Frisco's Only Black Coach Says He Was Fired For Complaining of Racial Hostility
Frisco High School's only black coach says he was fired earlier this year for complaining of racial discrimination.
Former Frisco world history teacher and basketball coach Alvin Jackson claims in a May 22 lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that school and district administrators began retaliating against him after he complained that track coach Sam Reiter, a pal of Superintendent Rick Reedy, was creating a "racially hostile environment."
A series of satisfactory performance evaluations followed but later, Frisco High School Principal Sylvia Palacios told Jackson that he wasn't a good fit for the district and suggested he resign. She later told him his contract would not be renewed.
And if losing his job wasn't bad enough: "Although Mr. Jackson coached at a basketball game between Lincoln High School and Frisco High School, Mr. Jackson's name was left off the school program."
"Al Jackson ran headlong into a 'good ol' boy' network, plain and simple," Jackson's attorney Joe Kendall said in a press release from his firm. "Someone in Frisco decided they could push him out because of the color of his skin. The law -- and common decency -- says you can't do that."
Frisco ISD, of course, denies the discrimination charges. In a statement, the district said Jackson was fired for classroom performance issues, not race.
"The actions make it appear that Mr. Jackson and his legal counsel are attempting to circumvent the process outlined by the Texas Education Code by filing a frivolous lawsuit against the district and trying the case in the media under false pretenses," the district said.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.