HOUSTON — A Harris County educator, originally from Nigeria, is suing the Windham school district, alleging racial discrimination.

Joachim Ukanwa filed a lawsuit June 17 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against the Windham Independent School District alleging that the school board violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

According to the complaint, Ukanwa's applications for various positions were rejected and less-qualified and younger Caucasian individuals with less tenure were chosen instead. The suit says Ukanwa, who had worked for the district since 1998, was subjected to verbal harassment, discrimination, retaliation and termination in October 2015 when he was suffering from a medical condition. 

The plaintiff alleges the school district unfairly chose less-qualified individuals for teaching vacancies, refused to discuss his medical condition, systematically harassed and badgered him, terminated his employment. and denied his right to appeal its decision.

Ukanwa seeks a trial by jury, compensatory and punitive damages, plus lost wages, attorney fees, liquidated damages, taxable court costs, plus pre-judgment and post judgment interest. He is represented by attorneys John C. Lipps and Bruce A. Coane of Coane and Associates PLLC in Houston.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division Case number 4:16-cv-01752

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