Former Suburban School Chief FIRED For Being Gay, Panel Finds Evidence Of Discrimination

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August 2, 2010


"Nearly four years ago, Bremen Community School District 228 Superintendent Rich Mitchell was fired after his contract had been extended through 2009. Last week, the Cook County Human Rights Commission figured out why: because he is gay.

"Mitchell was interviewed for the leadership position in 2004 by the local School Board, according to a statement from Lambda Legal. While being interviewed, board member Evelyn Gleason allegedly asked two other members if they knew Dr. Mitchell was gay.

"'The School Board members inferred that Ms. Gleason was opposed to hiring Dr. Mitchell because of his sexual orientation,' Mitchell's Lambda Legal attorneys said in a statement. 'The Board chose to hire Mitchell through the end of the 2007 school year. In his complaint, Dr. Mitchell alleges that, soon after he was hired, Gleason and another board member sought to invalidate Mitchell's contract without informing the rest of the Board, but their attempts were rejected by the Illinois State Board of Education.'"