Former principal sues Catholic school alleging systematic racial discrimination

By Holland Phillips | Dec 2, 2013

NEW ORLEANS— A man who served as principal at a New Orleans Catholic elementary school has filed suit against the school and the church claiming racial discrimination and wrongful firing.

Jamie Roussel filed suit against The Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church and School, Reverend Christopher C. Amadi, the Society of St. Joseph of the the Sacred Heart, The Josephites and Jay Watson in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The plaintiff claims that he was wrongfully terminated before the end of his contracted position as principal at Our Lady of Grace Catholic School in 2012 due to the alleged prejudices of Reverend Christopher C. Amadi.

Roussel contends that “Father Amadi is of African descent and has an obvious discriminatory animus towards American born males and African American born males in particular” to the extent that he fired or forced the resignation of all male employees and male boards in order to “establish his superiority.”

Roussel’s suit lists claims against Amadi for allegedly writing disparaging letters for the purpose of ruining his reputation, engaging in fits of rage, micro-managing, and threatening him.

The defendants are accused of breach of contract, negligence, defamation, damage to the plaintiff’s reputation, creating a hostile work environment, discrimination based on national origin, retaliation for complaints of harassment and discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, mental pain and anguish, creating a false pretext for harassment, disparate application of policies and procedures on the basis of race and gender and failng to adequately supervise or investigate Amadi’s behavior.

An undisclosed amount is sought for compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs of the proceedings.

A trial by jury has been requested.

The plaintiff is represented by Wanda Anderson Davis of Leefe, Gibbs, Sullivan & Dupre LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division J Judge Paula A. Brown.

Case no. 2013-08612.

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