Teacher Wins Discrimination Case

Rhoda A. Pickett, Mobile Register, June 8

A federal jury in Mobile has awarded $300,000 to a former Bishop State Community College history instructor who had complained that she was fired from her job because of her race.

Sarah E. Taylor, who’s white, was fired in 2002 from the two-year college.

The jury awarded Taylor $100,000 for back wages and $200,000 for emotional distress associated with her firing. The trial was held before Chief District Judge Ginny Grenade.

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Taylor learned in April 2001 that her contract as a history instructor would not be renewed for the 2001-02 academic year. Several of her students started a petition drive to get her reinstated, but to no avail.

Taylor filed a race-discrimination suit in May 2001 alleging that the college’s administrators had let her go so they could give her job to a black teacher. She had worked as a full-time history instructor from Jan. 11, 1999, until her April 9, 2001, termination, according to the lawsuit.

“I wanted to be judged on my character and ability and not race, and that’s what I think happened when I was fired from Bishop State,” Taylor said Tuesday. “I’m just grateful that after four years everything turned out the way it did.”

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