TIERRA AMARILLA, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico teacher says the former principal and current superintendent of the Chama Valley Independent School District treated her differently because she’s a woman. Now, she’s suing.
“She was discriminated against based on her sex, being female,” said Kathryn Hardy.
Hardy is an attorney for Maryellen Fresquez who used to be a teacher at Escalante Middle and High School.
She claims she lost her job because she’s a woman.
“Derogatory and spoke down, essentially, to female employees generally in the presence of Ms. Fresquez,” said Hardy.
Eric Martinez was the principal during the time Fresquez was working there in 2012. She says it wasn’t long before Martinez singled her out.
“He did not speak that way, that demeaning way, towards male employees,” said Hardy.
According to the lawsuit, Martinez would go into Fresquez’ class when on one else was around and lean in very close. So close, she could feel his spit while he talked.
That’s when she went to the superintendent, Anthony Casados.
He set up a meeting with Martinez in the same room, making Fresquez feel cornered.
“Mr. Casados told her, well, she wasn’t peaches and cream to work with. She’s pretty strong minded and opinionated,” said Hardy.
Hardy says it only got worse for Fresquez. She felt Martinez conintued to treat her poorly throughout the course of the school year.
“She filed another complaint, and in response to that complaint, she was asked to resign,” said Hardy.
Fresquez believes she was let go for no reason. She hopes other women can learn from her experience.
“Despite what she’s gone through she was able to be heard and stand up for herself,” said Hardy.
Eric Martinez is no longer a principal at the Chama Valley Independent School District, but Anthony Casados is still the superintendent.
KRQE News 13 tried to reach out to both of them for comment, but did not hear back.