Eller v. Prince George's County Public Schools

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Jennifer Eller
Status: Open
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
Issues: Employment and Rights in the Workplace, Transgender Rights

Lambda Legal joined Arnold & Porter in a lawsuit filed against the Prince George’s County Public Schools and Board of Education on behalf of a transgender teacher who endured years of abuse, harassment and retaliation at the hands of school administrators, fellow teachers, staff, parents and students after she began to live authentically as the woman she is. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on behalf of Jennifer Eller, an English teacher who taught at three schools within the district from 2008 to 2017, when she was forced to resign.

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“For years, I was aggressively misgendered, attacked and harassed in the hallways and even in my own classroom by students, peers, and supervisors,” Eller said. “I woke up each day afraid to go to work because I didn’t know where the next attack would come from, but I already knew full well that the school administrators would do nothing to support me. My pleas for help, for sensitivity training on LGBTQ issues for students and staff, fell on deaf ears. Finally, the harassment and the humiliation became unbearable and I had no other alternative than to resign. No one—student or teacher—should go through the hell I was put through at school just for being who they are.”

The lawsuit argues that the school district and its administrators violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act.