John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 18, 2012, 8:38am

HOUSTON - The Katy Independent School District is the target of a lawsuit alleging it fired a para-professional because she was of South Asian descent, recent court documents say.

Azma Naseer Qazi claims she experienced harassment and discrimination due to her Pakistani heritage and Muslim beliefs, but rather than address her complaints, KISD terminated her.

Qazi's suit was filed Sept. 17 in the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

She was hired by the defendant on Aug. 13, 2008, to work as a teacher's aide in its special education classes at Hutsell Elementary School.

Qazi claims the mistreatment began in the spring of 2011 when a Hispanic female colleague asked her several times to teach her how to belly dance, sent her text messages with overtly Christian messages and made derogatory comments about her nationality and religion.

According to Qazi, the co-worker stepped her alleged misconduct up when, prior to a scheduled pest extermination, she removed the complainant's personal belongings from her cubicle and placed them on the floor for no apparent reason.

The original petition additionally recalls an incident in which a language problem resulted in Qazi being disciplined for coming to work some 30 minutes late.

Qazi insists her grievances were never resolved, and the school district dismissed her in early June 2011.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Annette M. Lamoreaux of Houston is representing Qazi.

Case No. 4:12-cv-2771

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