SAN DIEGO -- The U.S. District Court Southern District of California has dismissed a lawsuit against the Cajon Valley Union School District and the Cajon Valley Education Association.
Christina Wesley-Willis accused the district on Sept. 29, 2017, saying she was demoted from her position as principal to an assistant Principal and then demoted again to a teaching position.
Wesley-Willis said the district is guilty on a number of counts, including violation of the Civil Rights Act, violation of the Civil Rights Act – disability, violation of California Labor Code and interference with contractual relations.
The school district said the case should be dismissed because of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, which says the school district can’t be sued in federal court because it’s protected by the Eleventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“The School District contends that it is immune from this suit under the Eleventh Amendment because the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that California school districts are state agencies and arms of the state for purposes of Eleventh Amendment immunity,” the court said.
Wesley-Willis argued that the Eleventh Amendment can be waived under certain circumstances.
She said the school district “received substantial federal funding, and as such has waived any immunity that it would otherwise be entitled to assert.”
Wesley-Willis asked the court to order the school district to show any documents that show whether or not the federal funds prevent the district from claiming immunity in a lawsuit. The court, however, denied Wesley-Willis’ request for an order requiring the district to show receipts.
After dismissing the complaints against the district, the court gave Wesley-Willis a chance to appeal the case. Wesley-Willis said she can use her appeal to prove that the Eleventh Amendment doesn’t protect the district in this situation.
Although the district argued that Wesley-Willis shouldn’t be given a chance to appeal the case, the court said “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 mandates that leave to amend ‘be freely given when justice so requires.’”
In her appeal, Wesley-Willis will ask to be reinstated to her position as principal. The court said Wesley-Willis can file any second amended complaint within 30 days of the date of the Order.