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Hesperia Unified settles lawsuit alleging discrimination by a probationary teacher

HESPERIA, Calif. — The JPA defense authority for the Hesperia Unified School District, after conferring with its legal team, has settled a long-standing lawsuit brought by a probationary teacher, Julia Frost, in 2013.

After separation from the district, she sued alleging discrimination, harassment, and related claims.

The District strongly denies her allegations. This case has dragged on for nearly five years, with the District and its JPA incurring significant defense costs.

Absent this settlement, the case would have continued well into or beyond this school year taking an added personal toll on the employees wrongfully accused of discrimination and harassment, and on student witnesses who would be compelled to testify.

While Ms. Frost has not yet produced any compelling evidence to support any of her claims, one can never predict what might happen at trial. The parties have agreed to a financial settlement to be shared by the JPA and the District to dispense with the litigation.

The settlement will eliminate the potential risk of a huge plaintiff’s attorney fee award if the District didn’t win on all counts. The parties also mutually agreed that the settlement is not an admission of guilt or an acceptance of liability for any alleged wrongdoing by the District.

The settlement is strictly a financial settlement with Ms. Frost and her legal teams. There are no policy reforms included in the settlement and the District maintains its policies and practices on non-discrimination are fully sufficient and appropriate to protect the rights of students and staff. This determination was reinforced after a cooperative effort in 2013 with the ACLU, who is not a party to Ms. Frost’s lawsuit

In this case, settlement was simply an appropriate, prudent financial decision in light of the protracted litigation effort by this former employee.

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