Former principal sues Ann Arbor Schools, claiming district terminated her because she's Caucasian

Shannon Blick was principal at Lawton Elementary School

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The former principal of an Ann Arbor elementary school is suing the school district, claiming she was terminated because she's Caucasian.

Shannon Blick was the principal at Lawton Elementary School. She filed a $5 million lawsuit claiming Ann Arbor Public Schools discriminated against her. The district, its board of education and six administrators are named in the case.

Blick alleges she was "harassed, berated, lied to, humiliated, threatened and ultimately suspended without notice or cause and constructively terminated because of her Caucasian race."

The lawsuit claims Blick was placed on administrative leave April 26 and barred from any events on school property, including her child's fifth-grade graduation.

On May 7, a day before some parents were planning to speak on her behalf at a public school board meeting, Blick was asked to tell them not to do so, the lawsuit claims.

"I've never seen a case this extreme," said Blick's attorney, Will Tishkoff.

Tishkoff has won a similar case against a school district, but he said his clients were black. Tishkoff said discrimination is colorblind.

"I feel no differently about my white client than I did my black client in Ohio," Tishkoff said. "Either way, we still have a school district that, in my view, needs to act within the law."

Blick began working at Lawton Elementary School in 2013, the lawsuit said.

She said everything was going well at the school until an assistant principal was reassigned there.

The lawsuit claims the assistant principal is black and wanted Blick's job.

"That was the beginning of anything negative in my client's personnel file," Tishkoff said. "So she went from being the star, loved principal -- overnight, things changed."

Local 4 reached out to the district for comment and received the following statement:

"Ann Arbor Public Schools has not been served with a copy of the complaint. AAPS does not comment on pending litigation or personnel matters."

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