Drake University Slammed For Firing Assistant Coach Due To GenderBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
A former assistant coach at Drake University has sued the school for forcing her to quit due to her gender. Courtney Graham claimed that she was made to resign after her homosexuality became known publicly.
According to the AP, via USA Today, Graham recently filed a lawsuit where she alleged that the coach of the women's basketball team, Jennie Baranczyk, slowly removed her duties as assistant head coach. This comes after the plaintiff brought her then-girlfriend, who is now her wife, to a home game last Nov. 2014.
Apparently, Baranczyk told Graham that she appears to not be herself. The plaintiff claimed that she was forced to take time off after her sexual orientation became public. Moreover, she was said to have been left out of other team activities and became subject to hostile interactions at the university.
In May 2015, Graham claimed that she was forced to resign without reason. Three weeks later, she finally resigned under duress.
The former Drake University assistant coach filed a lawsuit for sexual orientation discrimination. She also alleges the school of two counts of retaliation, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress as well as harassment.
Drake University denied the allegations. The school noted that Graham filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission which was dismissed.
The Des-Moines Register reported that the lawsuit was filed on Friday in the U.S. District Court in Des Moines. Graham was previously with the Mississippi State University before she joined the coaching staff at Drake in 2012.
Graham's lawsuit also alleged that Baranczyk shared information about the plaintiff with other employees at the university. It was noted that the coach talked about Graham's medication and therapy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with others.
Furthermore, the lawsuit claimed that Graham has been removed of other opportunities to find similar coaching work due to "negative information" given by Drake University to her potential employers.