YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Inglewood High Principal, Employees Trade Lawsuits

April 26, 1987|TERRY SPENCER | Times Staff Writer

The battle between some Inglewood High School employees and the principal has gone from the classroom to the courtroom, with both sides filing lawsuits claiming emotional damage and harm to their reputations.

Delores Ridgeway, who was a computer lab technician at the school, filed a $1-million lawsuit early this month claiming that Principal Lawrence Freeman slandered her when he allegedly told her in the presence of others that she was allowing drug dealing in her lab. She claims she suffered emotional and physical damage as a result.

She also named the Inglewood School District in the suit.

Ridgeway had filed a claim with the district in October asking for damages because of Freeman's alleged remarks. The claim was denied.

Ridgeway has since been promoted to head of computer operations for the district.

Freeman filed suit last month for an unspecified amount of damages against the Inglewood Teachers Assn.; the union's president, Alma Davis, and three of its representatives; its parent union, the California Teachers Assn., and its executive director, Jacques Bernier; five Inglewood High School teachers and Ridgeway.

Freeman's suit claims that his reputation was damaged and he suffered emotional and physical distress because of remarks by the union and the teachers which appeared in The Times in January. The teachers were quoted as saying that Freeman had created divisiveness and tension on the campus since his appointment in 1984.

Also mentioned in Freeman's suit is a February letter from the teachers association, signed by Davis, to the school board and Supt. Rex Fortune. The letter alleged that Freeman made threats to temporary and probationary employees, telling them they would not be retained if they participated in the union's walkouts over salary issues.

Freeman denied making any threats.

In another union letter cited by Freeman as damaging to his reputation, the union informed the district that it was urging its members not to participate in meetings with Freeman because it believed the meetings were "unsafe" as a result of the principal's alleged abuse.

No hearings have been set in the suits.

Los Angeles Times Articles