussa Hamka gave her unequal duties compared to the other assistant principal at the time, Terry Flint, and Hamka treated male and female employees differently, according to court documents.

“We feel the judge misapplied the appropriate standard on whether or not it should go to trial,” Redlin’s attorney, Robert Palmer, said about the judge’s decision to dismiss the case. “We think the judge may have intruded upon the realm of the jury. We think he found facts when that really should be left to the jury.”

The district’s attorney, Mark McInerney, seemed pleased with the judge’s decision.

“Obviously the district was gratified by the decision,” McInerney said. “It’s what we asked the judge to do, and he agreed with us.”

In the court documents, Redlin claimed she didn’t like the way Hamka handled an incident involving herself, Flint and another coworker. Redlin went to the deputy superintendent of educational services, Jon Dean, with notes that included “39 numbered paragraphs, many of which detailed examples of allegedly offensive behavior” by Hamka.

After a formal investigation by Dean and Maureen Bur, the director of secondary education, they found “Hamka had not harassed or discriminated against her (Redlin).” After the investigation, Redlin was found “minimally effective” in her 2014-15 evaluation, according to the court documents.

When Dr. Gary Niehaus was hired as superintendent in June 2015, he transferred Redlin to Parcells Middle School, to separate her and Hamka, as stated in the court documents.

Redlin also claims in the court documents Dean asked her to resign in 2015, but she refused.

Redlin took a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for psychiatric reasons from November 17, 2015 to March 2016.

Redlin claims Dean “violated the FMLA by holding her medical leave against her” and made a formal complaint to Niehaus, according to court documents. Attorney Kevin Sutton investigated at the request of the district, and did not find that there was reason to conclude that Dean’s actions were harassment or retaliation.

However, in the court documents, Redlin claims “retaliation from administration continues.”

Redlin also claims this was evident when she showed interest in two openings for assistant principal at South in May 2017.

Redlin received a letter from Niehaus stating “that she would not be considered for the position solely (because) Hamka remained the principal there.” Part of the reasoning was also because of Redlin’s actions in one of the incidents resulting in her “minimally effective” rating in 2014-15, as stated in court documents.

Niehaus, Dean, Bur and Hamka declined to comment. Redlin was unresponsive to The Tower’s email.

Palmer, Redlin’s lawyer, said while the case was scrutinized by the judge and has not gone to trial, he thinks they will have success with the appeal.

“We think the case has merit,” Palmer said. “We were very disappointed with the decision of the federal court.”

McInerney, the district’s attorney, said he does not find it surprising that Redlin appealed; she has the right to do so and the case will be awhile in the court system.

Whereas Palmer claimed Redlin has always been an “excellent administrator,” and is so currently at Parcells as well, and that she deserves to be in her original position at South. Palmer also said Redlin should be compensated for how she has suffered emotionally from the events that have transpired.

“We believe the cause is righteous and hopefully someday we will prevail,” Palmer said. “We’ll take it as far as we have to, to either prove it right or have the case dismissed.”

 

*The Tower will update as the case progresses. 

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Redlin appeals summary judgement in favor of Grosse Pointe Public Schools