Lawsuit: Administrator calls principal intimidating because ‘you’re a big, black woman’

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — A discrimination lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver details shocking allegations against leaders of a metro Denver preschool.

The lawsuit alleges the school engaged in race and gender discrimination against its former principal.

Documents filed in federal court Tuesday claim administrators for Merryhill School in Highlands Ranch used inappropriate comments to describe former principal Carolyn Ammidown — an African-American woman.

The 11-page civil action describes incidents of alleged discrimination at the private school off Colorado Boulevard south of CO-470.

The lawsuit claims a supervisor, Krista Bielat, told Ammidown that she would never have thought she would be married to a “white man.”

The allegations, going back several years, also center on a conference attended by leadership of the private school’s parent company, Nobel Learning Communities.

At the conference in Las Vegas in 2013, Ammidown said Noble Learning’s senior vice president, Patricia Miller, said “I don’t think too highly of many black people.”

The lawsuit claims Bielat later told Ammidown the administrator was drunk.

A current member of the teaching staff said she is shocked by the claims.

“I’ve been here for three years and I’ve never heard [of this],” the staffer said. “We have people working here [who] are black, so it’s kind of confusing.”

The lawsuit also accuses Bielat of telling Ammidown that people found her intimidating because “you’re a big, black woman.”

That’s when the lawsuit states the relationship between Ammidown and Bielat became tense.

Ammidown said she was unexpectedly fired after being with the company for 10 years. The lawsuit states she had no documented disciplinary actions.

Parents at the school were surprised by the allegations.

“In the years that we’ve been here, the staff has loved and taken care of my kids,” a parent said.

The lawsuit is demanding a jury trial. A date for that trial has not yet been set.

A call to the plaintiff’s attorney had not been returned as of late Wednesday.

Nobel Learning Communities said in a statement that it denied the allegations.

“As an education company, we are deeply committed to equal employment principles, and act in full compliance with employment laws. We strenuously deny the baseless allegations in Ms. Ammidown’s complaint, and will vigorously defend against this suit. As born out by the EEOC’s no probable cause determination, we did not discriminate against Ms. Ammidown and have ample, justifiable, and well-documented evidence to support her separation from employment.”

Most Read

Top Stories

More Home Page Top Stories