Former Martinsville principal files $9.5 million discrimination lawsuit

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- A former Martinsville High School principal is seeking nearly $10 million in a federal lawsuit against the City of Martinsville.

Angela L.G. Weinerth was hired by the Martinsville school system in 2005 as assistant principal.

In her lawsuit, Weinerth claims when she was hired she tried to warn then-acting principal Aji Dixon that students were falling behind school board standards.

Weinerth alleges that Dixon ignored her concerns and told her to "back off."

Dixon was later removed from his position as Principal and Weinerth was reassigned the position in 2013.

The acting Superintendent at the time, Pamela Heath, appointed Weinerth.

Following Heath's retirement, the school board named Dr. Zebedee Talley as Interim Superintendent.

In her lawsuit, Weinerth claims that Dr. Talley began a personnel policy based upon race, gender and age.

The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Talley "expressed concerns that more than 70% of the School System's staff were white," and that a "more diverse staff was necessary for student success."

Weinerth said on July 22, 2016, she was asked how many African American teachers were employed.

She said she responded that she "did not know off the top of her head."

On July 26, 2016, Weinerth was dismissed from her position as principal.

The superintendent then promoted Dixon back to principal and Clarence Simington to assistant principal; both are African American.

Weinerth believes, as stated in the filed lawsuit, that she was dismissed because she is white, and 63-years-old.

Weinerth is demanding a trial by jury on her complaint.

She is asking for $105,000 for back pay and benefits, $445,000 for prospective pay, $1 million in benefits and non-economic damages, and no less than $8 million in punitive damages as well as reinstatement to her position.

You can read the full lawsuit under the "Documents" tab in the top right corner of this article.

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