HAMPTON BAYS, N.Y. – An elementary school teacher has sued a school district for $1 million, saying she was fired because co-workers and administrators think she’s a witch.
Lauren Berrios, 32, filed a notice of claim against the Hampton Bays School District in U.S. District Court on Tuesday. Berrios said the school board violated the First and 14th Amendments.
District Superintendent J. Bruce McKenna said the allegations were “ridiculous.” He said Berrios was not retained for a third year – which would have secured her tenure – because of her teaching, not her alleged religious beliefs.
Berrios claims the accusations began in February following a reading lesson on the Massachusetts Bay Colony in which she mentioned visiting Salem, Mass., where the witch trials took place.
She said the rumors started because she wears black clothing, dramatic makeup and has long fingernails.
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