Teacher sues Glendale Unified

GLENDALE— A teacher at Toll Middle School has sued Glendale Unified, claiming she was fired for clashing with the principal.

Five school district officials, include retiring Supt. Michael Escalante and Toll Middle School Principal Paula Nelson, are named in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of teacher Jennifer Pakradouni, who alleges the district retaliated against her because she was outspoken and clashed with Nelson.

Lawyers representing the district continue to investigate the dismissal, and requested several documents Monday from Pakradouni's lawyer, Anahid Agemian.

At the center of the case is why the district failed to provide a reason for Pakradouni's dismissal, Agemian said.

"When you don't follow due process, you do whatever you want, you're doing it to retaliate, and you're doing it to get away with something you know you wouldn't get away with," she said. "She was retaliated against for speaking up."

District officials would not describe the circumstances surrounding Pakradouni's dismissal.

"Because it is a personnel matter, it is confidential," said John Garcia, assistant superintendent for human resources. "However, as a district, we're very confident that appropriate conduct and professionalism has been maintained at all times."

Pakradouni was not among the teachers who could be laid off this month as part of the district's cost-cutting move, Agemian said.

In court documents, Agemian alleges district officials conspired to fire Pakradouni because she was a critic of Nelson's.

Nelson declined to comment.

Because Pakradouni wasn't tenured, the Glendale Teachers Assn. could do little to protect her, Agemian said.

Pakradouni is the daughter of Anni Pakradouni, a tenured Glendale Unified teacher of more than 20 years. A sister is also a substitute teacher in the district.

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