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February 28, 2014 10:09:22 AM
A former West Lowndes High School interim principal is suing the Lowndes County School District for racial discrimination.
Charles Jackson filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday alleging he was not hired for the full-time position because he is white.
The suit states the school district "always selects a black person as West Lowndes principal and assigns black teachers to West Lowndes schools."
Board member Jacqueline Gray is specifically named in the suit, as well as board member Wes Barrett and former board president Bobby Barksdale.
Gray voted against making Jackson the principal of West Lowndes based solely on his race and the fact that he has filed a previous race discrimination case against the district, according to the lawsuit. Jackson's attorney Jim Waide of Tupelo said Gray's actions violate the anti-retaliation prohibition in the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Jackson served as interim principal from October 2012 to February 2013. He has worked for the district for 19 years. He is suing for an amount to be determined by a jury, plus attorney's fees.
Superintendent Lynn Wright declined to comment on the matter citing pending litigation.
Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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