Santerian Says School Discriminated

VISTA, Calif. (CN) – A charter school in San Marcos discriminated against its registrar because of her Santeria religion, the woman claims in Superior Court. She claims a school director refused to rein in the harassment, which increased after she took time off to go to a Santeria event in Miami.

     Beth Riddle-Lucia says the Bayshore Prep school in San Marcos Unified School District hired her in 2006, and was aware that she had medical issues and that she practiced Santeria.
     Santeria, an Afro-Caribbean religion, has made the news repeatedly, as its rites can include animal sacrifice.
     Riddle-Lucia says co-workers mocked her for her hair covering and jewelry, which are required by her religion. She says she complaint to a school director, Jayna Gaskell, who told her that could not control what other employees did, and left it at that.
     Riddle-Lucia says the discrimination escalated when she took time off to go to Miami for a Santeria event. Gaskell, who knew that she had medical problems for which she often had to take time off, told her she wasn’t doing her job well and that she was failing to put in the time necessary to keep the job, according to the complaint.
     Lucia-Riddle says Gaskell said her that she knew she was unhappy so she should just leave. She says she was fired in August 2008.
     She demands damages for discrimination for disability and religion, and harassment. She is represented by Dennis M. Grady of San Diego.

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