Principal at Lancaster Middle School Accused of Harassment, ‘Sex-Based Ridicule’ in Lawsuit Filed by 2 Former Employees

A former vice principal and a former teacher at a middle school in Lancaster said they were forced to quit in June because the school principal subjected women to “sex-based ridicule” and “harassed, discriminated against, or retaliated against” numerous female employees, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

Pictured is Gifford C. Cole Middle School in Lancaster. The principal there has been accused of harassment and "sex-based ridicule" against female teachers in a lawsuit filed by a former teacher and former vice principal in late November 2017. (Credit: Google Maps)

Pictured is Gifford C. Cole Middle School in Lancaster. The principal there has been accused of harassment and “sex-based ridicule” against female teachers in a lawsuit filed by a former teacher and former vice principal in late November 2017. (Credit: Google Maps)

The lawsuit, filed by Dawn Dolinski and Jody Finks against the Eastside Union School District and Francisco Pinto, principal of Gifford C. Cole Middle School, cited a number of alleged incidents that they claim portrayed a sexist and hostile work environment under Pinto.

“Principal Pinto had a reputation among teachers and staff for retaliating against women who, like Ms. Dolinski, did not fit his sexist view that women should act with a submissive manner and be subservient to men,” the lawsuit claims. “A female teacher or staff member who was experiencing career success, recognition from the District, or was strong-willed, would generally become the target of Principal Pinto’s attacks.”

In addition, the lawsuit claims, the school district was put on notice of Pinto’s conduct by at least 15 grievances filed in the 2015-2016 school year by female teachers and staff — but those who complained “were not protected by the District, and instead were subjected to more intense harassment from Principal Pinto” and “suffered first-hand the retaliatory tactics that Principal Pinto took against teachers and staff that complained about him.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.