MARSHALL, MINN — (12-01-21) — Conservatives continue to war against supporters of LGBT students as a southwest Minnesota middle school principal who was fired over displaying a rainbow LGBT Pride flag in her school’s cafeteria, has filed a lawsuit against the school district.

Former Marshall Public Schools’ middle school principal Mary Kay Thomas, filed her lawsuit this week alleging the district retaliated against her for supporting LGBT students.

Her complaint filed Tuesday, Nov. 30, in U.S. District Court, asserts that Marshall Public Schools fired middle school principal Mary Kay Thomas earlier this year after a “Heated Disagreement” in the community about a LGBT Pride flag she displayed in a cafeteria in early 2020. The Pride Flag was her way of promoting an inclusiveness campaign at her school.

According to the lawsuit, a small group of “anti-LGBTQ middle-school staff, parents, students, and local clergy” pressured the school to remove the Pride flag. In response to the pressure put upon the school especially after going through the chaos and terror of the CRT debate, Thomas began distributing rainbow pride stickers at the school.

The school finally gave into the pressure and removed the LGBT pride flag in August 2021. Thomas who had served as the school’s principal for 16 years was forced from her position, the complaint said.

In the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Thomas claims “The Marshall School District targeted her with an investigation, placed her on administrative leave, suspended her without pay and eventually drove her to quit after the district removed her as principal and placed her in a “demeaning” special projects position.”

Thomas further claims the school’s staff is hostile to LGBT causes and that in her opinion, played a role in her removal. She also states that Marshall Public Schools Superintendent Jeremy Williams told her he could “make this all go away” if she stepped down.

In a statement, Superintendent Williams said “While the school cannot comment about the specific allegations made in the complaint, the school district strongly denies any allegation of discriminatory conduct,” Williams said. “The school will vigorously defend itself against these allegations.”

The initial investigation was supposed to last only two or three weeks, the complaint said, but lasted into May. Thomas, who remained on leave until the summer, filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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