Racial discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation are the extremely serious allegations leveled against the Whiteside School District by former teacher Tonya Rives. But on Jan. 2 a federal magistrate dismissed the case without even allowing it to proceed to trial.
We don't know the reasons why Rives was refused tenure at Whiteside, or why the magistrate decided her case was without merit. Rives has 30 days to appeal. However, it is unfortunate if this was a case of a disgruntled employee claiming discrimination and harassment when the real problem was job performance.
Fighting a lawsuit is costly, and this case resulted in multiple years of legal fees for Whiteside taxpayers before it ultimately was dismissed. It no doubt created doubts and divisions among the parents, teachers and other staff members at the school.
Another concern is that racial discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation does happen in the workplace. When one worker cries wolf, it can undermine legitimate claims of other workers. That helps no one.