John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Oct. 18, 2012, 11:18am

HOUSTON - Harris County resident Scwyana Smith says she lost her job with the Houston Independent School District because of her race and gender. 

A lawsuit filed Oct. 17 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas shows HISD failed to review her position as a clerk prior to including her in its reduction in force.

Smith, who is African American, says the defendant denied her the opportunity to train for a buyer position though she had more experience and better credentials.

The suit alleges the employees who lost their jobs were African American females and a white male.

It adds the school district considered workers who were black and older than the age of 40 for termination.

HISD has a policy which states that workers who are subjected to a reduction in force are to be the first applicants considered for openings, however, the suit claims the 44-year-old Smith was deprived of the chance to take a position and numerous positions were filled with personnel that were cross trained and had relatively little to no experience.

The original petition further argues the school district dismissed Smith because of her Christian faith.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney L. Mickele' Daniels with L. Mickele' Daniels & Associates in Houston is representing Smith.

Case No. 4:12-cv-3083

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