Lawsuit Accuses Pomona Schools of Bias in Hiring
August 04, 1985
Times Staff Writer
A former school administrator whose race- and sex-discrimination suit against
the Pomona Unified School District was settled in 1983 has filed a second suit
alleging that her supervisors failed to abide by the terms of the settlement.
Temetra Gronemeier, who was demoted to an elementary school teaching job
in 1981 after serving for three years as administrator of a program for
disadvantaged students, alleges in the suit that Supt. Timothy Graves and
other district officials did not consider her for administrative openings, as
specified in the 1983 settlement, because she is black and a woman.
Terms of Settlement
The out-of-court settlement, in which Gronemeier received $115,000 in
damages, required the district to consider her for every administrative opening
from July, 1983, to October, 1984.
A second plaintiff, Charles Sanders, 60, alleges in the new suit that he was the
victim of race and age discrimination because he was forced to retire by his
supervisors after being threatened with a similar demotion. Sanders also is
black. He and Gronemeier are each seeking $3 million in damages in the suit,
filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in June.
The two allege in the suit that discriminatory attitudes exist at a high level in the
school district, influencing decisions on hiring, firing and transfers. The suit also
accuses the district of unfair labor practices.
"We refer to it as the Mississippi of Southern California," attorney Dale
Gronemeier said of the school district. "We're trying to drag them into the 20th
The Pasadena lawyer is married to Temetra Gronemeier, and his firm,
Gronemeier & Barker, is representing both plaintiffs.
Dale Gronemeier said the two cases were combined in one suit because their
claims of discrimination and failure to adhere to affirmative action policies
reinforce each other.
Although the district, represented by attorney Elaine Canty, has as yet filed no
formal response to the suit, Supt. Graves denied the allegations. "We have not
and are not practicing discrimination due to age, sex or race," Graves said in
Graves said that of the district's 87 administrators, 28 are black, and 11 of the
black administrators are women. He said the district also employs 24 white
women as administrators. Since 1977, when the district voluntarily adopted an
affirmative action plan, 33 minority administrators have been hired or promoted,
compared to 25 whites, Graves said.
The suit also alleges that the district violated the California Fair Employment
Act by demoting Temetra Gronemeier and Sanders without due process, failed
to consider Gronemeier for administrative positions as required by the
settlement of the first suit and ignored the district's affirmative action plan.
First Filed in 1978
Temetra Gronemeier first filed suit against the district in 1978, accusing it of a
variety of management deficiencies. In 1981, she amended that suit, adding
claims of both racial and sexual discrimination. Her husband said her decision
to amend the suit followed her discovery, after she returned from a year's
sabbatical leave, that she had been reassigned from an administrative position
she had held for three years to an elementary-school teaching job.
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