If the name Becky Beck rings a bell, it's because she was the whistleblower who, two years ago, notified the feds that a $316,000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant intended to go toward HIV prevention education efforts was being used by the district on everything but HIV prevention education. But three months after the district had to refund the money, Beck, a health education specialist with the district, has filed suit against DISD in U.S. District Court in Dallas. Beck claims her bosses at 3700 Ross Avenue -- among them Assistant Superintendent Renita Berry and supervisor Narvella West -- retaliated against her for calling them out by giving her a bad review, withholding promised pay and making "disparaging remarks." Details, including the suit, are after the jump.
According to her complaint, filed on Thursday in federal court, Beck says she's worked for the district for 30 years, but didn't receive her first poor performance evaluation till after the blew the whistle on the wasted money. She says she was placed on probation "for alleged poor performance," and that the evaluation and probation likely kept her from getting a job with the Texas Education Agency as a physical education and health manager.
Beck also alleges that the district has "stripped [her] of her longevity pay" totaling $4,000 for this school year and yanked her off the school health advisory committee. In the suit, which you can read in its entirety, she wants twice the amount of back pay she claims she's owed with interest and further compensation "for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination, including lost economic opportunity." District officials will not comment on pending litigation. --Robert Wilonsky
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.