LOS ANGELES — A former longtime girls’ soccer coach at Long Beach Poly High School who alleges the Long Beach Unified School District stripped her of her coaching job for complaining about gender discrimination and sexual harassment can take her case to trial, a judge ruled today.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller denied a motion by LBUSD attorney Joshua Kuns to dismiss plaintiff Teri Collins’ case. Kuns maintained there were no triable issues and that Collins was removed from her position for cyber-bullying a student athlete on Instagram, threatening referees in the presence of other students and calling one pupil a “little B-word.”
The jury will decide Collins’ causes of action for gender discrimination, retaliation, and failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation. Both sides agreed to the dismissal of Collins’ fourth claim for demotion based on discrimination and retaliation.
“The main causes of action remain part of the lawsuit and Ms. Collins looks forward to trial of her case,” plaintiff’s attorney Marina Kats Fraigun said after the hearing.
Shaller said that although he was allowing the case to move forward, Kuns presented arguments strong enough to perhaps “erode maybe all of the plaintiff’s claims” at trial, which is set for May 9. However, he said his opinion of the strength of Collins’ case was not enough to convince him to dismiss it.
In her lawsuit filed against the LBUSD in November 2016, Collins maintains that “Poly’s soccer program enjoyed unprecedented success” during her tenure. Collins had been a coach and teacher at Long Beach Poly since August 1999, teaching physical education and becoming he winningest girls’ soccer coach in school history,…