Teacher who sued Avoyelles Parish school district for age discrimination loses appeal

By Elizabeth Young | Apr 30, 2013

NEW ORLEANS – A teacher has lost her appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in a case where she claimed age discrimination.

According to background information in the case, Rebecca F. Dubea worked as a Family and Consumer Science teacher in the Avoyelles Parish school system for 20 years before her retirement in 1999. In 2008, she decided to return to teaching and received contracts to teach at the high school during the 2008-2009 school year. Dubea did not submit a written application for a teaching position for the following 2009-2010 school year.

Her teaching position was subsequently taken by a non-retired teacher certified in Family and Consumer Science and a similar position at the middle school was given to a recent college graduate who was not certified in that particular area.

In her suit, Debea claimed that the principal of the high school told her that if she attended a workshop, she would receive the middle school teaching position. After she learned that she had not been hired for the position Dubea met with the superintendent of schools to express her interest in teaching for the 2009-2010 school year. Dubea claims she was later offered a contract to teach 7th grade English and 10th grade Algebra, but she declined, citing a lack of qualification.

Dubea then sued, claiming that she was not hired for the middle school position because of her age. The district court dismissed the case and Dubea appealed.

In a per curiam opinion Circuit Judges E. Grady Jolly, Fortunato Benavides and James L. Dennis agreed with the district court’s dismissal of the suit.

The panel held that there was no evidence that she was considered for the middle school position and that because she was not even in the running “the Board never had an opportunity to consider Dubea at all, let alone on the basis of her age.”

Case No. 12-31086.

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