PLAINFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- A staffing change at Troy Community Consolidated School District 30 in Plainfield last year is subject of litigation against the District.
Former administrator Rheon Gibson is suing the district, alleging his civil rights were violated. He claims he was forced out after complaining about an exercise he viewed as perpetuating racial stereotypes.
"I believe it was about race intimidation," Gibson said.
In his legal complaint against the school district, Gibson said he was given a doll to use in a staff holiday exercise called Snoop on the Stoop.
Administrators and teachers took photos with the doll, which appears to be based on rapper Snoop Dogg, with fake money and drug paraphernalia attached. We've blurred faces in the photo because they are not named in the lawsuit.
"Me being the only African American male in the entire room and everyone being so happy to utilize the doll, it was a very interesting paradigm for sure," he said.
Gibson alleges he complained and the administrator who actually brought the doll into the office was put in charge of Gibson's review which led to the district not renewing Gibson's contract.
"It was very interesting to see the only person who complained about it got ousted," Gibson said.
"How do you have not minority in a significantly minority school," said his attorney Steve Horak. "They are failing. They are failing the community."
The district declined an interview request and issued a statement saying in part, "The School District categorically denies Mr. Gibson's allegations."
The statement went on to say the doll was "removed from the School District's property and discipline was imposed. This incident, however, had nothing to do with Mr. Gibson's performance evaluation rating or non-renewal. The Board of Education remains committed to providing an educational environment and workplace free of racism, discrimination, or harassment in any form."
Gibson and his attorney disagree. Gibson said he was told to he had to resign or be fired by the board meeting. He said he submitted a resignation under protest because he didn't want a dismissal to tarnish his record.
"I'm going to stand for what I believe in that how my parents raised me and when I tuck my son in at night I know exactly who I'm doing it for, so I'm going to ask Troy to reflect and ask who they are really doing it for," he said.