DISD's Whistleblower Alleges District Retaliation in Federal Lawsuit
If the name Becky Beck rings a bell, it's because she was the whistleblower who, two years ago, notified the feds that a $316,000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant intended to go toward HIV prevention education efforts was being used by the district on everything but HIV prevention education. But three months after the district had to refund the money, Beck, a health education specialist with the district, has filed suit against DISD in U.S. District Court in Dallas. Beck claims her bosses at 3700 Ross Avenue -- among them Assistant Superintendent Renita Berry and supervisor Narvella West -- retaliated against her for calling them out by giving her a bad review, withholding promised pay and making "disparaging remarks." Details, including the suit, are after the jump.
According to her complaint, filed on Thursday in federal court, Beck says she's worked for the district for 30 years, but didn't receive her first poor performance evaluation till after the blew the whistle on the wasted money. She says she was placed on probation "for alleged poor performance," and that the evaluation and probation likely kept her from getting a job with the Texas Education Agency as a physical education and health manager.
Beck also alleges that the district has "stripped [her] of her longevity pay" totaling $4,000 for this school year and yanked her off the school health advisory committee. In the suit, which you can read in its entirety, she wants twice the amount of back pay she claims she's owed with interest and further compensation "for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination, including lost economic opportunity." District officials will not comment on pending litigation. --Robert Wilonsky