Richland School District Settles SuitPosted: Updated:
The Richland School District has signed a settlement agreement with the parents and players associated with the Richland High School girls basketball program who had filed a federal lawsuit in 2008. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claimed that the District and Bruce Robertson, former head coach of the Richland High School girls basketball team, had violated the civil and constitutional rights of certain basketball players. Specifically, the plaintiffs accused administrators and Mr. Robertson of having engaged in discriminatory practices.
Due to the plaintiffs' inflammatory and untrue allegations, the District refused to pay the plaintiffs any money as part of the settlement. Instead, in an attempt to avoid the disruption of a trial, the District agreed to settle the case by revising the hiring process for coaches. This process is similar to the District's hiring process for other staff positions. In return for the District instituting this hiring process, the plaintiffs have dropped their lawsuit.
"This complaint never went to trial because it had no merit," said Superintendent Jean Lane. "As we have stated all along, the internal and external investigations found no evidence whatsoever of any racial discrimination or retaliation on the part of Coach Robertson. Coach Robertson has been a respected and contributing member of our community for many years. We're elated that this attempt to tarnish the reputation of Coach Robertson was unsuccessful."