School nurses claim racial discrimination in lawsuit against school association

Michelle Keahey Mar. 22, 2012, 3:45am

NEW ORLEANS - Two New Orleans school nurses have filed a racial discrimination lawsuit after losing their jobs and being replaced with less qualified African American nurses.

Claiming violations of their civil rights, Andrea Duplechain and Mara Breland filed suit against Algiers Charter School Association Inc. on March 1 in federal court in New Orleans.

Duplechain was hired by the defendant on Dec. 9, 2005 as a school nurse and was eventually promoted to the position of Health Services Coordinator. She claims that she was terminated on Dec. 9, 2009 because of her race, Caucasian. Breland was hired by the school as a part-time school nurse in Nov. 2007 and was terminated in May 2010, the suit claims. She states that her termination was a pretext for racial discrimination.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for back pay and back benefits, mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, inconvenience, embarrassment, medical expenses, front pay, front benefits, punitive damages, attorney's fees, court costs and interest.

Duplechain and Breland are represented by Metairie attorney Clement P. Donelon. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00562

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