Former responded case postponed
By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP – Managing Editor
A former superintendent of Escambia County Schools who accuses present and former board members of discrimination will have to wait to have her case heard in district court.
The jury selection and trial, originally planned for Nov. 5, was postponed until further notice after a pre-trial meeting held on Oct. 9. The motion to continue was made official on Oct. 22 by Judge W.B. Hand.
Dr. Margaret Breland-Bradley, who served as superintendent for 21 months, filed a lawsuit against the board of education after her contract was not renewed in April 2000. The board voted 4-3 at that time not to renew the contract. In her lawsuit, she claims the board did not renew the contract due to discrimination based on sex and race.
Bradley accuses several defendants, all associated with the school board, of denying her right to be free of "arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory decision making, in violation of the 14th Amendment."
Bradley seeks an injuncture requiring the school board to reinstate her as the superintendent position with full back pay and benefits, including vacation pay. She also seeks compensatory damages against the board and individual defendants in the amount of $1 million and punitive damages against the individual defendants for another $1 million.
According to documentation filed with the court, Bradley said she was told her contract would be extended at the end of her initial two-year contract. She also claims interference from board members in carrying out responsibilities as superintendent.