GOSHEN — A high school German teacher who was fired by Middlebury Community Schools this past school year for what school officials called poor work performance, has filed a complaint against the school corporation with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging religious discrimination by Northridge High School Principal Gerald Rasler.
Kevin Pack, 29, who was hired to teach six units of German at Northridge High School in August 2013, initiated the complaint in April, shortly after Middlebury Community School trustees unanimously terminated his temporary contract during a special meeting on April 2.
Pack claims that speaking out against Rasler’s religious references during the school year and sending a faculty-wide e-mail indicating he was an atheist, directly led to his termination of employment, not poor performance.
“I was retaliated against and dismissed for filing the religious harassment complaint against Principal Gerald Rasler and for being an atheist,” Pack said in a recent phone interview. “I refused to pray, be a Christian or go along with any of (Rasler’s) evangelizing in the school, and they dismissed me over it.”
Middlebury Community Schools Superintendent Jane Allen confirmed that the school corporation has been informed by the EEOC that Pack’s complaint is being investigated. She also indicated that school corporation officials were advised not to discuss the complaint. The EEOC does not comment on ongoing investigations. In a correspondence with Pack, however, the agency indicated the complaint was subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
According to documents provided to The Goshen News by Pack, he first expressed concern regarding Rasler in an email to Allen on Dec. 12, 2013. Pack later filed a formal complaint with the corporation that prompted an internal anti-harassment investigation by Director of Personnel Delores Merrick and Assistant Superintendent James Bromley.
In that complaint, Pack alleges that on several occasions, including a pre-employment phone interview nearly a year ago, that Rasler was “proactive in putting his religion into business communications.”