Westminster schools deny allegations of racism by sacked administrator

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The Westminster Schools (file)

Westminster Schools in Buckhead denies racism played a role in the firing of an Asian American administrator, who is suing the school in federal court alleging his civil rights were violated.

The private school located on West Paces Ferry Road request the lawsuit, filed this summer by Dr. Caroline Diaz in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, to be dismissed.

“Westminster expressly denies that it or any employee under its supervision acted in a manner that violated [Diaz’s] rights or caused [Diaz] harm, including engaging in any unlawful discrimination and/or retaliation,” according to court documents filed last month.

Diaz alleges in her lawsuit that Westminster and two of its administrators, Kelley Day and Christa Hansen, retaliated against her after she published opinion pieces in Education week magazine describing the lack of Asian educators in leadership positions, the racial discrimination Asian educators face in the education sector, and the need for Asian educators to challenge discrimination and stereotyping about Asians in the workplace.

Day was Diaz’s supervisor at the time of his dismissal and Hansen worked in Westminster’s human resources department.

Diaz, who is of Filipino, Chinese and Japanese descent, started working at Westminster in February 2015 and served as headmaster of the nursery school for more than six years, according to the lawsuit. She alleges in her lawsuit that she was the only Asian person to hold a managerial position at Westminster while working there. She was fired on May 4, 2021.

Westminster says in his court filing that Diaz’s “job performance, qualifications (or lack thereof), other behaviors and/or legitimate business reasons” were the reasons for his dismissal.

“No action by the defendants relating to plaintiff’s employment was motivated by any discriminatory and/or retaliatory animus,” Westminster says in its filing.

Day and Hansen also deny discriminating against or retaliating against Diaz.

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