PITTSBURG, Kans. — A former Pittsburg school teacher is suing the district for violating her civil rights under the pregnancy discrimination act.
Jessica Lake filed a claim (full document below) in Kansas federal court accusing the district of terminating her contract after she returned from maternity leave.
According to Lake, she was hired as a kindergarten teacher at Meadowlark Elementary, in August 2020.
Soon after hiring Lake, the principal found out lake was pregnant.
That’s when Lake said she learned just two days before her start date that she would instead be teaching a fifth grade class at Westside Elementary School rather than the kindergarten class.
Additionally, Lake claims that the principal at Westside, Kelsey Boulware, discouraged her from taking the full amount of maternity leave provided by the district. According to the complaint, Principal Boulware also told Lake she would be required to work through her maternity leave by doing lesson plans and holding parent teacher conferences by Zoom.
According to the complaint filed, Boulware would go onto suggest Lake was sitting down to much despite Lake’s explanation that her pregnancy was causing her back pain. In once instance cited, a podium was promised for Lake to lean on, but one was never received.
And Lake said the day she gave birth, Boulware called her and told her she was required to prepare and send a letter to her students about a COVID update.
Lake added that when she returned from maternity leave she was repeatedly put under surveillance and criticized and was told she could resign or be fired.
Principal Boulware’s complaints centered on matters that happened while Lake was on maternity leave.
A spokesperson for Pittsburg School District said the district has no comment.
We reached out to Lake’s attorney and have not heard back.