A former Orange County, Florida, teacher is suing the school district for discriminating against her because her boyfriend was black.
Audrey Dudek was a math teacher at Edgewater High School. She was let go from her position in 2013.
When school officials found out Dudek’s now husband, Stacey Cobb, is black, she says they were shocked and offended, WESH reports.
She claims in the lawsuit that the assistant principal treated her differently “because she closely associated with non-whites” and that her classroom was nicknamed “Club Audrey” because she played “black music” and was friendly with non-white faculty members.
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"The assistant principal complained to her to her face, talking to, and I quote, 'those people,' referring to black members of the faculty and staff," Dudek's attorney, Suzanne Tzuanos, said.
The lawsuit claims Dudek’s performance reviews were manipulated, and that she was made to watch a racially charged skit performed by faculty members in black face, Afro wigs, gold teeth, and baggy clothing.
School officials said they let Dudek go because of budget cuts but she believes she was unlawfully fired.
"The budget didn't go down in that period of time,” Tzuanos said. "Ms. Dudek is a math teacher. There's a critical need for math teachers at Orange County Public Schools, so the district's explanation does not hold water.”
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The school district denies Dudek was discriminated against, reports The Daily Mail.
An investigation by the Florida Commission on Human Rights and the state found there is reason to believe Dudek was “treated differently based on her gender and race association.”
Dudek is seeking unspecified damages for pain, suffering and loss of dignity in a jury trial.