The Westminster Schools in Buckhead denies racism played a role in the firing of an Asian American administrator, who is suing the school in federal court alleging her civil rights were violated.
The private school located on West Paces Ferry Road is asking the lawsuit, filed this summer by Dr. Caroline Diaz in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, be dismissed.
“Westminster expressly denies that it or any employee under its supervision acted in any manner that violated [Diaz’s] rights or caused [Diaz] harm, including engaging in any unlawful discrimination and/or retaliation,” according to court documents filed last month.
Diaz alleges in her lawsuit that Westminster and two of its administrators, Kelley Day and Christa Hansen, retaliated against her after she published opinion pieces in Education Week magazine describing the lack of Asian educators in leadership positions, the race discrimination faced by educators of Asian descent in the education industry, and the need for Asian educators to stand up to discrimination and racial stereotypes about Asians in the workplace.
Day was Diaz’s supervisor at the time of her firing and Hansen worked in Westminster’s Human Resources Department.
Diaz, who is of Filipino, Chinese and Japanese descent, began working at Westminster in February of 2015 and served as the preschool director for more than six years, according to the lawsuit. She alleges in her suit she was the only Asian person in a leadership position at Westminster while she worked there. She was fired May 4, 2021.
Westminster says in its court filing that Diaz’s “job performance, qualifications (or lack thereof), other conduct by her, and/or legitimate business reasons” were the reasons for her being fired.
“No actions of defendants regarding plaintiff’s employment were motivated by any discriminatory and/or retaliatory animus,” says Westminster in its filing.
Day and Hansen also deny that they discriminated or retaliated against Diaz.