Parkway High School principal Nichole Bourgeois and the Bossier School System were dealt another legal blow today when a former nurse at Parkway filed a federal lawsuit against Bourgeois, the school system and GingerHughes, nurse coordinator for Bossier Schools.
In her complaint, Lori Rayborn, school nurse at Parkway from 2004 until early this year, claims she was subjected to a hostile work environment, after she turned records over to plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Bourgeois and the school system by the family of a student who committed suicide.
In Rayborn’s suit, she states that prior to the student’s suicide on May 20, 2011, she reported there was something “off” with the student’s behavior to an assistant principal, and also had contacted the student’s mother with her concerns, and referred the student to counseling. Around the same time, a school counselor reported to an assistant principal that the student had been bullied and she was concerned.
The suit goes on to say “two years after the first suicide, bullying within the school had not been addressed” by the school system and in May 2013 another student, who had been a classmate of the first victim, also committed suicide.
The suit claims after Bourgeois learned Rayborn had turned over her records to the plaintiff attorney in the suit following the first suicide, Bourgeois “demeanor and attitude” was “drastically different” and that Bourgeois “became openly hostile” toward her In the suit, Rayborn says health plans and diabetic documentation forms she provided were withheld, and medication guidelines were not followed.
Rayborn further claims,, she requested that all diabetic students receive 504 accommodations, and included her intention to address bullying in the workplace.
The suit draws a picture on what the plaintiff calls “ongoing retaliatory harassment and intimidation,” that led to Bourgeois ordering that Rayborn should be excluded from any medical needs and/or emergencies at the school.
Rayborn states she reported the “ongoing retaliatory harassment, intimidation and hostile working environment to third defendant, Hughes, her supervisor, who told her it was happening because “you exposed their inadequacies” when her nursing records were subpoenaed by the family of
the first girl who committed suicide.
However, the suit states Hughes told Rayborn she needed to find a way to deal with Bourgeois behavior, to “rise above it.”
The suit then details how the administration at the school slowly cut her out of all medical decisions, illegally taking care of student medical issues, which ultimately led to her resignation. But even that was not accepted, as Hughes objected to Rayborn referring to “ongoing harassment and bullying.” The letter was not submitted.
Rayborn then went to the Red River United Teachers’ Union,who filed a grievance. It was not considered. A second grievance was filed a month later. Then a Level 2 grievance was filed. Finally, in late July, Rayborn resigned.
The lawsut prays for an unspecified amount for damages that include lost wages and benefits, lost of employment capacity, injury to her reputation and standing in the community, severe emotional distress and mental anguish, humiliation and embarrassment, and other damages that will be shown at trial.
In addition to the lawsuit by the family of the first student who committed suicide, a lawsuit against Bourgeois, the Bossier School Board and Bossier law enforcement was filed by a south Louisiana coach who Bourgeois had handcuffed in the middle of the football field prior to a playoff game last
November because his team warmed-up on the field beyond the 10 minutes she allotted
The coach’s school, Live Oak, fined unsportsmanlike conduct charges against Bourgeois with Louisiana High School Athletic Association. After a hearing in November 2012, the LHSAA , placed sanctions on Parkway that included not playing any playoff games at home and not receiving any of the gate money when they traveled to playoff games.
Bourgeois appealed the decision , but in March, the LSHAA upheld it. Parkway is now 8-0 in 5A football, and parents again asked the LSHAA board to reconsider, but in a conference call vote, failed to do so.