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Teacher sues district

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Suit > Zeynep Unal claims LAPS violated the Human Rights Act and is suing for defamation and breach of contract

By John Severance

Zeynep Unal, a Turkish-born special education teacher who has been employed by the Los Alamos Public Schools since 2005, is suing the district for violations of the New Mexico Human Rights Act, defamation and breach of contract.
The suit claims that Unal continues to suffer from loss of income, severe emotional distress, anxiety, humiliation, embarrassment and the violation of her federal and state statutory rights.
Los Alamos Public Schools, the Los Alamos Public Schools School Board, Aspen Elementary School principal Kathryn Vandenkieboom and superintendent Gene Schmidt are named as defendants in the case.
“I can’t comment on its merits,” said school board president Jim Hall. “It’s inappropriate to comment on a legal matter especially involving personnel. We have to wait and see what happens and let the court process play out.”
“Until our attorneys look at this and study this, I can not comment,” Schmidt said.
Unal’s attorney, Kate Ferlic of Santa Fe, filed the suit in district court Friday.
Schmidt said Saturday morning the school district had not been served yet but confirmed the case was filed in district court.


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