Former teacher sues over classroom paint

Feb. 26, 2013 at 4:05 PM
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PFLUGERVILLE, Texas, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Lieu Tran, a former Pflugerville, Texas, high school math teacher, is suing the school district for not painting his classroom yellow, among other things.

Tran was fired from the Connally High School faculty in 2011 after a series of panic attacks, stuttering incidents and high levels of stress led to the first negative performance review of his five-year career, and faced felony charges, since dismissed, after telling police officers, following a mental breakdown, of thoughts of killing his supervisors, the Austin American-Statesman reported Tuesday.

The lawsuit, filed Feb. 19, claims the school district's refusal to provide requested accommodations in line with the Americans for Disabilities Act, including painting his classroom a soothing color and providing a photocopier, led to his breakdown.

After the school district demanded Tran provide evidence of his disability, letters from his doctor and from a psychiatrist said his performance would benefit if accommodations were made. A copier was provided but the classroom color never changed, the lawsuit said.

"He has some mental disorders he works on every day, like everybody else who has these types of disorders. He's really a nice guy. He's just got a lot of issues," said Chris Schulz, Tran's attorney.

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