A former special education teacher at East Hampton Center School is suing the Board of Education on allegations she was the victim of age discrimination.
Elaine Lukas, who is 63, filed her lawsuit in Hartford Superior Court in January. The legal action, however, was moved to U.S. District Court in New Haven this month because Lukas alleges federal violations in her legal action.
Lukas worked as a special education teacher in East Hampton from August of 2000 until December of 2012. She spent most of 2012 out on medical leave "due to the physical and emotional affects of the harassment and retaliation she was suffering," her lawsuit states.
Interim School Superintendent Mark Winzler on Thursday said he could not comment on the lawsuit because it is pending litigation. Former School Superintendent Judith Golden, and not Winzler, was leading the district when Lukas was on staff.
In her legal action Lukas alleges a pattern of harassment by her supervisors, starting in October of 2009 and ending with her resignation late last year. That harassment appears to largely center around negative job evaluations Lukas received, which she says were "abitrary and capricious."
She says the negative reviews were part of an overall campaign by the district to force her to quit and that her supervisors discriminated against her because of her age. Lukas says in the legal action that she was recognized at least twice by the teacher's union and once by the East Hampton Board of Education for excellence in teaching.
Her legal action seeks back pay, as well as "compensatory economic" damages and emotional distress damages.