Assistant principal suing South Bend schools alleging discrimination

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- An assistant principal is suing the South Bend Community School Corporation in federal court for allegedly discriminating against her because of her religion and national origin, according to court documents.

Latifa Oudghiri, a Muslim from Morocco who wears a head scarf, says she was denied promotions, paid less than comparable employees and has been subjected to harassment that was not addressed.

Oudghiri claims in her lawsuit she has applied to become a principal three times since 2016, but the positions have gone to less qualified candidates. She also alleges she is paid less than at least one other assistant principal with less experience because of her religion.

Oudghiri also claims she has been harassed because of her religion and national origin. She says in her lawsuit she went to the superintendent about the harassment but was told to get a "thicker skin," according to court documents.

In her third allegation, Oudghiri says she was subjected to retaliatory discrimination.

Oudghiri is asking for back pay, compensatory and punitive damages and attorney's fees.

The school corporation released the following statement about the lawsuit:

"Any decisions the corporation made regarding Ms. Oudghiri position had nothing to do with her faith tradition or culture. She was given the same opportunity as other candidates. The South Bend Community School Corporation values diversity and inclusion, and we take great pride in welcoming students, staff, and administrators from diverse backgrounds."

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