United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
SONYA R. EDWARDS
MESQUITE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
GREN SCHOLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Order addresses Defendant Mesquite Independent School
District's ("Defendant") Motion to Dismiss [ECF
No. 8]. For the reasons stated below, the Motion is granted.
hired Plaintiff Sonya Edwards ("Plaintiff) as a
substitute teacher in August or September of 2006. Am. Compl.
¶9. From approximately January 2014 through May 19,
2017, Plaintiff worked exclusively at Defendant's
Mesquite High School ("MHS") campus. Id.
about February 28, 2017, Plaintiff complained to the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and
Terri Craig, an employee of Defendant, about Cherri Lynn,
MHS's school secretary. Id. ¶ 12. Plaintiff
alleged that Lynn was inquiring as to Plaintiffs whereabouts
when she was on duty. Id. When Plaintiff told Lynn
that she was in a lounge at the school, Lynn purportedly
replied, "No you were not. You people lie."
Id. Plaintiff claims that "you people" was
a reference to people who are black and/or African American.
Id. After Plaintiff complained about this incident,
Lynn allegedly began harassing Plaintiff almost daily by
asking Plaintiff where she was at all throughout the day
(although she did not treat Caucasian employees the same); by
forcing Plaintiff to clock-in as soon as she arrived at [MHS]
(even though Caucasian employees were not required to do the
same and the policies and procedures stated an employee can
clock-in and clock-out at the end of the day before leaving
work); by sending Plaintiff to the wrong classroom
assignments in empty rooms without air conditioning and
making her stay there until someone came to get her and tell
her the correct classroom; by ignoring Plaintiff and
excluding her from her peers; by scrutinizing Plaintiffs
every move; and by falsely telling Defendant's Principal
of [MHS] that the black/African American employees always
"hang out" instead of working (even though
Caucasian employees have been caught not working while on the
clock and did not receive discipline), among other things.
about March 1, 2017, Lynn allegedly told other employees of
Defendant and MHS that Plaintiff "(1) does not stay
where she is supposed to stay while at work; (2) clocks in
and leaves the campus; (3) is untrustworthy; and (4) is
undependable." Id. ¶ 13. On or about March
3, 2017, Plaintiff met with Defendant's administrator
Kelly Long regarding these accusations. Id. ¶
14. Long "told Plaintiff not to worry about the
accusations and that Plaintiff is loved by the students and
staff and to keep doing what she is doing and from this point
forward there will be a fresh start." Id. When
Plaintiff requested that Long conduct an investigation, Long
"told Plaintiff there was no need to investigate and
that everything was okay." Id.
this series of events, Plaintiff claims Lynn began harassing
her more often. Id. ¶ 15. On or about
May 19, 2017, Defendant informed Plaintiff that she was
"blocked" from substitute teaching at MHS
"based on a Substitute Evaluation Form that was false
and inaccurate." Id. ¶ 16. Defendant moved
Plaintiff to its Agnew Middle School ("Agnew")
campus. Id. ¶ 18. Plaintiff claims that Agnew
is much farther from Plaintiffs home, that "it is a new
environment and Plaintiff had to start all over," and
that Plaintiffs workload is more difficult at Agnew.
being moved, Plaintiff repeatedly requested to be allowed to
work at MHS again. Id. ¶ 19. In August of 2017,
the Assistant Principal of MHS told her that she was not
allowed to return to MHS. Id. Plaintiff attempted to
return to MHS again on August 24, 2018. Id. ¶
20. On September 19, 2018, the Principal of MHS told
Plaintiff that he had investigated her claims and decided to
"leave the block in place." Id.
on the foregoing allegations, Plaintiff brought suit against
Defendant, alleging that Defendant discriminated against
Plaintiff because of her race in violation of Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII").
Defendant moved to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to
state a claim.
defeat a motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a plaintiff must plead "enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." Bell AH. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
570 (2007); Reliable Consultants, Inc. v. Earle, 517
F.3d 738, 742 (5th Cir. 2008). To meet this "facial
plausibility" standard, a plaintiff must "plead
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). Plausibility does not require probability, but a
plaintiff must establish "more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. The
court must accept well-pleaded facts as true and view them in
the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Sonnier v.
State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 509 F.3d 673, 675 (5th
Cir. 2007). However, the court does not accept as true
"conclusory allegations, unwarranted factual inferences,
or legal conclusions." Ferrer v. Chevron Corp.,
484 F.3d 776, 780 (5th Cir. 2007). A plaintiff must provide
"more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal
citations omitted). "Factual allegations must be enough
to raise a right to relief above the speculative level ... on
the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are
true (even if doubtful in fact)." Id. (internal
ultimate question is whether the complaint states a valid
claim when viewed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Great Plains Tr. Co. v. Morgan Stanley Dean
Witter & Co., 313 F, 3d 305, 312 (5th Cir. 2002). At
the motion to dismiss stage, the court does not evaluate the
plaintiffs likelihood of success. It only determines whether
the plaintiff has stated a ...