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OATES v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

September 3, 1986

Wanda Oates, Plaintiff
v.
District of Columbia, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PENN

 JOHN GARRETT PENN, United States District Judge.

 The plaintiff alleges that the defendant, acting through the District of Columbia Board of Education, unlawfully denied her the right to become head football coach at F.W. Ballou High School (Ballou) in the District of Columbia because of her sex. She argues that the defendant is guilty of sex discrimination which deprived her of her civil rights, under color of law, in violation of 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. The plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and damages.

 After filing her complaint, the plaintiff moved for a preliminary injunction. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65. At the hearing on the motion, the parties called a number of witnesses and introduced exhibits. They also agreed to consolidate the hearing on the motion with a trial on the merits. *fn1" See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(a)(2). The case is now before the Court for final disposition. The Court has filed an order granting judgment for the defendant and dismissing the case with prejudice. The Court now sets forth its findings of fact and conclusions of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 52.

 I

 Before addressing the merits, it is necessary for the Court to briefly set forth the contentions of the parties. The plaintiff alleges that, in April 1985, the extra-duty pay position of coach of the Ballou football team was advertised along with other extra-duty coaching positions as required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the Washington Teachers Union and the District of Columbia Board of Education. The plaintiff applied for the position, was found to be qualified by the school principal, and on June 26, 1985, was appointed to serve as Ballou's head football coach for the 1985 season. She contends that she would have been the first female high school football coach in the District of Columbia and, indeed, in the United States. She alleges that, sometime in late July 1985, Dr Andrew Jenkins, Deputy Superintendent of Schools, informed her that the appointment was no longer effective, and that Frank Young, a temporary teacher, who had not applied for the position, would instead coach the team during the 1985 season. Plaintiff contends that once it came to the attention of Dr. Jenkins that she had been appointed coach, he took steps to vacate the appointment and to reappoint Mr. Young, who had served as head football coach in 1984. Plaintiff contends that the only reason her appointment was vacated was because she is a female.

 Not surprisingly, the defendant disputes the contention of the plaintiff that her sex played any part in her non-selection as head football coach. Rather, according to the defendant, at the time Mr. Young was appointed in 1984, he was appointed for three years and therefore, in April 1985, when the position was advertised, there was no opening. Defendant contends that the coaching position was advertised in error and that when this was brought to the attention of the plaintiff, the plaintiff advised that she had no objection and that she had applied for the position because she did not want the job to go unfilled by a teacher at Ballou. In short, defendant contends that the appointment was made in error and that the plaintiff voluntarily withdrew from consideration once the facts were made know to her. Plaintiff argues, however, that she was misled into withdrawing in that she was advised by Dr. Jenkins that Mr. Young was entitled to the position under the CBA, but that she later learned that this was not the case. Finally, the defendant argues that the plaintiff is not qualified for the position. *fn2" Defendant points out that Mr. Young had previously played football and had served for several seasons as an assistant football coach before being appointed as head football coach at Ballou. The plaintiff has never played or coached football.

 One final issue raised by the defendant is the contention that the plaintiff failed to utilize the union grievance procedure. Plaintiff argues that the grievance procedure was not available in the case of a discrimination complaint.

 II

 The plaintiff has served as a full-time physical education teacher at Ballou for over 20 years. During that time she has coached male and female students at the school in basketball, track, softball and soccer. All of the sports she coached, except for soccer, involved women's teams. She has coached men and women in soccer. On twelve occasions, her teams won league championships, and she was twice named as "Coach of the Year", and was honored by Ballou in 1974, 1975, and 1976. She also served as athletic director at Ballou in the early 1980's; the first female in the District of Columbia to serve in that position.

 In 1984, the football coach at Ballou retired and it became necessary to appoint a new football coach for the 1984-1985 school year. At that time, the school was a special project assigned to Dr. Jenkins as the result of a number of complaints concerning the operation of the school. Dr Jenkins learned that Ballou was experiencing difficulty in obtaining a new football coach. At about the same time, Mr. Young was recommended to him as a person who was qualified to be coach. It was Dr. Jenkins' understanding that Mr. Young was "very experienced" as a football coach; he had served as assistant football coach at Anacostia, Eastern, and Chamberlain Vocational high schools. He spoke with Mr. Young on several occasions about Young taking on the coaching assignment. When they discussed the assignment, it was understood that the assignment was for a period of three years. Dr. Jenkins discussed the matter with Mrs. Jones, the principal at Ballou, and Mr. Young was appointed head football coach in 1984.

 At the time of his appointment as head football coach, Mr. Young was a substitute teacher and as such, was not entitled to enter into a three year extra-duty pay contract under the CBA. Under the terms of the CBA, a substitute teacher is not entitled to a three year appointment. In fact, as a substitute teacher, Mr. Young could not sign an extra-duty pay authorization, and the form was actually signed by Mr. Pearson, the athletic director. Indeed, the CBA provides in part (CBA, Article XXIX(C)(1) [1982-1985 CBA at 42, 1985-1987 CBA at 36].):

 Since Mr. Young did not fall within the ET-15 category, he was not eligible to be selected to the position. The fact that Mr. Young did not sign the authorization was unknown to Dr. Jenkins. Mr. Pearson, the athletic director signed it and then distributed the extra pay, which amounted to approximately $900, between Mr. Young and the assistant coaches as is the custom. *fn3" Apparently it has been the practice ...


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